Saturday, March 16, 2013

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day!

Being 1/4 Irish, I always have to wear a little green on St. Pats day. But, surprisingly,  I've NEVER HAD Corned Beef and Cabbage.. so I looked it up and am making it this weekend! Here are some interesting facts about Corned Beef...

Corned beef is a preparation in which a cut of beef, usually the brisket, is cured in a brine solution along with various seasonings, and then slowly simmered until cooked.

Corned beef can also be made from the beef round primal cut. Both the round and the brisket are relatively tough cuts of meat that are best cooked by slow, moist-heat cooking. A good corned beef is quite tender with a delicious salty flavor.

The brine for making corned beef is similar to the brine used for making pickles. Thus, it's fair to say that corned beef is essentially pickled beef.

One of the key ingredients in making corned beef is a curing salt called prague powder, which is what gives the corned beef its distinctive pink color.

To "corn" something is simply to preserve it in a salty brine (the term corn refers to the coarse grains of salt used for curing). In the days before refrigeration, corning was essential for storing meat, especially from large animals like cows. Historically, beef that was slaughtered and corned before the winter was served with the first fresh spring cabbage to break the Lenten fast on Easter.

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And here's a recipe...

One 3-pound corned beef brisket (uncooked), in brine
16 cups cold water
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
4 whole allspice berries
2 whole cloves
1/2 large head green cabbage (about 2 pounds), cut into 8 thick wedges
8 small new potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds), halved
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Serving suggestion: Whole-grain mustard or horseradish sauce (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Place the corned beef in a colander in the sink and rinse well under cold running water.

Place the corned beef in a large Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, add the water, bay leaves, peppercorns, allspice and cloves. Bring to a boil, uncovered, and skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Cover and transfer pan to the oven, and braise until very tender, about 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Transfer the corned beef to a cutting board and cover tightly with foil to keep warm. Add the cabbage and potatoes to the cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cabbage to a large platter. Slice the corned beef across the grain of the meat into thin slices. Lay the slices over the cabbage and surround it with the potatoes. Ladle some of the hot cooking liquid over the corned beef and season with pepper. Serve immediately with the mustard or horseradish sauce.

Horseradish Sauce:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons jarred grated horseradish (with liquid)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, horseradish, zest, and 2 teaspoons salt. Season generously with pepper to taste. Refrigerate the horseradish sauce for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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If you're looking to SPEND a little "green", try browsing at! Start with this beautiful Gold and EMERALD necklace from j7339!

Got an owie? Try a soothing Boo-Boo rice bag from American-Hippie

How about a sparkling dark green genuine 3+ carat Tourmaline?? From judyb84

Here's a nifty, and unusual, ashtray from Supergranny!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Spring Fashion Accessories ~ Gloves

When you were young, did you have a new Spring Outfit? 

I grew up in a small house filled with a pair of parents and five daughters--my four sisters and me.  It seemed only natural to get a fresh pair of white gloves in the springtime to spruce up our beautiful made-by-Mama dresses.  

Here are some sweet glove auctions on OLA:

How about a new purse?

Vintage 1950's Pink Rose Motif Lumured Petite Bead Handbag  $25

OLA Sellers, I have a question for you:  Seen any vintage spring hats for ladies and children?

I'll keep looking for things that remind me of Spring.  Until next time,
Happy Shopping!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Spring is around the corner.

The March 20, 2013 vernal equinox (at 7:02 AM, Eastern Daylight Time [EDT]) indicates the beginning of this happy season!  The word equinox is taken from the Latin words meaning equal night.  So, on March 20, our days and nights will last about the same time. 

Longer days and shorter nights make exciting times.

What happens in spring?  Lots of things!  Mother Nature causes warming temperatures; sleeping plants and trees begin grow, bud and flower again.  Birds mate and fix up their nests.  People begin to plant gardens, and make plans for summer holidays.

Spring cleaning time is here, so be on the lookout for an increase in yard, tag and estate sales.  Look for auctions!  Look for more new old stuff at thrift and consignment stores.

You never know what you will find!

Here on OLA, we are gearing up for a new online presence.  We shopkeepers are updating, editing and revising our OLA stores--so look for lots of good changes in the near future.

Until next time,

Happy Shopping,