I have been long planning a British breakfast for the crowd on Shearing Day. First it was going to be the classic full English, and I started getting some supplies for that. Then I got my Downton Abbey cookbook and I thought I would make their breakfast items. Then I decided I would do both, half of the serving table with Downton food and fancy dishes and the other half with the full English and everyday dishes. But then due to the pandemic people understandably decided not to come. So I dropped it down to just the full English and started getting more supplies for that.
By the way, the British Food Shop is great for this. I purchased the bangers, bacon and blood sausage from them. But then the pandemic recommendations were for no visitors in your home so I cancelled the breakfast but still had all of the supplies. Finally everybody but one helper and the shearer canceled.
So what I decided to do in these pandemic circumstances was give a goody bag to Denise ( our helper) with the ingredients and recipe for the full English breakfast. But I also decided to make the Downton English muffins as well instead of the fried bread.
So I put 4 flattened dough balls in her bag too.
Then with the remaining food Tom and I enjoyed our own breakfast.
It was good. Even Tom liked it without the tomato, mushrooms, fried egg and blood sausage. I will admit that I only took a tiny bite of the latter.
So March 17 snuck up on me this year with all the chaos. I had been ordering groceries on line and picking them up. So Monday morning I was ordering my groceries and remembered St. Patrick’s Day. So I added corned beef and cabbage to this as obviously I do not have time to whip out the saltpeter and make my own this year. But when I tried to submit my order I wasn’t going to able to pick it up until Wednesday (thanks to the pandemic). I was working that day so I thought Tom could pick up the groceries, and we could celebrate on Thursday. But as I thought about it, I thought that was silly and we ought to be able to celebrate on Tuesday. So I scrounged around the internet and found the Irish Beef Stew recipe I have made before but also an Irish Brown Bread recipe. Both of these I could make with ingredients on hand with some minor substitutions.
So I canceled the corned beef and cabbage and on Tuesday made these dishes. Here they are all cooked up.
I had a few sips of the leftover Guinness too. It all felt very Irish and turned out well. Tom thought the bread was dense, but I was surprised how light it was for whole wheat flour and baking soda & powder for leavening. We both agreed it tasted well dipped in the stew. So we ate our Irish dinner and then took a hot tub while it was remarkably quiet now without traffic. It turned out to be a nice St. Patty’s Day.
PS. Tom picked up the groceries Wednesday and they had no kitty litter. He ended up going in the store and found one box of any brand in the back of one shelf. So he took the last one Freddie’s had. But we are not hoarding. We were out of kitty litter. It is odd what is missing from the shelves in this pandemic. Poop related supplies seemed to be high on the list for some odd reason.