You can see from our menu that we don't like all our vegetables cooked to smush with the corned beef, so I roasted my carrots and boiled my tiny red potatoes, then smashed them and loaded each one with chopped leaks, Irish cheddar cheese, plenty of salt and pepper and a sprinkle of onion powder.
I added beets to the menu this year. We celebrate Scottish style ... and beets are a staple vegetable crop in Scotland and have been since about 1900. A German crop grower began farming in Scotland and eventually the government took over the sugar beet crops ... and decades later, the consortium was returned to the growers. That is a topic for a different post! I baked Scottish style soda bread. It includes multiple grains ... corn meal, oatmeal, whole wheat and white flour. Pretty ugly, but good! I hadn't baked the popular Guinness chocolate cake in awhile, so I made it and served it with coffee ice cream. I skipped the frosting! A good pot of coffee, strawberry Irish Cream ... actually a few of those ... and the meal was a great success! My friend told me she'd never eaten anything at my house that she didn't like!
I don't use my Johnson Brother's Friendly Village china enough, so I decided to
use it to remind us of a small village in Ireland ... or Scotland! Since I had decorated the fireplace mantel and a couple other spots in the dining room, I didn't create a centerpiece for the table. I decided to just use my soup tureen to hold the cabbage ... so it became the central focus! We needed room on the table for platters of food, so we could serve family style! I added a couple Celtic crosses to the tablescape and used plaid fabric ... and my
Douglas Tartan sash as a runner!
You never know what impact simple things might have on your dinner guests. My friend lost her only sister years ago, in a car accident. Seems that her sister's favorite china was Friendly Village, so my tablescape had special meaning and gave us an opportunity to share some beloved memories.
Our cabbage wasn't the only green on our table! Green plaid napkins with napkin rings that I think resemble Celtic knots ... on top of a green place mat. I used green napkins rings ... and blue napkin rings to honor our blue Douglas Tartan colors! I used my faux antler flatware to add a little woodland to the village theme! All the men in our circle of family and friends are deer hunters, so that is a masculine touch that they appreciate! The butter knives are Cambridge Oak Leaf pattern, which works perfectly with the china pattern ... and many other china patterns!
A couple of the recipes I used were new to my traditional Irish menu! We love sour cream horseradish sauce with prime rib, but I'd never served it with corned beef. It is a simple recipe ... you start with two cups of sour cream ... add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and as much horseradish or horseradish cream as you like. I added 1/2 cup of horseradish cream and it was pretty snappy, so adjust the recipe to your own taste buds!
The hot cheese dip is one that I adjust with different cheeses, depending upon the rest of my menu! This time I used 8 ounces of Kerrygold Gouda, 16 ounces of cream cheese, 6 strips of fried bacon and the remaining grease ... and 1/2 cup chopped leeks. After you fry the bacon, toss the leeks into the grease to soften. Put all these ingredients in a food processor and cream the mixture. Bake it at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until bubbly and a little brown on top. This time I served the dip with biscuit chunks. I used a tube of the big size butter biscuits and cut each biscuit into 6 chunks. I piled them in a ring on one of my Temptations trays, so I could bake them and serve them on the same tray! I love my Temptations!
Happy St. Patrick's Day! I'll be sharing my post with some of the parties listed on my side bar. Make sure you click through to see the other posts!