Man can climb the highest summits, but he cannot dwell there long. -Shaw
If you have noticed the lack of photos for my Irish inspired dinner they will be posted tomorrow because this dinner will be prepared tonight for family and friends and then we will be watching Death or Canada Part II on television. "Death or Canada" was broadcast in Ireland on RTE Television last fall. Shot in Ontario and Ireland, and narrated by actor Brian Dennehy, "Death or Canada" tells the story of how, in the summer of 1847, the British colony of Canada gave refuge to 38,000 Irish famine victims. A Canada-Ireland co-production directed by Ruan Magan, the film is a testament to the history of Canada's open-door immigration policy, said Toronto historian Mark McGowan, author of the book "Death or Canada: The Irish Famine Migration to Toronto 1847" on which the film is based.
"Death or Canada" is an epic, tragic tale of extreme heroism and courage. Set in 1847, the darkest year of the Irish Famine, it follows the true life story of the protestant family, John and Mary Willis who, along with their five children, abandoned their home in the west of Ireland and gambled everything on finding new lives in North America. They flee Ireland on a rotten coffin ship, worse even than those that carried African slaves to the Caribbean and together with over 100,000 other Irish in 1847, they make their way to Canada.
But terror followed in their wake and the couple lost 4 of their 5 children to typhus. Their journey was part of the worst humanitarian disaster of the 19th century - over 20,000 people died en route that summer while around 1 million people died during the famine years in Ireland.
Black ‘47 was not Ireland’s tragedy alone. The fledgling colony of British North America couldn’t deal with an influx of such epic proportions. Its eastern ports and cities were overwhelmed as they struggled to cope with the starving, Typhus-infested refugees. Their arrival threatened to decimate the fledgling British colony as in every city they arrived from Montreal to Toronto outbreaks of Typhus broke out. Many Canadians ran scared but some faced the challenge head on and their courage in helping the refugees helped the Irish overcome the worst calamity they had ever endured and allowed many to travel on into the United States when they re-opened their doors. Hundreds of the dead were buried in unmarked graves."
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. -Shaw
On a more lighthearted note this is the funniest Guiness commercial ever....
So what does More Than Burnt Toast serve up for her Irish Feast?
Whiskey Chicken, Colcannon, and Brussel Sprout Salad (for a touch of green) and for dessert Irish Cream Cheesecake.
"May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you
In the palm of his hand."
1 lb boneless chicken breast or thighs
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup whiskey (Jameson Irish Whiskey)
½ cup chicken stock
2 cups sliced mushrooms
¼ cup shallots, chopped
½ cup cream
2 tablespoons flour
Slice chicken thickly. Season with salt and pepper. Brown chicken in butter until cooked evenly all over. Add whiskey and stock, cover and simmer 30 minutes or until chicken is tender.
Remove chicken and keep warm.
Drain pan juices into a measuring cup, adding water if necessary to make up ⅔ of a cup. Return liquid to pan, stir in mushrooms, and shallots. Simmer until mushrooms soften slightly. Combine cream and flour, add to mixture, cook and stir constantly until thick and bubbly.
Return chicken to pan and stir until heated through and well coated in sauce. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and serve.
1kg floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper or King Edward (4 - 5 medium)
1 small onion, very finely chopped
Few fresh thyme leaves, plus extra to garnish
225g savoy cabbage, leaves torn (or 2 cups shredded green cabbage)
Splash of double cream
Cut the potatoes into even pieces and cook in a pan of boiling water for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Drain well, return to the pan and put back over the heat for 30 seconds, shaking occasionally, to drive off the excess moisture. Set aside.
Meanwhile, melt half the butter in a pan and fry the onion and thyme gently for 6-8 minutes. Add the cabbage and saute for 2 minutes; and a good splash of water, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, until wilted and softened. Drain and stir the cabbage into the potatoes, with the remaining butter and cream. Mash well.
Éirinn go Brách
You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.