Jennifer is a one in a million stay-at-home mom. (More like one OF a million stay at home moms!) She graduated from a liberal arts college but there is nothing liberal OR artsy about her. She is married to Kevin Fischer of This Just In, and together they have a beautiful toddler daughter Kyla Audrey. In no particular order she loves dogs, wine, a good bargain, her family, pizza, and entertaining. Follow her blog of all things miscellaneous including but not limited to cooking and baking, entertaining and party planning, being a mommy, and homekeeping.
This summer Kyla will sample lessons from Cashel Dennehy School of Irish Dance and have her first experience with dancing on stage at Irish Fest. To mark the coming occasion this year her birthday theme is Irish. More accurately I am trying to recreate an Irish pub. You really won’t see any paper Irish flag picks in sandwiches and you certainly won’t see this being served:
Are you kidding? An Irishman would spit in your eye! Anyone who knows me, and how I entertain, knows that I do my darndest to provide an authentic experience whatever the theme may be. Quite often I bite off more than I can ultimately chew and end up frustrated that I can’t pull off exactly what I’m aiming for.
In addition to some décor challenges (it’s no small task creating a pub in the middle of a modern home!) the real difficulty I’m having is creating menu items. Since our annual open house hosts about 25 friends and family I do an appetizer buffet. If you can find four to five each of hot and cold AUTHENTIC IRISH APPETIZERS you are a better person than I am! I don’t even want to know how many hours I’ve logged researching possibilities.
I’ve gone on the obvious sites and found some tasty-sounding options. But I just can’t believe there aren’t more recipes out there. Adding green food coloring to frosting or putting spinach in a dip doesn’t suddenly make it IRISH.
Fortunately I stumbled upon Irish American Mom, Mairead. Her recipes walk down memory lane and provide her readers with tastes that replicate dishes of her youth. She does her best to work with American ingredients and remain true to her past. I wonder why more blogs like this don’t exist. Of course there is Darina Allen, known around the world for her cooking skills, herclasses and her dedication to all things organic. But how many of us can globetrot and attend her famed cooking school? I think I’ll stick with Irish American Mom, thanks.
Ultimately my menu for Kyla’s party will be a hybrid of “authentic” recipes, mainstream interpretations, and some cheater items that fall in the kid-friendly category. I’m sure I’ll be the only one lamenting over the fact that my spread wasn’t directly imported from the Emerald Isle. Everyone else will just be having a good time and wondering (like me) where did these last four years go?
But here’s my point: It’s cool to be Irish, unlike years ago when they “Need Not Apply.” There are so many wonderful things about Ireland and that includes their food. There should be more bloggers out there like Mairead. Embrace your culture and your cuisine. And share it with the rest of the world, we’re hungry for it – literally.
Learning more about Ireland’s gastronomy, especially this time of year? You bet your shamrocks it’s a culinary yes yes!