“SUNSET PARK”… received a “CLEAN-UP” for SPRING!

“What is the first… ‘sign’ –  in your  very own  backyard –  – that SPRING is here? – – – –  “Did you say?”  – – “Daffodils?”

Every year we have a spot in the back yard  – – where the previous owners  – – planted Daffodils – – and no matter what happens – – like “clock” work  –  – they come up – – just when  we are expecting “SPRING” weather to show up!  And…  what I like is to see them – – all… so  nicely clustered together  – – and even when it is still a little  on the   “too cold  side”  for them – – they just like to stand  on their own – – standing up against the strong  WINDS…  that come up from “SUNSET PARK.”

Spring is just around the corner but what date does it officially start on?

Symbolizing rebirth and new beginnings, the daffodil is virtually synonymous with spring.  –  Spring  forward – – all new life on the way!

Teleflora's Daffodil Dreams Bouquet

Associated with the tenth wedding anniversary – – –  When the bright yellow daffodil pokes through late winter’s ground, it’s like a long-awaited friend returning home and a birth flower anyone would be proud to call their own. Symbolizing rebirth and new beginnings, particularly when presented in an abundant bouquet, daffodils promise happiness and joy.

When making up a bouquet of these beautiful  flowers – – always give a nice size bouquet –The March birth flower and the 10th wedding anniversary flower, a gift of daffodils is said to ensure happiness. But always remember to present daffodils in a bunch – the same legends that associate this cheerful flower with good fortune warn us…  that when given as a single bloom, a daffodil can foretell misfortune.

TODAY… SATURDAY  Morning – –  at least 20 vehicles were parked in various locations – – and the “VOLUNTEERS” were marching  all around into small  groups – – with  plenty of bags and  hand equipment to pick-up trash and  some workers even used power equipment to cut out some dead stuff – –  just making this a day  of hard work – –  so – – that  all the beautiful plants and flowers – – rest rooms and walk-ways  – – will  just be  so much more  inviting  – –  to  everyone  visiting the “SUNSET PARK”  and will appreciate  – – just having such a beautiful place to bring the whole FAMILY – – for fun and games and  to enjoy  those “out door meals.”

When your very own  “back-yard” is not large enough – –  for your family and guests  to have plenty of room to run and play games – – may as well… enjoy a nice  ride…  over to your “SUNSET PARK!”


Posted in Childhood, Family, Grand-Children, Grandma, Todaywith no comments yet.

“Happy Saint Patrick’s Day – 3-17-2017”

7Toora Loora Loora Lyrics

Over in Killarney, many years ago
My mother sang a song to me
in tones so sweet and low

Just a simple little ditty
in her good old Irish way
And I’d give the world if she could sing
that song to me this day

Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, hush now, don’t you cry!
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, that’s an Irish lullaby.

Oft in dreams I wander
to that cot again.
I feel her arms a-hugging me
As when she held me then.

And I hear her voice a-hummin’
to me as in the days of yore,
when she used to rock me fast asleep
outside the cabin door.

Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, hush now, don’t you cry!
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, that’s an Irish lullaby.

 

 

 

I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen
across the ocean wild and wide
to where your heart has ever been
since first you were my bonny bride
The roses all have left your cheeks
I watched them fade away and die
You voice is sad whene’re you speak
and tears bedim your loving eyes
So I will take you back Kathleen
to where your heart will feel no pain
And when the fields are fresh and green
I will take you to your home again

I know you love me Kathleen dear
your heart was ever fond and true
I always feel when you are near
That life holds nothing dear but you
the smiles that once you gave to me
I scarcely ever see them now
the many, many times I see
a darkening shadow on your brow
Oh So I will take you back Kathleen
to where your heart will feel no pain
And when the fields are fresh and green
I will take you to your home again

To that dear home beyond the sea
My Kathleen shall again return
And when thy old friends welcome thee
Thy loving heart will cease to yearn
Where laughs the little silver stream
beside your mother’s humble cot
and brightest rays of sunshine gleam
To where your grief will be forgot
so So I will take you back Kathleen
to where your heart will feel no pain
And when the fields are fresh and green
I will take you to your home again

 

I’m looking over a four-leaf clover
That I overlooked before
One leaf is sunshine, the second is rain
Third is the roses that grow in the lane
No need explaining, the one remaining
Is somebody I adore
I’m looking over a four-leaf clover
That I overlooked before

……..

