BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Green beer in Canada

Saint Patrick's Day in Canada is a much different thing then it is in Ireland.  In Ireland, it is a family holiday and a community holiday.  Unless you happen to live in Montreal, there really isn't a St. Patrick's Day Parade in Canada.  Instead it is a holiday belonging to the twenty-somethings, and it is primarily celebrated in a pub.

In Victoria, The Irish Times pub erected a large white beer tent that was fully decorated with the remains of Arthur Guinness Day decor.  And it is not a holiday that is restricted to the Irish pubs; our local pub, The Bent Mast, had a bouquet of green balloons tied to their doorway, announcing their party intentions.  But... 

while we enjoy a good pint at the pub, it just didn't seem like the right way to celebrate our love of Ireland... we certainly don't love Ireland for the beer... and we never even went to a pub in Temple Bar...

So we decided to throw ourselves a dinner party instead.  It was very reminiscent of our time in Ireland.  A herd of children running around, jumping on the bed, spreading toys everywhere and spilling food all over the floor.  Adults sharing good craic (conversation) over our pints and dinners until our over-tired children started to self-combust from a sugar induced mania.  And just a few homemade decorations to remind us of our time in Ireland... and it's not that I don't own proper St. Patrick's Day party ware...

however... much to my very great annoyance... our stuff is still sitting in a warehouse in Montreal (likely enjoying the festivities there).  At this rate our shipment will arrive in time to be a 4th birthday present for Nikolai... in June!  While I may have initially missed Nikolai's trains and my bike, I am now eager for my running shoes (trainers), our cookbooks and gardening books, our summer clothes... ah the list is endless. 

I've blogged quite a few savoury Irish recipes... and really vegetarian fare isn't the cultural norm.  So in honor of St. Patrick and the snakes, I'm going to blog two sweet recipes.

The photo above is evidence of the other activity we spent our weekend doing... and och! my back feels the burden.  We're actually not completely done yet, but we only have to remove the grass before we have a friend to come over to till it for us on Saturday.  It's proves to be a much more difficult task then we initially realized it would be!

Crispy Buns
Every children's party, in the whole of the isle, has at least one plate of crispy buns to ensure that the children are sufficiently hyper by the end of the party.
The recipe is super simple:
Melt chocolate (I used one bag of chocolate chips).
Stir in crispy rice cereal (you can choose to use a no name brand or the trade marked variety).  Just use enough to ensure that all the rice is coated by chocolate.
 Scoop into muffin wrappers and leave to cool and solidify before serving.

Chocolate Biscuit Cake
Apparently this was made popular by the fact that Prince William chose to have it as his grooms cake.  I remember it as a small square that was available at the Farmer's Market in Maynooth and in most cafes.

Hand crush one package of Rich Tea biscuits.
Cream together 4 oz of butter and 4 oz of sugar in a separate bowl.
Melt 4 oz of dark chocolate.

Add the creamed butter to the melted chocolate and mix until smooth.  Then add in one egg, and gently fold in the biscuits until everything is nicely coated in the chocolate mixture.

Spread into a small greased cake pan.  Top with wax paper and try to flatten out as much as possible.  Then refrigerate for 3 hours.  If you are feeling fancy you could coat it with a layer of melted chocolate after it's cooled, but I think it's fine as a simple chocolate-y square. Sorry for the not very appetizing photo... but I forgot to take the picture until AFTER they'd all been eaten!

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