An Irish Blessing
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
and rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
may God hold you in the palm of His hand
Six years ago my beautiful friend Annie crossed my path, and my world has been a better place ever since. Her nearly 5 foot frame literally bursts with happiness and occasionally erupts with the most contagious laughter that has graced this earth. We don't see each other very often as a few years ago life led her to Colorado. Leaving behind her little town by the sea our busy lives leave little time to chat, and some of her short visits don't even allow enough time to see each other.
However, every year, about 2 days before St. Patrick's Day an envelope arrives in the mail with some sort of Irish best wishes. Annie is a beautiful mix of Japanese and Irish, looking more Polynesian than anything, but always signs it "To my favorite Irish Friends". She nicely includes me with my German blood, but my 100% Irish husband always feels that the card is really for him! This years card included the above blessing, however, my husband's favorite was the one that told this Irish joke:
Front of Card: "So these two Irish guys walk out of a pub..."
Inside of card: "End of joke! But I suppose it could happen..."
Viewing all of the beautiful Irish recipes in my blog travels this last week has led me to the realization that I don't really know much about Irish food. Pulling out my only "Irish" recipe and tweaking it just a bit, we present our St. Patrick's Day contribution of Irish Oatmeal with a Ginger-Orange Cashew Topping.
I am surprised at how many of my friends won't make Irish, or steel cut, oatmeal as they say it "takes too long". Many of them love it, but buy it frozen at Trader Joe's or simply don't make it at all. I have a trick!
Before you go to bed heat 4 cups of water in a sauce pan. When it boils, add the steel cut oatmeal and turn off the heat. Cover, go to bed.
When you wake in the morning the oatmeal simply needs a quick heating and maybe a few minutes of cooking, but your prep time will be cut down considerably making this healthy bowl of goodness an easier start to your morning.
Needing something to spice it up, we topped our oatmeal today with ginger and orange enhanced cashews finding the orange permeating nearly the entire bowl giving it a lovely fresh flavor. Finishing off with diced banana and mango (just what we had on hand, any fresh or dried fruit will do!) the kids started their St. Patrick's Day morning with a nutritious and somewhat Irish breakfast.
Ginger-Orange Cashew Topping
adapted from Sunset Magazine
1 cup coarsely chopped cashews (I used salted nuts)
3/4 tsp ground ginger
zest of 1 orange, about 1 Tbs
2 Tbs flaked, unsweetened coconut
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp honey
1 Tbs minced crystallized ginger
Place all ingredients into a small bowl and mix until evenly coated. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil (for easy cleanup) and bake, turning nuts half way through, until light golden in color, about 5-10 minutes. Let cool. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
We have a winner for our World of Cake Giveaway!! Lisa, Authentic Suburban Gourmet should have the book in her hands tomorrow. Enjoy!!