Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Well, even though this blog is still under heavy construction, my brain is going to melt out my ears if I don't stop doing code. I even dreamt that I was do html last night!
Anyhow, to take a break I thought I'd put in a few entries about Ireland, for Saint Patrick's day. There is no particular order just randomness, a rhapsody on the theme of Ireland.

The names of Ireland... Ireland, being a land of poets naturally has a great number of names given to her. The oldest known is Ierna, from the Greeks dating back to the 6th. Century BC. Ivernia and Hibernia were given to her by the Romans. Scotia was a name of Ireland as late as the 17th century, although Alba adopted it in a modified form as the modern name, Scotland. More familiar are Eire,(pronounced Aeyhh-rah), Banba, and Fodhla,(pronounced Fo-Lahh), the names of the three De Dannon queens vanquished by the Milesians in 500 BC. Also there are Inis Fail, which is gaeilge for " Isle of Destiny", The Holy Island, the Island of sorrow, the Island of Saints and Scholars, the Sean Bhan Bhoct, and Kathleen ni Houlihain among others. And, of course, there is Ireland, given to her by the Vikings who, unable to pronounce the subtle sounds of Eire, instead said "ire". And then they put the word "land" on the end... To tell it apart from the water. Vikings were like that.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 medium onion,- thinly sliced
3 leeks, sliced
3 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3 (14 1/2-ounce) cans chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Toppings: shredded Cheddar cheese, crumbled cooked bacon, chopped fresh chives, chopped sauted mushrooms
Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat; stir in onion and leek. Cover and cook 20 minutes. Stir in potato; cover and cook 15 minutes. Stir in broth, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until potato is tender. Remove from heat, and cool slightly. Process soup in batches in a blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides; return to saucepan, and cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated. Serve with desired toppings for a twist put the topping in the bottom of the bowl and ladle the soup on top!

I'm going to be trying out variations on this standard recipe. I'll post the results.

My favorite poem by Patrick Pearse;
The Fool
Since the wise men have not spoke, I speak that I am only a fool;
a fool that hath loved his folly,
Yea, more than wise men their books or their counting houses, or their quiet homes,
Or their fame in men's mouths ;
A fool that in all his days hath never done a prudent thing,
Never counted the cost, nor recked if another reaped
The fruit of his mighty sowing, content to scatter the seed ;
A fool that is unrepentant, and that soon at the end of all
Shall laugh in his lonely heart as the ripe ears fall to the reaping hooks
And the poor are filled that were empty,
Tho' he go hungry.

I have squandered the splendid years that the Lord God gave to my youth
In attempting impossible things, deeming them alone to be worthy of the toil.
Was it folly or grace?Not men shall judge me, but God.
I have squandered the splendid years :
Lord if I had the years I would squander them over again,
Aye, fling them from me!
For this I have heard in my heart : that a man shall scatter, not hoard.
shall do the deed of to-day, nor take thought of tomorrow's teen,
Shall not bargain or huxter with God : or was it a jest of Christ's
And is this my sin before men, to have taken Him at His Word?

The lawyers have sat in council, the men with the keen, long faces,
And said, "This man is a fool," and others have said, "He blasphemeth" ;
And the wise have pitted the fool that hath striven to give a life
In a world of time and space and actual things,
To a dream that was dreamed in the heart, and only the heart could hold.

O, wise men, riddle me this ; What if the dream come true?
What if the dream come true? and if millions unborn shall dwell
In the house that I shape in my heart, the noble house of my thought?
Lord, I have staked my soul, I have staked the lives of my kin
On the truth of thy dreadful word. Do not remember my failures,
But remember this my faith.

And so I speak,
Yea, ere my hot youth pass, I speak to my people and say :
Ye shall be foolish as I ; ye shall scatter, not save ;
Ye shall venture your all, lest ye lose what is more than all ;
Ye shall call for a miracle, taking Christ at His Word.
And for this I shall answer : O, people I have loved, shall we not answer together?

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