Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ode to Irish Authors: A Bonnie Meal by My Bonnie Sis

Cecily:  "I should have remembered that when one is going to lead an entirely new life, one requires regular and wholesome meals."   
~The Importance of Being Earnest, Act 2 by Oscar Wilde

We all cook in our family.  My dad cooks, my mom cooks, the sisters cook, and our brothers . . . well, they know how to push buttons on microwaves.  We all have our claims to fame:  Dad can make a meal francaise that would make Julia Child beg for more, my Mom can literally make anything taste good (except for her brief experiment with "zucchini boats" when I was 12), Miriam makes Martha Stewart look like Dumbo in the kitchen, and I consider myself to be a bit of a "bread whisperer."  (Unfortunately, I usually just hear the bread whispering "eat me, eat me" which would also explain my fascination with elastic waist bands of late.)

But then there is Hillary.  Hillary is sister #2 in between me and Miriam.  Hillary is smart, beautiful, hard-bodied, composed, and funny.  And she's a good person.  I mean really good.
Like there's-a-new-Mother Theresa-in-town good kind of person---
which might explain why she had my family over for dinner tonight.

While my children were reenacting the tornado scene from the Wizard of Oz in her basement, Hillary was busy glazing and basting and tossing and serving and seasoning and whipping up a traditional Irish meal for us in honor of St. Patrick's Day.  
P.S.  Hillary is also an incredible cook.  
P.P.S.  I hate her.

Hillary has Scandinavia coursing through her veins, but she married into an Irish family.  The irony is that her Irish husband has no gullet for Irish food.  (His gullet leans more towards Oreos, Cool Whip, and Doritos.)  Luckily, Hillary still chose to answer the siren call of her adopted Ireland, and brought us one of the best of dishes that the bonnie green isle has to offer.

Using the latest Cuisine at Home issue as her inspiration and guide, Hillary "corned" a brisket to perfection and then served it alongside a tangy brussels sprouts hash and creamy mashed potatoes.  And since that wasn't enough for a mother of four to do after church today, she whipped up a moist batch of Irish soda bread, too.  I know.  I know.  I don't deserve her.  My kids really don't deserve her.  But she did it anyway.  I snapped a few pictures before we all descended upon the meal like a swarm of locusts.  Very hungry, very happy Riverdancing locusts.  

Raise your glasses of Guiness (or cream soda in our case) 
to food, family, and letting your 'good-cookin' sister do all the work . . .

Happy corned beef and cabbage to you all!

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