Life on Regal-Hill: March 11, 2009

With St. Patrick’s Day almost here, there are only a few more days and spring will be here as well. Spring is supposed to begin on March 20 according to the calendar. Let’s hope it will really be a glorious spring day. When I say glorious I mean at least 50 degrees, sunny and still, with no ice or snow around as far as the eye can see, except maybe on the distant mountains. Of course there will be mud, but I promise I won’t complain if the mud tracks inside.
I am looking forward to airing the house and putting clothes on the line to dry so they will finally smell fresh and clean and not to mention, solar dried. I am especially looking forward to drying bedding outside. We have some comforters that can’t be put in the dryer unless you want to shrink them, so I have to wait until they can be dried outdoors.
Hopefully there will be daffodils, crocuses and hyacinths as well as snowdrops peeking out of the ground soon. They sometimes get in a hurry and find themselves covered with snow again, but at least you know they are alive and anxious to come out of the ground.
I am also looking forward to warmer weather so that I can walk outside again. I have walked inside most of the winter. It gets me moving but it isn’t nearly as satisfying as a brisk walk outside and seeing any wildlife, especially the birds and hearing their songs.
I am really looking forward to spring this year after so much snow, ice and cold weather; how about you?
Since many of us celebrate St. Patrick’s Day even if they aren’t Irish, try these recipes and I think you will like Irish food. Don’t forget to wear green on this special holiday as well. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Corned Beef and Cabbage
8 whole cloves
1 medium yellow onion, halved
1 lean center cut corned beef brisket* (about 2 pounds)
3 large carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 pound new potatoes, halved
1/2 pound boiling onions, peeled
1 small head cabbage, outer leaves removed, cut into 6 wedges
Stick cloves in onion. Place onion and beef in slow cooker and add enough water to cover ingredients plus 3 more inches. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.
Add carrots, potatoes, onions and cabbage to slow cooker and cook an additional 3 hours.
Remove corned beef from slow cooker and slice. Place on large platter with vegetables. Drizzle with the broth to moisten and serve.
Makes 10 servings
*Corned beef brisket labeled “flat” has fewer calories, and about 30 percent less fat, than the “point” variety.
Family Circle March 2009

Irish Brown Bread
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup quick oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1-3/4 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons honey
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix flours, oats, wheat germ, baking soda and salt.
Whisk together buttermilk and honey. Add to flour mixture; stir to combine until a soft dough forms.
Turn dough out onto floured surface. Divide in half. Shape each half into a round loaf. Place loaves 3-inches apart onto prepared baking sheet; bake 10 minutes.
Reduce temperature to 400 degrees F. Continue baking 10 minutes longer or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool 15 minutes.
Serves four
Woman’s Day March 3, 2009