I hope this blog finds you happy and healthy. I have been playing with some new recipes this past week in preparation for St. Patrick's Day this Wednesday. This is not a holiday we usually celebrate here in our house, but with this past year of being "safe at home" we looked for entertainment wherever we could find it. However, St. Patrick's Day happens to also be my mother-in-laws birthday and that we do like to celebrate.
This past year at home we have celebrated Chinese New Year, The Lantern Festival (also Chinese), and now St. Patrick's Day. I am sure we will find other holiday's outside of our own cultures coming up to celebrate just because we can and it's something to do. Most of these holidays have traditional foods that go with them and we have really enjoyed trying a few. I have a friend in China who has been very impressed with my first attempts at some of the more traditional Chinese holiday recipes and she has been giving me pointers to get better results.
To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, I thought we would start this week out with a movie that is called an "Irish western", Black '47. Now, I will tell you I have not seen this movie yet, but from the trailer, I want to see this! It looks fantastic and the cast has several actors I love to watch. I think we will save this for St. Patrick's Day.
Black '47 was released in 2018 and was directed by Lance Daly. This movie was based on short film called An Ranger that was released in 2008. While the short was filmed mostly in the Irish Language with English Subtitles, Black '47 is an English language film. This movie stars Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, Jim Broadbent, Stephen Rea, Freddie Fox, Barry Keoghan, Moe Dunford, and Sarah Greene.
Black '47 is set in Ireland at the time of the Great Famine. The title is based on the worst year of the famine, 1847, which is often referred to as Black '47. The story follows an Irish Ranger, Martin Feeney (Frecheville), who has been off fighting in Afghanistan and India for the British army. What he finds when he return home is devastating. His mother has died of starvation and his brother has been hanged for trying to protect the family when authorities came to seize their home. Feeney does find his sister-in-law and her children alive. He sets out to take care of them. When it is found out that he had actually deserted his post to return home, Feeny must not only fight for his family and his own freedom, but finds himself fighting for the common people of Ireland.
Oddly enough, this film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in March of 2018 and wasn't released in Ireland until September of 2018 by Element Pictures. The movie garnered a number of positive critical reviews and was considered a box office success in Ireland.
I had a difficult time choosing a movie snack for this flick. When I did a search for authentic Irish snack foods, I found way too many that looked good. I decided to pick something a little different for the movie snack suggestion today and will share some of the others I found in my search on the Wednesday.
The snack suggestion today is a mini version of a traditional Irish dish. This one can be found on Delish, Best Mini Shepherd's Pie! (<--- Click here to go to recipe)
I was going to recommend a low carb reuben wrap until I did some more digging and found that "the reuben" is actually an American dish that for some reason has come to be associated in America as an Irish dish for St. Patrick's Day. Even so, the recipe for the reuben wraps sounds so good, it will be in the Wednesday Whatever blog where I will share some of the other great American and Irish dishes I found for St. Patrick's Day celebrations.
Shepherd's pie however, is reported to be decidedly Irish in origins. The predecessor to Shepherd's Pie was the dish called Cottage Pie. It was named in reference to the homes in which lived the impoverished Catholic Irish land workers. This recipe was a way to use several food scraps in one dish before things had a chance to spoil.
The meat in earlier versions was often mutton as it was a cheaper meat at the time. Other variations have used beef or lamb as the meat in the dish. Eventually a distinction was made that seems to have been missed in the Delish recipe. Shepherd's Pie was made with lamb in reference to what a shepherd herded and the cottage pie was made with beef. Either way, this is a decidedly Irish dish and a great way to celebrate the St. Patrick's Day with some authentic Irish foods.
Don't forget, if you like westerns or know someone who does, be sure to tell them about the Into the West Saga Serial. Part 5, Into the West: Last Showdown is being written right now and I have posted two seperate sneak peeks in a few of my recent Friday Funnies blogs. Another one will be coming soon! Be sure to sign up for my mailing list so you never miss a book release. I never spam you with useless stuff and you can quit at anytime.
And now you know what time it is, posse! Time to get those snack and settle in for another great western movie.