St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day


May the road rise to meet you,
may the wind be ever at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of his hand. – Irish Blessing

I married into a great last name…McGuire. Irish to the core. Turns out, thanks to Ancestry DNA testing, that my husband doesn’t have even a hint of Irish blood in his veins. Oh well, I still love me some St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans.

Themed food makes me happy and it just so happened that I had a lovely beef brisket in my freezer. Corned beef was a new food experience to me, forget ever making it from scratch. To the Internets! Recipe in hand (on my phone), a brine was made and the brisket went to hang out in my fridge for 11 days to cure. It’s important to note that when I say themed food I don’t necessarily mean authentic. So when St. Patrick’s Day rolled around, the leprechauns had Lucky Charms for breakfast, and we all had baptism leftovers for lunch.

boiling beef
Heres a bit about corned beef. First you make a brine that has salt, sugar, pickling spices, and pink curing salt.

  • aside about pink curing salt: it is not just sodium chloride like normal table salt. It contains both sodium nitrate and nitrite. The nitrate breaks down into nitrite (a process we learned all about when we were doing aquaponics) and it preserves the meat. It’s pink to remind you that it is not normal salt and will kill you if consumed strait. It is this super cool, but lately controversial substance that makes your finished product an interesting reddish pink color.

You then submerge the brisket in the brine in a bag and chill it for 10-12 days. The day you want to serve it, you rinse it, and boil it with onions, carrots, celery and more pickling spice until it is super tender. Can be served warm or cold usually sliced very thin.

corned beef
Three hours of boiling…Done and tasty. First time trying it and I’m a fan. It won’t be a staple, but more a once a year treat to try to lend some authenticity to our themed menu.


For dinner, we headed off to my grandparent’s for our usual Sunday repast. Everyone was properly decked out in green. Lately I’ve started to accept that the price I pay for the photo documentation that I actually was present in my kids childhoods, is the selfie. All the events have the token selfie of me and my favorite guy. It’s not so bad. I much prefer taking pictures with my awesome phone camera anyways, and he’s pretty handsome…so I look better by association.

Grandma made broccoli, green mashed potatoes, fruit salad, and a neighbor had brought her a loaf of Irish Soda bread. For dessert (top picture) she adapted an unusual apple pie recipe she loves to be close to the ones she was finding online and with some green sprinkles it was officially a fitting St. Pat’s dessert. Success all around.