Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Top O' the Mornin' to You!

(photo taken July 2007 here on the County Line)

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Here's hoping you planned ahead and wore green PJs to bed last night.

When I was growing up, not wearing green on St. Patty's Day meant you got pinched. My sisters and brother were especially happy to remind me if I forgot. I couldn't even eat my Frosted Flakes in peace. (I was, of course, angelic and didn't return the favor. Yah, right!)

You weren't immune at school either. But sneaky people could get you in trouble there. What if you pinched someone and they said, "I've got on green underwear!"? Well, it's not as if you could make them prove it.

I'm guessing it's a good thing St. Patrick's Day falls during spring break for many students this year. In today's school climate, pinching one another would probably be a form of bullying and might end up in a trip to the principal's office.

But, back in the olden days, I don't recall that the practice got you in any significant trouble. Teachers were usually quick to help out any forgetful student by supplying a green shamrock to pin to your shirt.

If you're looking for a wee bit o' the Irish today, here are a couple of recipes I've used with 4-Hers in the past.

Irish Soda Bread
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup cold butter (no substitutes)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk**
1/2 cup currants or raisins

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine all ingredients except buttermilk and currants/raisins in large bowl; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk and currants/raisins until just moistened.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead gently 10 times. Shape into ball. Place on greased baking sheet. Pat into 6-inch circle. Cut 1/2-inch deep "X" in top of dough with sharp knife.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

** If you don't have buttermilk, substitute 4 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to equal 1 1/4 cups. Let stand 10 minutes before using.

Cheddar-Apple Scones
7 tbsp. cold butter (no substitutes)
1 Granny Smith apple (8 oz. peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
2 tbsp. sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup + 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (about 4 oz.)
1 tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper (opt.)
3/4 cup buttermilk ** (see above for substitute)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In nonstick skillet over medium high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add apple and 1 tablespoon sugar. Cook, stirring, until apples are tender and lightly browned. Cool 15 minutes.

Combine flour, 2/3 cup cheese, baking powder, salt, pepper and remaining sugar. With pastry blender, cut in remaining butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

With fork, stir in buttermilk until moistened. Stir in apples until dough forms. On lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth.

Shape into 9-inch disk. Cut into 8 wedges. Brush with water. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Transfer to baking sheet and place 2 inches apart. Bake until golden, about 18 to 20 minutes.

Other fun St. Patrick Day ideas, especially for kids:
  • Take 2 refrigerated biscuits per child and tear each in half. Place three of the pieces together to form a shamrock and use the other one to roll into a stem. Sprinkle with green sugar and bake.
  • Another easy green treat: Combine equal parts cream cheese and marshmallow cream. Tint green and serve as dip for green apples.
  • Gold Cookies (for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!): Take two Ritz crackers. Put peanut butter between them. Dip them in melted butterscotch chips. Place on waxed paper until set up.
  • Substitute Lucky Charms for some (or all) of the cereal in your Rice Krispie treats.
Here's hoping you find some St. Patrick's Day "Luck o' the Irish" at the end of your rainbow today!

1 comment:

  1. I am wearing my "green" underwear today!! I don't think the girls believe me but they know better than to pinch the person who provides the meals, shopping, and transportation!!