Monday, March 31, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Update; A thought just occurred to me.
Perception is such a strange, easily manipulated tool.
I posted the video up top, by the Clancy brothers, then I decided to add the second video by Black Mountain Crew.
But for Moment; I hesitated, because some of the language in the modern Celtic rap is a bit crude. It then occurred to me that Patrick Clancy was in the IRA. So the result is, the second video shows intimidating young toughs who speak crude language and flash violent footage; but the pinnacle of their social faux pas (as far as I know) is quoting offensive movie dialog, while the nice old man, second to the left, in the cable knitted turtle neck from the first video, who looks like he sips hot coco and just walked off the set of an Irish Spring Commercial actually used to blow shit up-just a little perspective
I've stolen a little Irish history for you. I'm sure The history channel will be devastated by my blatant thievery.
Even if I weren't Irish from both sides the anti-authoritarian in me would have to wear a little green today. Since I've got a soda bread bun in the oven you'll have to drink some whiskey and Guinness for me today.
St. Patrick's Day with History Channel
The First Parade
St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17, his religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for thousands of years.
On St. Patrick's Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink, and feast—on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.
The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place not in Ireland, but in the United States. Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City on March 17, 1762. Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers to reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.
Over the next thirty-five years, Irish patriotism among American immigrants flourished, prompting the rise of so-called "Irish Aid" societies, like the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick and the Hibernian Society. Each group would hold annual parades featuring bagpipes (which actually first became popular in the Scottish and British armies) and drums.
No Irish Need Apply
Up until the mid-nineteenth century, most Irish immigrants in America were members of the Protestant middle class. When the Great Potato Famine hit Ireland in 1845, close to a million poor, uneducated, Catholic Irish began to pour into America to escape starvation. Despised for their religious beliefs and funny accents by the American Protestant majority, the immigrants had trouble finding even menial jobs. When Irish Americans in the country's cities took to the streets on St. Patrick's Day to celebrate their heritage, newspapers portrayed them in cartoons as drunk, violent monkeys.
However, the Irish soon began to realize that their great numbers endowed them with a political power that had yet to be exploited. They started to organize, and their voting block, known as the "green machine," became an important swing vote for political hopefuls. Suddenly, annual St. Patrick's Day parades became a show of strength for Irish Americans, as well as a must-attend event for a slew of political candidates. In 1948, President Truman attended New York City 's St. Patrick's Day parade, a proud moment for the many Irish whose ancestors had to fight stereotypes and racial prejudice to find acceptance in America.
Wearing of the Green Goes Global
Today, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by people of all backgrounds in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Although North America is home to the largest productions, St. Patrick's Day has been celebrated in other locations far from Ireland, including Japan, Singapore, and Russia.
In modern-day Ireland, St. Patrick's Day has traditionally been a religious occasion. In fact, up until the 1970s, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed on March 17. Beginning in 1995, however, the Irish government began a national campaign to use St. Patrick's Day as an opportunity to drive tourism and showcase Ireland to the rest of the world. Last year, close to one million people took part in Ireland 's St. Patrick's Festival in Dublin, a multi-day celebration featuring parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions, and fireworks shows.In 1848, several New York Irish aid societies decided to unite their parades to form one New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade. Today, that parade is the world 's oldest civilian parade and the largest in the United States, with over 150,000 participants.
Each year, nearly three million people line the one-and-a-half mile parade route to watch the procession, which takes more than five hours. Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Savannah also celebrate the day with parades including between 10,000 to 20,000 participants.
IRISH SODA BREAD WITH RAISINS
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups all purpose flour
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons butter, chilled, cut into cubes
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 8-inch-diameter cake pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, 4 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in large bowl to blend. Add butter. Using fingertips, rub in until coarse meal forms. Make well in center of flour mixture. Add buttermilk. Gradually stir dry ingredients into milk to blend. Mix in raisins.
