Cooking Irish

I am pleased as punch today! On this lovely (and sunny) St. Patrick’s Day my favorite author, has agreed to guest post for me! If you enjoy this you will enjoy reading her mysterious blog. So now please enjoy Marilynne’s Cooking Irish.

I haven’t a drop of Irish blood in me, but today I decided to cook scones and corned beef and cabbage for dinner. It was good.

Our granddaughter was here with us. She’d been invited up to harvest some fresh peas for herself. She and her grandfather spent a good part of the afternoon picking peas. If you’re not a gardener, I will explain that peas are the same color as the vine and the leaves. Add to that that the vines are bushy and planted closely together and you’ll see it takes some determination and a good eye to be sure you’ve got all the peas that are ready to eat.

My hubbie planted both Chinese peas (edible pod) and the regular peas that you need to take from the pod. Shell enough peas to have for dinner and you’ll soon decide you like the Chinese peas better. We steam them or just eat them raw.

So, with the peas picked, I decided it was the right time to cook corned beef and cabbage. I’d already bought the corned beef and the cabbage, but I hadn’t found a recipe yet. Well, as any good cook can tell you, there appear to be as many ways to cook corned beef and cabbage as there are cooks to cook it.

So, I had the corned beef simmering on the stove for hours (1 hour for every pound of corned beef), and the vegetables prepared so there was nothing to do but wait and eat.

But wait a minute. How about some freshly baked scones to go with it. Out came the cookbook and I started in. Somehow I mismeasured the flour (too little), didn’t have heavy whipping cream (used 2% milk and a half cup of plain yogurt), and soon was heavy into making my first scones. By now my granddaughter was helping me and we were talking about how an experienced cook just substitutes when she doesn’t have the right ingredients. (She’s already that kind of a cook.)

We were probably doing too much talking and not enough paying attention, because when it was time to turn the dough onto the board and knead it – it looked pretty sticky. I didn’t want to take the time to figure out what my mistake was, so I just turned it out on the board. I couldn’t do much with the dough but coat my fingers 1/2 inch deep with dough. I kept washing my hands and adding flour. By then I realized that I had washed a good part of my batter down the sink. Resolutely I kept adding flour until my goodness! I had something that looked like bread under my hands. So I followed through and finished up, put them in the oven to bake and told everyone not to expect much.

The scones were delicious and just the right accompanyment with the corned beef and cabbage (cooked also with yellow potatoes and onions). It was a fine meal.

I was just lucky. (Luck of the Irish?) If it tastes good the method doesn’t matter – right?