The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 12, 1999


St. Patrick's Day: wearing the green and sipping Irish Coffee

Already I've started to plan for Wednesday, March 17. I'll set out my green sweater and skirt to wear to work and maybe I'll put on some shamrock earrings, if I can find them. I'll buy a bottle of good Irish whiskey for the three tablespoons that are needed to soak the raisins that go into my Irish Whiskey Cake, and use some for the Irish coffee I plan to serve to my friends later in the day.

Then I'll sort through my CDs, looking for The Clancy Brothers, The Chieftains, or Boys of the Lough. St. Patrick's Day just wouldn't be St Patrick's Day without listening to that wonderful rousing, traditional Irish music. There's nothing like sipping a cup of rich Irish coffee to the tunes of "Welcoming Paddy Home" or "The Rose of Ardee."

I've always loved St. Patrick's Day and I'm not even Irish. The closest I can come, is the one-eighth Scotch-Irish from my mother's side of the family, the McComb side.

Maybe it's because I worked for a state institution in the city of Boston for seven years and could always count on a holiday from workEvacuation Day, on March 17, the day the British were run out of Boston. I have credited Evacuation Day for giving me the opportunity to tip my hat to Boston's Irish during those years.

Although the traditional corned beef and cabbage has never been one of my specialties, now with the Willow Pond Kitchen in Concord gone out of business, maybe I'll try my own corned beef supper this year. I know the bright green lime jello that they served for dessert ought to be a cinch.

So come Wednesday morning, I'll be donning the green and wishing "the top of mornin to ya."

Recipe: Irish Whiskey Cake

Peel of one lemon or orange 3/4 cup sugar

3 T. of Irish whiskey 3 eggs, room temperature

1 1/4 cups dark raisins 2 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, 1 pinch salt

at room temperature 3/4 tsp. baking powder

1. Grease and line one seven-inch cake pan.

2. Four or five hours before: peel the rind of a lemon or orange, and soak in Irish whiskey. Two hours later, remove the rind and put raisins in the flavored whiskey for another two or three hours.

3. Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time, with a tsp. of the flour and beat well at each stage.

4. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together and fold into the egg-butter mixture. Lastly, fold in the whiskey and raisins. Pour the batter into pan.

5. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes. Halfway through baking time, reduce oven temperature to 300°. You can test if it is baked by piercing with metal skewer or toothpick. If it comes out clean and dry, the baking is done. Place on rack to cool. Slice and eat while fresh.

Irish Coffee

Stemmed goblet or cup 1 ounce whiskey

l level tsp. fine granulated sugar thick heavy cream


1. Put sugar in goblet or cup.

2. Fill the glass 3/4 full with very hot coffee. Stir quickly to dissolve sugar.

3. Add 1 ounce whiskey.

4. Top off with cream poured on over top of an upside-down held spoon, just over the top of the coffee so the cream floats on the surface, about 1/2 inch thick. The true flavor comes by drinking the hot coffee through the cold thick cream.

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito