So, fellow moms, what do you have planned for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day? Green cookies? Green pudding? Green pancakes? Green oatmeal?
Do you ever stop to wonder just how all this green stuff got started? Well, we did, and here are some things we discovered…
March 17 is the day set aside for celebrating St. Patrick, a 5th century British missionary and bishop who’s credited with thousands of miracles. He came to the cloth in a somewhat, pardon the pun, unorthodox manner: When he was 16, the young Brit was kidnaped by Irish pirates and taken as a slave. He escaped some years later, returned to England to home and hearth, became a cleric and returned to Ireland. Some say he drove all the snakes out off the island, and others claim that’s a legend.
Regardless, the revered patron saint of Ireland is the focus of March 17 around the world – and by the way, that day in March is his recognized death date, not his birthday, AND his recorded age at death was 120 years. So there you go, a snippet of info you can impart to your older offspring, along with this link, http://www.history.com/news/hungry-history/corned-beef-and-cabbage-as-irish-as-spaghetti-and-meatballs, which tells us the original “corned beef and cabbage” in Ireland was actually pork and potatoes. An aside, but a fun read.
For the younger kiddos, you might want to visit http://www.hellokids.com/r_673/reading-and-learning/stories-for-children/st-patrick-s-day-history-and-fun-facts, which provides fun activities and a bit o’ history as well. Here’s what the home page tells us: “There are many interesting facts about St. Patrick’s Day and Hellokids has created a reading channel for you to learn about these facts and other St. Patrick’s Day legends. St. Patrick’s Day is a very festive holiday and is celebrated annually on March 17th. The Irish have observed this religious holiday for thousands of years. But, how did we come to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the United States? North America has only observed this holiday since the late eighteenth century.”
If your small fry love to color, we recommend http://www.dltk-holidays.com/patrick/coloring.htm, which has games, riddles and downloadable art pages. Go wild! St. Paddy would approve, we’re sure!
Also, there’s that matter of leprechauns and rainbows and four-leaf clovers, right? We found a great site with a very fun recipe that will fill the bill. http://makezine.com/craft/kids_kitchen_rainbow_pudding/
By Katie Goodman
Many pudding recipes contain multiple egg yolks, which give vanilla pudding a yellow tint. In this recipe, I’ve opted to use fewer egg yolks than a typical recipe so that it’s easy to tint with food coloring, for a fun rainbow dessert for kids.
¾ cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
1 cup 2% milk
2 cups whole milk
1 whole egg, plus 3 egg whites
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1½ tsp vanilla extract (clear if you can) or 1 vanilla bean
Gel food coloring (such as AmeriColor) in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple
6 small mixing bowls
Clear bowls, small juice glasses (clear), or tall shot glasses
6 disposable pastry bags
Notes: If possible, use gel food coloring instead of the traditional food coloring found in grocery stores. Gel food coloring produces vibrant color results with just a small amount of dye.
If you prefer more yolks in your pudding, try this simple substitution: 3 whole eggs in place of the egg-and-egg-white combination in this recipe. Additionally, decrease the amount of cornstarch to ¼ cup plus 1½ tsp.
CLASSIC VANILLA PUDDING
Step 1: Add the sugar, cornstarch, and salt to a medium saucepan (preferably stainless steel). Whisk the ingredients to combine, then add ½ cup of the 2% milk to the sugar mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until combined and thick.
Step 2: Whisk in the remaining milk (2% and whole), cooking over low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon for about 15 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil.
Step 3: In a medium bowl, whisk the two eggs until gently beaten. Slowly add about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture to the eggs, whisking as you pour. Then pour the milk/egg mixture into the saucepan with the remaining hot milk mixture.
Step 4: Cook over low heat for an additional 5 minutes — do not boil. Remove from heat; stir in the butter and vanilla (or vanilla bean).
Step 1: Add the pudding to a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic against the surface of the pudding until airtight. This will prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour.
Step 2: Divide the cooled pudding evenly into 6 medium mixing bowls. Add food coloring to each bowl, corresponding with each color of the rainbow. Stir; add more food coloring (if desired) until desired color is reached.
Step 3: Divide the colored pudding into 6 pastry bags. Alternatively, you can just spoon the colors into bowls, but that can be a bit messier. Snip the end of the red pastry bag off so that there is about a ½” diameter hole. Pipe the red pudding into each bowl. Repeat with remaining colors.