St. Patrick's Day Feast
Ah, the luck of the Irish. Growing up on bread and cheese, oats and meats, and beer as thick as bread. I feel like my Irish ancestors would roll over in their grave if they saw our gluten free, dairy free diets of today. So how do we honor tradition with our new dietary restrictions? One could make a gluten free soda bread; I've seen some pretty delicious recipes out there. Or we can make bread from scratch, and I mean grinding the wheat berries scratch.
We make our entire meal from scratch in honor of the traditional cooking methods our ancestors had to employ. We make butter from cream, and we use the whey from the butter to soak the wheat overnight in a traditional soak or fermentation period. This makes the wheat more digestible and less offensive to the digestive system.
What's that science experiment under my crystal ball?
That is a grass fed beef brisket soaking in fresh pressed celery juice (for the naturally occurring sodium nitrates) and pickle brine (for the live bacteria culture). We are "corning" our own beef in a traditional brining preservation method.
This will sit on the counter for 2 days, yes it will be OK folks, I've done this year after year, even in my child's 3rd grade class and all survived unharmed.
So we "corn" the beef and toss it into the slow cooker with a head of cabbage, some potatos, turnips, and onions and call it corned beef and cabbage. While it cooks all day, we knead the bread, add in some caraway and raisins to make a delicious "spotted dog" soda bread from one of my favorite online bloggers, Jenny Mc Gruther of Nourished Kitchen.
Whether or not these recipes are from my heritage isn't that important to me. I simply use the holiday to share traditional food making with my kids and remind them how easy it is to cook now, compared to the days of grinding your own wheat and making your own butter.
Making your sweets from scratch will force you to eat them less often.
Here's a great point: I allow my kids to eat wheat, sweets, and treats as long as they cook it themselves. Think about it, if you only ate bread when you could make it from scratch, would you be eating it for every meal? No way, it's too much work.
St. Patrick's Day is a treat for us to devour a home made wheat bread with nutritious corned beef and cabbage stew.
St. Patty's Day used to mean lots of Guiness for me. I would splurge on way to many for the entire week. Now, I really enjoy taking the time out of the nearest weekend to make a long slow meal with my family.
Try it, the recipes are good year round so you could make it next week or even next month. Kids and adults love this stew, even with the turnips, pickling spices and all.
If you're unsure about corning your own beef, just buy a corned beef brisket the day after St. Patty's when they go on sale. You can also leave your brisket in the fridge for 5 days instead of on the counter for 2 days.
Don't have a wheat grinder, no problem. Buy organic sprouted wheat flour, or the best organic whole wheat flour you can find and make sure to soak the wheat overnight to capture the natural yeasts in the environment and let them feast on the sugars in the wheat.
If you have another recipe to share with us for your St. Patrick's Day Feast, please let us know in the comments below. We're not picky, as long as it's made from scratch, from Irish ancestors, or just plain green, we'd love to learn a few new dishes.