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March 17, 2012
Bernice Volkens , Reinbeck Courier

At the end of this week we will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day and isn't it fun? It's fun to wear something green, cook Irish food and decorate with shamrocks. It's a light-hearted way for anyone to express pride in the Irish and St. Patrick. After all, St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland was one of the greatest missionaries in world history. It is especially an appropriate day to call attention to this heritage.

Each of us has a reason to be proud of his or her heritage. On 364 days of the year being Irish isn't visibly different from being Scotch, French, Italian, or German. The Irishman pays his bills, does his work and complains about his taxes, but on that one day he becomes a true Irishman. On this day an Irishman has more glory, adventure, magic, victory, fun, gratitude and gladness. It is a day of wild stories, good food and of very special music. It is not just the high-stepping marches, but the low comforting lullabies or the folk ditties telling a story of long ago.

I've called the food good and I've had some dispute about that. Some say that Irish food is too bland and tasteless. The typical Irish meal is a boiled dinner, but that doesn't mean to boil the dickens out of it. Yes, that would take any flavor out of any food. Simmering and slow cooking is the secret. Even Mr. Food has been giving hints on all the ways of cooking corned beef. I don't miss cooking the traditional corn beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day and the leftovers are wonderful. About any dessert goes with an Irish meal, but dessert is a must.


1 cup Guinness (dark


1/2 cup butter, cubed

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup baking cocoa

2 eggs, beaten

2/3 cup sour cream

3 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoons baking



1 package ( 8 oz.) cream

cheese, softened

1-1/2 cups powdered


1/2 cup whipping cream

GREASE a 9-in. pan and line the bottom with parchment paper; set aside. In a small saucepan, heat beer and butter, until butter is melted. Remove from heat; whisk in sugar and cocoa until blended. Combine the eggs, sour cream and vanilla, whisk into beer mixture. Combine flour and baking soda, whisk into beer mixture until smooth. Pour into prepared pan.

BAKE at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Remove sides of pan. In large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and cream; beat until smooth (do not over beat). Remove cake from the pan and place on a platter or cake stand. Ice top of the cake so that it resembles a frothy pint of beer. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield 12 servings.

"Everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day!"



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