Using floured hands, shape dough into ball. Transfer to prepared pan and flatten slightly (dough will not come to edges of pan). Sprinkle dough with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
Bake bread until brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool bread in pan 10 minutes. Transfer to rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE
5 pounds corned brisket of beef
6 peppercorns, or packaged pickling spices
3 carrots, peeled and quartered
3 onions, peeled and quartered
1 medium-sized green cabbage, quartered or cut in wedges
Melted butter (about 4 tablespoons)
Place the corned beef in water to cover with the peppercorns or mixed pickling spices (in supermarkets, these often come packaged with the corned beef). Cover the pot or kettle, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 hours or until tender, skimming occasionally. During the last hour, add the carrots and onions and cover again. During the last 15 minutes, add the cabbage. Transfer meat and vegetables to a platter and brush the vegetables with the melted butter. Serve with boiled parsley potatoes, cooked separately. (The stock can be saved to add to a pot roast or stew instead of other liquid.)
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
Cook potatoes in pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring cream and butter to simmer in heavy small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Mix in green onions. Remove from heat. Cover and let steep while potatoes cook.
Drain potatoes thoroughly. Return potatoes to same pot and mash. Add cream mixture and stir until blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover; let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over low heat, stirring often.)
1 bunch green onions, sliced (about 1 1/3 cups)
BEEF AND GUINNESS PIE
2 lb boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
1 cup Guinness or other Irish stout
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons drained brined green peppercorns, coarsely chopped
2 fresh thyme sprigs
Rough puff pastry dough
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
Special equipment: 4 (14-oz) deep bowls or ramekins (4 to 5 inches wide; see Shopping List, page 301) or similar-capacity ovenproof dishes
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Pat beef dry. Stir together flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Add beef, turning to coat, then shake off excess and transfer to a plate. Heat oil in a wide 5- to 6-quart ovenproof heavy pot over moderately high heat until just smoking, then brown meat in 3 batches, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes per batch, transferring to a bowl.
Add onion, garlic, and water to pot and cook, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pot and stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in beef with any juices accumulated in bowl, broth, beer, Worcestershire sauce, peppercorns, and thyme and bring to a simmer, then cover and transfer to oven. Braise until beef is very tender and sauce is thickened, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Discard thyme and cool stew completely, uncovered, about 30 minutes. (If stew is warm while assembling pies, it will melt uncooked pastry top.)
Put a shallow baking pan on middle rack of oven and increase oven temperature to 425°F.
Divide cooled stew among bowls (they won't be completely full). Roll out pastry dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch square, about 1/8 inch thick. Trim edges and cut dough into quarters. Stir together egg and water and brush a 1-inch border of egg wash around each square. Invert 1 square over each bowl and drape, pressing sides lightly to help adhere. Brush pastry tops with some of remaining egg wash and freeze 15 minutes to thoroughly chill dough.
Bake pies in preheated shallow baking pan until pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 400°F and bake 5 minutes more to fully cook dough.
Cooks' note: Stew (without pastry) can be made 2 days ahead, cooled completely, and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before using.
Éirinn go Brách
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Enough about politics; for a homeschooling, homebirthing, breastfeeding, libertarian blog I've been a bit libertarian heavy lately.
Come this Veteran's day or so we'll be adding another kid to the bunch.
This pregnancy I'm going to attempt not to gain weight roughly equivalent to that of a expectant elephant. I'm still running the same mileage-I'll probably keep it up until it gets real uncomfortable, then switch to jogging and walking alternately.
The best part about this pregnancy is thatI'll have one my closet friends as a midwife, for the first time in two babies and another cool thing is that my sis-in-law is also pregnant, with her first, so come late summer and fall it will be a baby extravaganza and a very crowded Thanksgiving.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Well, I survived the convention. It was far more painful to attend than I even imagined.
At 9 o’clock, in the AM, a cover band began playing-inserting the word democrat in place of the occasional lyrical villain and republican in place of the song’s victorious hero. This went on for an hour, but it seemed more like seasons or possibly an ice age or two were passing (however, if my grandmother were alive, she’d want me to mention the mean Lawrence Welk impression).
