A St. Patrick's Day Blessing
Here on our farm, we’re taking themes for every month of the year in 2022. March just makes sense that is should be “Heritage” month. To us, Heritage is synonymous with family and all the traditions that make a family, well, a family!
The most important tradition in our family is our foundation in Jesus and the Church. There’s been many a country-western song sung about fried chicken and Church on Sunday that just gives us that warm fuzzy feeling. In our family, it’s more like fried chicken with rice and gravy, but it’s the same warm fuzzy’s.
Another tradition is, of course, holidays. Christmas and Easter are the most meaningful, but our family loves St. Patrick's day, too. St. Patrick was a fifth-century Romano-British Christian missionary in Ireland. He was known as the "Apostle of Ireland," where he showed Jesus to the Irish using the humble Shamrock. Everyone from Robin's side of the family is of Irish descent. Janice, Robin's mother, absolutely loved all things Irish, which was shown through her cooking and her choice of stories, music, and movies. Some recipes were handed down to her, which she in turn handed down to her children and which we now hand down to ours. Her favorite movie was “The Quiet Man” and to this day, our family still watches it every single St. Patrick’s Day. In our opinion, there’s not another movie that compares. Last week Robin was very blessed to spend some time with her friend Mary Rose, who came over to Arkansas in the 1990s with her family. Mary Rose personifies what we think of as Irish. She has a great sense of humor and is a very kind person who loves her family and loves to share stories and traditions of her homeland of Ireland. She also teaches Irish dance at her studio O’Donvan’s School of Irish Dance in North Little Rock.
We wanted to share some of our Irish Heritage with you through a twist on Bangers and Mash with our family’s recipe for Bangers and Grits. Rice has as long of a history in our country as the potato has in Ireland, so what better way of timing the two together? Of course, the Irish Pudding is very traditional and works perfectly with our Jasmine Rice (talk about comfort food!).
We hope you enjoy the recipes and that they become a tradition in your family too!
Here’s a beautiful traditional Irish blessing to leave you with:
May the road rise up 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.
Rath Dé ort!
Bangers and Grits with Onion Gravy:
4 to 6 Bangers
1 cup of RFF Golden Grits
4 cups of Chicken stock
1 cup half and half
1 cup of Irish Cheddar Cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons of Fennel And Fire Veggie Heaven
1 1/2 teaspoon of Celtic Salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons of Irish Butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups Beef Stock
1/2 cup of cream
1 thinly sliced onion
Place pan on medium heat over the burner and cook Bangers, turning every 2 minutes until cooked through.
Take and place Bangers on a plate and while the pan is still hot, add the butter. When butter is completely melted add the thinly sliced onion and sauté until translucent. Sprinkle the flour onto the onions and stir until incorporated. After 2 minutes add in the Beef Stock and keep stirring until thickened. Then add in the cream, salt, and pepper
Pour all of the Chicken stock as well as Half and Half in pan. Bring to a simmer and then add Grits. While still on a low simmer, keep on stirring those Grits (the more you stir, the creamier they get!). Check for doneness after 10 minutes, adding more stock if needed. After Grits are cooked, add shredded Irish Cheddar Cheese, salt, pepper, and Veggie Heaven. Give it another good stir!
Plate up the Grits put the Bangers on top, and pour that beautiful gravy over all of it!
Robin’s Irish Rice Pudding:
1 cup of RFF Jasmine Rice
6 cups of Half and Half
1 cup Golden Raisins
1/2 cup Turbinado Sugar
1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla
20 twist of Fennel and Fire’s Coffee Twist
1/2 grated Nutmeg or 1/2 teaspoon of Nutmeg
*You’ll start out with soaking your Golden Raisins overnight. I soak mine in Barry’s tea, however, you can soak yours in anything that sounds good!
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
Put 1 cup of RFF Jasmine Rice in a casserole dish. Pour Half and Half in a saucepan over low heat then stir in the sugar. When the mixture turns warm, give it a good stir and make sure the sugar has dissolved. Add in the vanilla, Coffee Twist, and Nutmeg. Drain the liquid off of the raisins then put raisins in the rice. Give it another good stir or two and put in the oven uncovered for 30 minutes.