Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spreading a little Luck!!!

GO GREEN!!! This month is all about St. Patty's Day. Even though I have not done a lot of celebrating over the past years, I do love the Holiday and its history. My husband is very Irish and I have some Irish, and so I thought this year we should start some new Irish Traditions for our family. We are going to get into the spirit of St. Patty's Day with good Irish food, Desserts, Drinks, Crafts, and of course stories and poems. To start everything off, I will post a little history about St. Patricks Day in case you do not know it. Then a recipe that I plan to cook.

Who was Saint Patrick?

Even though Saint Patrick the patron saint of Ireland and one of the most celebrated religious figures around the world, the factual information about his life and times is quite vague. Most information about St. Patrick has been twisted, embellished, or simply made up over centuries by storytellers, causing much ambiguity about the real life of St. Patrick. However, there are a some elements of his story about which most scholars accept to be true.

According to Coilin Owens, Irish literature expert and Professor Emeritus of English at George Mason University, Saint Patrick is traditionally thought to have lived "between 432-461 A.D., but more recent scholarship moves the dates up a bit." At the age of sixteen he was kidnapped from his native land of the Roman British Isles by a band pirates, and sold into slavery in Ireland. Saint Patrick worked as a shepherd and turned to religion for solace. After six years of slavery he escaped to the Irish coast and fled home to Britain.

While back in his homeland, Patrick decided to become a priest and then decided to return to Ireland after dreaming that the voices of the Irish people were calling him to convert them to Christianity.

After studying and preparing for several years, Patrick traveled back to Ireland as a Christian missionary. Although there were already some Christians living in Ireland, St. Patrick was able to bring upon a massive religious shift to Christianity by converting people of power. Says Prof. Owens, "[St. Patrick] is credited with converting the nobles; who set an example which the people followed."

But Patrick's desire to spread of Christianity was not met without mighty opposition. Prof. Owens explains, "Patrick ran into trouble with the local pagan priesthood, the druids: and there are many stories about his arguments with them as well as his survival of plots against them." He laid the groundwork for the establishment of hundreds of monasteries and churches that eventually popped up across the Irish country to promote Christianity.

Saint Patrick is also credited with bringing written word to Ireland through the promotion of the study of legal texts and the Bible, says Prof. Owens. Previous to Patrick, storytelling and history were reliant on memory and orally passing down stories.

Patrick's mission in Ireland is said to have lasted for thirty years. It is believe he died in the 5th century on March 17, which is the day St. Patrick's Day is commemorated each year.

The first year St. Patrick's Day was celebrated in America in 1737 in Boston, Massachusetts. The first official St. Patrick's Day parade was held in New York City in 1766. As the saying goes, on this day "everybody is Irish!" Over 100 U.S. cities now hold Saint Patrick's Day parades.

Corned Beef Brisket Recipe
Ingredients :
1 (8-10 lb) beef brisket
4 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in thirds
The Brine ... See More
1/2 cup white vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
2 quarts water
1 cup kosher salt
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 pinch ground cloves
1 teaspoon peppercorns
The Simmering Liquid
water, to come up 3/4 to side of brisket
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
4 garlic cloves, sliced
Preparation :
Combine all of the brine ingredients and bring to a boil, then cool. Place the beef brisket, the cooled brine, and the 4 garlic cloves in a huge plastic roasting bag. Make sure that all of the meat is covered by the brine, tie off tightly, place in a pot large enough to hold it all, and refrigerate for 6 to 7 days, turning occasionally.
After the 6 to 7 days, discard the brine after removing the brisket from the brine. The meat should be thoroughly rinsed and then placed in a Dutch oven or other large pot. Add enough water to come up 2/3 to 3/4 of the way up the side of the meat.
Add the rest of the Simmering Liquid ingredients (peppercorns, mustard seeds, allspice, cloves and garlic), bring to a boil and skim off any foam. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook, covered, for at least 3 hours.
6-8 servings.

Come back for more St. Patty's Day Celebrating!!!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Gardening and Crochet Muse!!!