It may have been almost bearable on the main floor, but I was in the “fun “ room - the overflow room designed for people who need to get up a lot, wish to talk on cell phones or have kids with them. In this room we had the view of two big screens, the volume on them was turned up like a Kiss concert. Only instead of Kiss singing about chicks and noise, it was; Mommas don’t let your babies grow up to be democrats. During a rousing rendition of the twist, we were advised to get up and dance . I phoned my husband in the main room to inquirer if he was, in fact, twisting, To my surprise, he answered a resounding,”No.”
The best part of the whole thing was the, apparent, Ron Paul supporting cameraman.
Now the folks in the main room with access to the microphones, to make motions galore, never saw what went up on those screens, but those of us in the overflow rooms saw it all, in larger than life Technicolor.
Every time some Nevada state republican whoever would give a canned speech, they would eventually come to the talking point about how we’re not like democrats, we’re not divided - how we will all stand behind one man. The crowd waved McCain signs.Then the cameraman would pan to a waving Ron Paul sign; focus on it, then zoom, until the entire movie screen would fill with RON PAUL. And the crowds in the overflow rooms erupted into laughter at this audio/ visual coup.
Next step; Reno in April as I am now a delegate to the state convention - can't wait for the music.
Friday, March 07, 2008
Unless you've been in the thick of it however; you have no idea.
All those cute little gifts they leave, the phone calls, the invites to dinner to new members or to those "investigating", they are all planned out at meetings and I cannot emphasis this next point enough, WITHOUT COFFEE.
This brings me to my main point and this point is hovering over me like a really long lasting dental appointment in the morning.
The county republican convention is tomorrow.
I have been told this thing will go from 8AM to 5PM-have I mentioned that I have four children with me ?
Republicans could learn a thing or two from libertarians (aside from the obvious like a whole new philosophy) .
For one thing, libertarians would never, under any circumstance, begin an event at 8AM. Also, I'm sure if they were to start something at that ridiculous hour, no one would be expected to be dressed to the nines. I have been to multiple libertarian events where pizza was delivered and I personally watched Arron Russo slip in late through a side door wearing a bathrobe and slippers.
I mean this thing is going to be long and boring for the people that actually care about what's being said.
I'm there to nominate myself to the state convention, consult my cheat sheet for freedom loving candidates and hopefully, in the end, this will send a somewhat more effective, yet no where near as satisfying message as yelling "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore" from an opened window.
(not my kitchen pictured above!-belongs to a bachelor : )
I really am still alive-this Ron Paul thing has me so exhausted I feel I might as well of ran for president myself.
This weekend is the Nevada republican county convention; both hubby and I and our friend and his wife and my mother in law and my friend/midwife and all her family and just about everyone else I know are all elected delegates (for Ron Paul).
For the last few months there have been marches and sign waving and more marches and charity drives and tea parties and Paulapalooza and walking and walking door to door. I've been seeing precinct numbers in my head at night.
I'm just stunned that rest of the country just doesn't seem to want freedom all that much.
But I'm also pleased that it went as far as it did and even more pleased that the message reached as many young people as it did.
We have started moving onto phase two, and for us in southern Nevada, one of directions that we have taken is teaching.
The Ron Paul Las Vegas Meetup has come up with a series of free classes.
The first two classes were on the constitution-sort a constitution for dummies where people can ask questions and not feel embarrassed. Future classes will
be on use of eminent domain and the bill of rights.
The first two were taught to a packed house with chairs spilling out to the hallway-They were professionally filmed and as soon as the edits are finished they will be available to all on Youtube.
And of course, I'll post them here when they're up (hubby teaches the constitution and bill of rights classes.)
Well, that's my excuse for being MIA; that and homeschooling and the kids' MMA classes and tournaments.
I'll let you all know how the riveting convention went ;)