A Kansas Country Garden: Third and Fourth Weeks of March

Is there a more cheerful flower than the daffodil? Or one that shouts louder, "Spring is here!"?  And spring is here. Reason enough to celebrate. Soon Easter will be here. An even better reason to celebrate.

Mulligan Stew: A St. Patrick's Day Tradition

There is not a single drop of Irish blood coursing through my veins. But my husband gets a dose from both sides of his family and that means that my sons are blessed with a bit of Irish heritage. So in our family St. Patrick's Day does not go unnoticed. Over the years our celebrations have always included a once-a-year serving of Mulligan Stew. 

Photo bombing Knuckles Muldoon always joins in the fun.
Our Mulligan Stew has four basic ingredients: canned corned beef, potatoes, onions and tomatoes. Add a little salt and pepper plus a bit of canola oil for frying the potatoes and onions and that's all you need. Mulligan Stew comes to us from my mother-in-law and she tells us that she learned to make it from her father. When we make Mulligan Stew, she serves as the cook and I serve as the helper. 
My mother-in-law has makes Mulligan Stew for us.

Mulligan Stew

5  potatoes (medium)
1 onion
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 12-oz. can corned beef
2 15-oz. cans tomatoes, crushed, diced or whole (may not use all of the tomatoes)

Begin by peeling and slicing fairly small 5-6 potatoes. In a large skillet heat 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add potatoes and salt well. Add pepper if desired.

Chop one medium onion. Add this to the skillet, too.  Cover and turn heat to medium low. Use a spatula to turn over occasionally. 

The price that I paid for this can of corned beef will remain a secret.
When potatoes and onions are beginning to soften, its time to add the corned beef.

Beautiful, hard working hands.

Remove the corned beef from the can and mash it with a fork. Add to potatoes and onions. 

Open a 15 ounce can of tomatoes (diced, whole or crushed) and pour over everything. My preference is crushed, but they all work. Check your consistency. 

Chances are you'll need another half a can of tomatoes. It should be stew-like with some liquid but still fairly thick. Cover and let simmer for a few minutes to meld the flavors. 
No, not lovely, but very good!

Time to serve up and enjoy!! Along with Mulligan Stew (for a printable recipe, click here)we enjoyed Sourdough Oatmeal Bread, a tossed salad, fruit and for dessert, Angel Food Cake with strawberries and whipped topping. 

After the meal is over, we pass around some notes with Irish blessings written on them. It is one of my favorite "Irish" things we do. Everyone chooses one to read to the group. Here are a few of my favorites as my blessing to you:

May you live a long life
Full of gladness and health,
With a pocket full of gold
As the least of your wealth
May the dream you hold dearest,
Be those which come true,
The kindness you spread, 
Keep returning to you.

May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!