Howdy blog friends, Its FRIDAY!!!! YOOOWHOOO!!! I do love Fridays. I get to enjoy my husband/Best Friend for 2 whole days. This weekend we are working in the back yard. I have decided this year to give gardening a try. I come from a Mother with a very green thumb, but have never felt like that green thumb was passed on to me. Then I got to thinking that I really have never given gardening much of a chance. I have dabbled with it here, and there, planting a few flowers, and some vegetables, but really never doing a lot. This year I have decided to do more. My sweet husband separated our yard in half with a fence, so that my doggies could use one side of it, and I could have a nice area to grow flowers ect... on the other side. I have found out in the past that pets and gardens do not mix. My big dog does not understand small tiny flowers and keeping his paws away. So with the fence, this will give him space to run and play, and give my flowers a chance to grow without paw damage. I am very excited about this. A few years back I had done some really pretty stuff to our back yard. Planted some flowers, put in a little pond, put up a patio cover, swing ect.... Well it was not long before the dogs were sleeping in the swing, stomping on the flowers, and even swimming in the pond. Needless to say, my work was for nothing. So my excitement to give this a try is back, as the solution to the problem is fixed. So this weekend my husband is building a Arbor, I believe that is what its called. Its a cover over the patio that you grow ivy or whatever. Over time, it will grow thick and make a really pretty cover for the patio. Below is a picture, or example I found on the Internet of what he is building. Ours is closer to our house and will be next to my covered patio. It will also have a picnic table under it. Hopefully I will be able to have plants ect... around and under, and hanging from mine very soon. My pond will be sort of to the left of the Arbor, and then near will be swing and more plants, and lots of stepping stones. I have it all in my head how I want it to look, but getting it out will be the task. I am excited though to finally be in the mood again to do something nice to my yard. Lets just hope I can inherit that green thumb that my Mother has, and my money will not be wasted once again.
Speaking of Mothers, I did lots of crochet this past week. I now understand more of how my sweet Mother-in-Law was able to achieve so much with her crochet. I mean she could sit down and crochet a entire Afghan in a week. I could never figure out how she could do that. This past week gave me the answer to that question. The answer is "You never set the crochet hook down" No matter what you do, you do it, and crochet at the same time. LOL!!! I accomplished so much this week. So much that I could hardly move my right arm. My shoulder is still aching. LOL!!! I had a goal to get some things done before our crochet class on Monday, for our little girls. I wanted to show them all the things you could do with the Afghan stitch. Below are all the things I created
A little bag for Ipod or whatever!!!

A book cover for Bible!!!

A Book marker

A neck warmer!!!

and a Scarf!!! All in one week. Its amazing that I, Jeanie Beanie, can stay focused that long, and actually finish something. I really do not think I can be labeled Queen of Unfinished projects any longer. Maybe its just finding something you enjoy doing that helps to get the projects finished.
And speaking of finished projects.... I finished the basket weave scarf that I started late fall. I figured since I was on a roll, I might as well get this finished also. It turned out beautiful. Its very heavy though, and perhaps I should take a trip to Alaska, or maybe even Antarctica to be able to use it. One things for sure, it will keep me warm on those cold winter days. I just love this stitch. This would make a excellant afghan for a bed.

Thats it for now. One last update to share. Dani's fever broke and she is having some upset tummy. Have not heard anything today yet. So praying no news is good news, and that she is getting stronger and stronger. Just keep praying for her. Hugs to all!!!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Dani Girl!!!

Excellant news today!!! My little niece Dani went into surgery and recieved a new kidney. This young girl of 16 has been sick since she was like 8 years old with a auto immune type diease that over time destroyed her kidneys. She has been on dialysis 3 times or more a week for several years now. She has had many other complications because of this diease as well. She has been a sick little girl. Never the less she is always smiling and always happy go lucky. Always enjoying her life, which includes her family, school, and friends. Very beautiful girl.
On top of her beauty, I recently learned that she is a very talented singer. We attended her school talent show last week and she did an amazing job singing Reba's song "Fancy" Here is the video of her song!videos=EgfnWT4zPhM&v=nzbtbvMVlTI

We are so proud of this girl, and we love her very much. Everyone that reads this post, please continue to pray for Dani. She is still not out of the woods yet. Will keep you updated of her recovery. Hugs to all!!!