Thursday, March 4, 2010

Seattle St. Patrick's Day Celebrations

We observe St. Patrick's Day because Jim's grandfather and namesake, the red headed James "Jimmy" Cummins, was an Irish immigrant from Carrick-on-Shannon. He passed through Ellis Island, roomed in New York with Brian Mulroney (no, not the past Canadian Prime Minister, although all of us in-house Canadians love the idea) and eventually made his way to Butte, Montana, where he was a well liked newspaperman.

I made a series of Artist Trading Cards (ATC) to honor Jim’s grandfather and celebrate our family’s Irish heritage. I used the same base for all the cards, vintage sheet music from 1908, washed with gesso, then stamped and foiled.  I overlaid a photo of Jimmy, and used several vintage materials as embellishments, including mother of pearl buttons from the 1920's to 1940's, vintage brass clock hands, vintage crochet cotton, tiny vintage cabochons - green glass squares, and gold charlotte seed beads.

We will be eating Jimmy's potato soup and soda bread on Mar 17.  We make it differently each year, but here is the starting point for us, the original potato soup recipe as it appears in
Butte's Heritage Cookbook:

Irish Potato Soup
Since March is often cold and blustery in Butte, this soup is a good cold-weather antidote, and according to Lorrie Maloney it prevents colds and sniffles.

2 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions
3 large peeled potatoes
5 cups milk
1 clove crushed garlic
1 sprig thyme
2 blades of mace
1 bay leaf
1 bunch parsley tied together
1/2 cup evaporated milk
salt and pepper to taste, chopped chives to use as a garnishMelt butter in heavy pan, add thinly sliced onions and potatoes. Toss well in butter. Tuck foil around the vegetables - this prevents drying them out. Cover the pan with a lid and allow the vegetables to soften over a slow heat for about 10 minutes. Do not brownthem. Now add the rest of the ingredients except the evaporated milk and chives. (Remove the foil of course.) Simmer for 1/2 hour. Discard the spices, sieve the soup if you like. Reheat in a clean saucepan at a medium heat. In each soup plate, place 1 tablespoon of evaporated milk and a good pinch of chives. Add hot soup, stir once. Delicious. Serves 6.   ~Lorrie Maloney

Note: Lorrie also says that adding a sprig of mint or a teaspoon of the flavoring extract to peas while they are cooking is a very Irish thing to do.

1 comment:

  1. Fab post! I do love your ATC's and how you made them. I love using Gesso like that. Thank you for sharing your family potato soup recipe.