I was talking to my daughter-in-law, Lisa, about butter. Not Butter, (that’s the name of their pug dog), but lower-case butter, the kind we keep refrigerated.
“I saw on line that you can get butter to a spreadable consistency by putting water in a small glass and microwaving it for a minute. Then pour out the water and put the heated glass over the butter,” I said.
“I’m sure that works,” she said, “but have you tried Kerrygold, the Irish butter. It seems to stay softer and spread easier.”
“Is it a margarine or actually butter?”
“It’s the real deal,” she said. “You can usually find it on the shelf over the other butters. It comes in a tub or a chunk.”
The next time I was at the grocery I spotted Kerrygold Irish Butter on the top shelf just where she said it would be. The label boasted that the product comes from “cows that roam free in fresh air and graze in lush pastures of tender grass.” How nice.
I remember from my youth that Carnation milk came to us from “contented cows.” I’ve never seen a discontented cow. I think it’s their bovine nature to act carefree. But I digress.
I tried the Irish butter, which looked yellower than Land O’ Lakes. But I liked the way it cut and spread. So if you’re planning ahead for a St. Patrick’s Day weekend breakfast, you might want to consider some dabs of Irish butter to go on your green pancakes. It’s the little things that make the day special.
More Goodies for St. Paddy’s Day
Kerrygold also makes several cheeses. Their Dubliner is described as sweet and nutty. Come to think of it, I have a few Irish relatives I’d describe the same way. Kerrygold makes other cheeses: an aged and a reserve cheddar, plus their Blarney, Shellig, Swiss and Red Leicester varieties.
But if ye be a-lookin’ for something a wee bit sweet with a little kick, there’s a couple of Irish Whisky marmalades to start the day. There’s Follain Orange Marmalade with Irish Whiskey. And there’s Bushmill Irish Whiskey Marmalade, that comes from the world’s oldest distillery, circa 1608. I’ve been to the Bushmill distillery in Belfast a couple of times, but it never occurred to to buy their marmalade.
Last but not least, you might want to consider a shortbread pan available from Gael Song ($42), that puts a decorative Irish imprint on shortbread. It’s a little pricey, but quite unique and several recipes are included. The design I have comes from Brown Bag, (see below), and features wild flowers. The recipe has the simplest of ingredients: butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and flour. That’s all! But I like to add a bit of grated orange peel as well.