When I think of St. Patrick’s Day, two memories come to mind. First is when friend Jim put green food coloring in his kids’ milk to celebrate the day while their mom was away at school and Jim was in charge of breakfast.
The second was how shocked I was to attend classes at Chico State University, Chico, and find that the place was a ghost town on St. Patrick’s Day, because most students hit the bars in the morning and skipped classes. (Smart teachers gave extra credit for students in class on St. Patrick’s Day.) I still remember the state of the bathrooms, messy results of students drinking green beer for breakfast. So memorable.
If only it were a matter of whether to drink green milk or green beer on St. Patrick’s Day. Poor St. Paddy’s Day. It’s gone the way of most American holidays: over the top.
It started out so simple, with people wearing green or risking a little pinch if they didn’t
Now it’s a big deal, with parades and special foods and drinks. It’s become so big that St. Patrick’s Day is a far bigger deal here in the states, than it is in Ireland. In Ireland, it’s mostly a holy day, and the Irish can’t figure out what the fuss is all about.
The fuss is that it’s become almost un-American to not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by eating or drinking something “traditional” — like corned beef, cabbage and potatoes for dinner, or scones for breakfast or a wee bit o’ Guiness stout to end the day.
This week’s Tops ad celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with all those items, and then some. There’s the garlic sausage for $4.99 a package, and Shenson Corned Beef for $4.99 a pound, cabbage for 47 cents a pound and two pound bags of carrots for $1.89. In the bakery, Tops Markets in Redding and Weaverville have made green-frosted cupcakes and cookies, and traditional Irish soda bread and from-scratch scones.
Like many of you, St. Patrick’s Day is pretty much the only day of the year I eat corned beef and cabbage. I usually make it in a crock pot, and leave it simmering all day.
Anybody can make corned beef and cabbage.
But for St. Patrick’s Day, I’d rather do something else, like scones. I have a couple of recipes I rely upon. I have two big photo albums filled with recipes. One is for savory things, and one is for sweet. Scones are in the sweet book, though they’re really not that sweet.
I have all the scone recipes in one sleeve, and a couple are hand-written, but for the life of me I can’t remember who wrote it.
Maybe friend Jan, or Podge. Either way, here’s the recipe I like. If you gave it to me, let me know, so I can give you credit.
Somebody’s Cream Scones2 cups flour 1/4 sugar 2 tsp. baking powder 1/8 tsp. salt 1/3 cup butter, chilled 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream 1 large egg 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla 1 tsp. lemon zest Optional: 1/2 cup raisins, currents, dried fruit or nuts.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly butter a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the chilled butter into tiny cubes and scatter over the dry mixture.
With a pastry blender or two knives used scissor fashion, cut the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a small bowl, combine the cream, egg, vanilla and lemon zest. Combine the cream mixture with the flour mixture. Add the optional fruits and/or nuts, if desired.
With lightly floured hands, pat dough to 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly floured board. Cut out rounds and place on prepared baking sheet. Gather scraps and repeat until all dough is used.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool for 5 minutes, and glaze if you’d like with a mixture of powdered sugar thinned with boiling water, and with a bit of butter added. Glaze while still on the cookie sheet, or on a rack over a cookie sheet to catch the drips.
Best served warm. Makes about 1 dozen.
Serve with butter, jam or lemon curd.
Now, as promised, about those tickets. Keeping with the St. Patrick’s Day theme, we’re giving away a pair of tickets to The Gothard Sisters performance for St. Patrick’s Day evening, Monday, 7:30 p.m. at the Cascade Theatre. It’s presented by Shasta Community Concert Association’s Shasta Live. Lobby doors open at 6:45 p.m.
The Gothard Singers perform family entertainment that includes fast fiddling numbers with lively choreography, Irish step-dancing used in a myriad of ways, special songs and ballads.
If you are interested in winning a pair of tickets for Monday’s performance, leave a note in the comments below and I will draw a winner by 4 p.m. The luck of the Irish to you!
The ad features quintesentail St. Patrick’s Day ingredients.
This recipe sponsored by Tops Market in Weaverville and Redding.
Click here to order a sandwich online from the Weaverville Tops Market.
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Prior to 2007 Chamberlain was an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, CA.