Mar 17, 2013

Vintage Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig!

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh! Happy St. Patrick's Day! The wearing of the green can get a little Halloween in my neck of the woods (i.e., the bars are overflowing with sexy leprechauns, sexy shamrocks, and sexy Saint Patricks) so I thought I would counter the sexiness of it all with a little sweetness. 

I just came across an entire Pinterest Board dedicated to vintage St. Patrick's Day cards and it's the kind of discovery that stirs the crazy in me. I used to work at a small publisher, and on books illustrated with vintage postcards and illustrations, so I have a bit of a soft spot for vintage postcards – despite long days trolling paper fairs and shows, and a lack of appropriate credit on a book that was my concept and work but I was too green to stand up for myself (note to self: you're supposed to be focusing on sweet here, not bitter.)

Anyway, here are some sweet postcard images. And you should check out Mary Ann Kolb's Pinterest Board and Ebay store for more.

Someone please save me from myself but I suddenly picture a whole wall of framed vintage Irish postcards ...

A happy, sweet, and sexy St. Patrick's Day to you!

Mar 14, 2013

Irish in America Trivia

Thought I'd share a cute infographic about Irish America to enlighten your afternoon/break the ice at the bar this coming weekend. A few interesting tidbits here, including the fact that Guinness does not make the Top 5 on the list of most popular beers in the States. Now that's incentive to order another round (if ever I needed it!)

  Lucky Irish Promotional Items [Infographic]

Mar 13, 2013

Tea and Two Thoughts

1.  I just burned four pancakes and had to throw them out. I guess you could say that I just found a new (annoying) way to burn calories. I should have been eating eggs anyway.

I started out wanting to make scones because I've been a bit up the walls with projects and haven't baked anything in ages (and I have heavy cream to use up in the fridge). But then I thought I should wait and make scones when my son gets home so he can be a part of the mess and a good catch for a lucky (sane, and villa-in-south of Spain-owing) lady some day. So I made – and burned – pancakes instead. Now, I'm eating eggs and pondering what I should bake this weekend, so that one day my kids can sigh and remember how I used to bake the best Irish stuff on St. Patrick's Day. When you start to think about your legacy it gets a little overwhelming ... and before you know it, you're ordering Mexican food. So I am planning ahead.

What do I want to be remembered for? I want to be remembered for always trying to make scones that can measure up to my grandmother's. I also think I want to be remembered for Fish Pie (not that anyone in my house could forget the phase of making it every week that I went though last year), Kerry Apple Cake (which is often doughy because I insist on doubling the recipe to fit my pan and it never cooks through), and Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes – because I feel these best represent me as a person. To avoid last-minute takeout, I should probably just stick with scones. I gathered a few links to yum-sounding scone recipes in case you are also planning a sweet start to your Sunday/legacy:

Donal Skehan's Maple Bacon Buttermilk Scones (he had me at Donal Maple-Bacon-Buttermilk)

Clodagh McKenna's Short Scones

A variety of scone recipes from original Irish celeb chef, Darina Allen, including gluten-free scones, coffee and walnut scones, and Mummy's sweet white scones.

Smitten Kitchen's roasted pear and chocolate chunk scones. Seriously, take that Nana!

2. I think I have Post Traumatic Wet Disorder. I was harassed and haunted by a rain cloud all day yesterday and I am still shivering today. It was the kind of rainy day you see in a Lemsip Ad – only, I didn't take a Lemsip so my day didn't end with me sneeze-laughing in the rain. No, there was no laughing in the rain.

I was out and about all day, and by the time I got home I was cold and wet to the bone. Actually, I was cold and wet to the brain; I know this because I stood on the wrong side of the street waiting for a bus and missed my actual bus in the process. Did I mention it was pouring? I want to say that a truck rocketed by – through a big puddle – and tsunamid my outfit, just so you'll actually feel sorry for me, but it didn't. I did step in a puddle though, and I was wearing new boots. I know, I've gotten soft. What self-respecting Irish woman complains about rain? One who hasn't been home in a while. Well, I just booked flights home for the bank-holiday weekend in June and I can't wait to restore my thick skin then.

aer lingus flights sale
On that note, I have to share that I got a surprisingly decent deal with Aer Lingus -- $671 roundtrip, including taxes etc. My brother said "Jaysus, you won't get better than that for the summer" and I hope he's right (because my family is very competitive when it comes to getting the best deal). When I first came here, I used to fly home for $300 – and in February there were these two-for-the-price-of-one deals where two people could fly home for $300. Now, it costs twice as much for just me, the airplanes are dodgy, and I have to bring my own blanket and snacks. Old-lady gripes aside, I'm so looking forward to going home and I won't complain if there's rain.