I’m looking over a four-leaf clover
That I overlooked before
One leaf is sunshine, the second is rain
Third is the roses that grow in the lane

No need explaining, the one remaining
Is somebody I adore
I’m looking over a four-leaf clover
That I overlooked before

I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover
that I over looked before
one is for sunshine
the second is rain
third are the roses
that grow in the lane
No need explaining
the one remaining
is somebody I adore
I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover
That I ovr looked before

 


Posted in Childhood, Family, Grand-Children, Grandma, Today and tagged with no comments yet.

“The Irish Tenors Toora-Loora-Looral” (LIVE)

When you are mostly “IRISH” and you have a MOTHER … that can sing ‘light OPERA’ – – and you are  the eldest child in the FAMILY – – there comes a time  when your MOTHER wants you to learn to play the piano.

So… I had my MOTHER visit with my teacher, Sister M. Florence – – to ask her and see for herself – – what it costs and when will they teach me to play the piano?  It did not go the way my MOTHER had expected. No matter  that my MOTHER had promised to pay the  weekly $2.00 a week – – all I could remember  is “SISTER FLORENCE” saying to my MOTHER, “YOU can not afford…  the money for piano lessons – – it would be best to spend the money elsewhere.”

My MOTHER had brought some sheet music….  that she liked  – -“An Irish Lullaby” (Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ra) and surely thought that I would get a chance to learn to play the piano – – but… her dreams were dashed – – the music was IRISH and this was “GERMAN St. Vincent’s” and  I just do not think that the two would mix – – as some of the NUNS came from GERMANY and in those days – – things sure were different.

 

 

And just in case you have a guitar… handy…  and want to sing along – – another version – – have FUN … with all…  singing  along!

 


Posted in Childhood, Family, Grand-Children, Grandma, Todaywith no comments yet.

“Music for the IRISH”

“Sing along – – – just as loud as you can… they want to hear you  – – in IRELAND!”

 

 

 

 

 

 


Posted in Childhood, Family, Grand-Children, Grandma, Todaywith no comments yet.

“Kerry Or Irish Apple Cake”

Kerry Apple Cake, also known as Irish Apple Cake, is a moist cake with a crunchy top, and can be served cold or warm with chilled cream or custard.

An Irish Apple Cake is technically not a cake at all.  Apple bread is a better description, but I suppose our ancestors assigned the title cake to any baked good with a little bit of precious sugar added.

Known as Kerry Apple Cake in many parts of Ireland, I thought it was high time to share my recipe, especially since we took a lovely photo tour of County Kerry in an earlier blog post this week.

This cake was traditionally cooked in a bastible, a black wrought iron cooking pot.  The bread was covered in the pot and hung over the fire to cook.

I remember my granny’s kitchen in County Cork, with a black iron kettle singing over the fire, or the bastible cooking potatoes or bread.  The day the open fire was replaced with a big range, complete with oven and cooktop, has left an indelible mark on my memory.  On that day I witnessed the end of an era. But that’s a story for another day.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4oz butter
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 or 4 large Granny Smith apples
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (to sprinkle on top of cake)

The apples I use are Granny Smiths.  If I was in Ireland I would use Bramley cooking apples, the best apples in the world for baking.  But alack and alas I can’t find my favorite cooking apple here in America.

But why are they better than an eating apple, you may ask?  When cooked they retain a lovely tangy flavor, and with heat develop a pefect ‘melt-in-the-mouth’ texture, since they contain more acid and less sugar than other apples.

Granny Smiths are my chosen substitute when baking this cake in America, because they are the tangiest of American apples I can find.

You’ll notice I stuck one small apple into my ingredient shot, just to prove every apple is not created equally.  They come in all the same shapes, but different sizes.  The amount of sliced apples used is key to apple cake success so really check your apple size. Three apples means three large Granny Smiths.  If you can only get small apples, then you will need to use at least six.

Directions:Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare a 9-inch round baking pan by spraying with oil or coating with butter. 

Sift the cake flour, baking powder, salt, cloves and nutmeg into a large mixing bowl.  Trust me – you need a big bowl, because once the sliced apples are added you’ll have a large amount of cake mix.

I like to prepare the flour and rub in the butter before I peel and slice my apples.  This avoids adding browning apple slices to the cake.

All-purpose flour works for this recipe, but I prefer cake flour.  This lighter flour produces a softer crusted cake, which better resembles an apple cake made in Ireland.

You’ll notice I don’t use any cinnamon.  I prefer to add a hint of cloves and nutmeg, spices more closely associated with apples in Ireland. If you can’t imagine cooked apples without cinnamon, feel free to toss some in.

When I first came to America I was overwhelmed by the amount of cinnamon used in so many breads and cakes.  It took many years for my taste buds to adjust to apple pie with cinnamon.   Irish apple pies or tarts are made without spice or with a hint of cloves.

Cut the butter into the flour and rub it in using your fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. 

I confess I don’t own a pastry cutter.  Throughout my childhood I watched my mom and grannys rubbing butter into flour using their bare hands, so there’s no modernizing me at this stage.  You can’t teach an old horse new tricks.

If you use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour, I would increase the amount of butter to 6 ounces.  This helps keep the crust from getting too hard.

Next toss in the sugar and mix it through the flour.

Now it’s time to wash your hands and prepare the apples.  Use a minimum of 3 large apples, but in my opinion, it is hard to have too much apple in this cake, so feel free to add an additional one.

Peel and slice the apples into similar sized pieces. 

My apple slices are about 1/4 inch thick.  Lie each slice flat and cut them into triangular quarters.  The thinner rectangular side slices can be cut in half.

Some cooks like to dice the apples into smaller pieces and add walnuts.  I prefer larger apple slices and as my granny would have said – “It’s far from walnuts you were reared.”

Toss the apples into the flour mixture and combine them thoroughly.

My advice is to work quickly because apples turn brown pretty fast.  The faster they are covered in flour mixture the better.  You can see how my apples are beginning to go a little brown at the edges, but I did have to pause to take photos.

Beat the eggs and add a dash of milk.  Add to the apples and flour and combine well with a large spoon. 

Add more milk as needed to fully moisten the flour.  The result is a pretty sticky dough

Transfer the dough into the prepared cake pan and flatten the top surface using the back of a large spoon.

I use a 9-inch round pan.  An 8-inch round pan will simply yield a taller cake.  However, moving up to a 10-inch round pan is not advised.  With these specific ingredient ratios, the cake would be way too flat.

Next comes the final touch for a crispy top layer.

Sprinkle two tablespoons of sugar over the top of the cake. 

In Ireland I recommend using caster sugar, but regular American sugar is just perfect.  Regular Irish sugar is far grainier than the American variety.

Bake the cake in the preheated 375 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes.  A toothpick or knife will come out clean when it is cooked and the top will be a lovely golden brown.

Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire wrack to finish cooling.

I love to see the slices of apple peeping through the top layer.  Just yummy!

My family love this cake served still slightly warm.  Lovely with butter melting on top, or a dollop of cream or smothered in custard, you’ll certainly be licking your fingers and asking for seconds.

“Don’s forget to let me know… how you liked this – – and if you call me – – I’ll be right over to taste it – – “APPLE CAKES” are one of my favorites!”


Posted in Childhood, Family, Grand-Children, Grandma, Todaywith no comments yet.

“Kerry Or Irish Apple Cake”

Irish American Mom

Sharing My Recipes And Ramblings

Kerry Apple Cake

Serves 10 – 12
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 50 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 10 minutes
Meal type Bread
Region Irish

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4oz butter
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 or 4 Large Granny Smith apples
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (to sprinkle on top of cake)

Directions

Step 1 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a 9-inch round baking pan by spraying with oil or coating with butter.
Step 2 Sift the cake flour, baking powder, salt, cloves and nutmeg into a large mixing bowl.
Step 3 Cut the butter into the flour and rub it in using your fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
Step 4 Toss in the sugar and combine it with the flour mixture.
Step 5 Peel and slice the apples into similar 1″ to 2″ sized pieces.
Step 6 Add the apples into the flour mixture and mix them thoroughly.
Step 7 Beat the eggs and add a dash of milk. Add to the apples and flour and combine well with a large spoon. Add more milk as needed to fully moisten the flour. The result is a pretty sticky mixture.
Step 8 Transfer the dough into the prepared cake pan and flatten the top surface using the back of a large spoon.
Step 9 Sprinkle two tablespoons of sugar over the top of the cake.
Step 10 Bake the cake in the preheated 375 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire wrack to finish cooling.

Posted in Childhood, Family, Grand-Children, Grandma, Todaywith no comments yet.