Victoria's Vegetarian Victuals

Now, I'm only part Irish.  My Mom, (we're adopted) is, as she says,  "entirely Irish", with all of her grandparents having been born in Ireland, both north and south.

St. Patrick wasn't Irish at all, wouldn't you know?  He was captured and sold as a slave in medieval Ireland.  Something about the Irish must have appealed to him, however, because even after he was free, he returned there to convert the inhabitants to Christianity, by, according to myth, using the Shamrock to symbolize the Trinity.

He was successful.

I heard a story, (from my Mom, who else?) about a young woman who emigrated from Ireland and arrived in New York on March 16, one year.  According to this lady, the following day, "All hell broke loose in New York City!"  Apparently Ireland doesn't get as excited as does the Emerald Society of New York. Anyway, the lady loved the parade.

My Mom's father (James Aloysuis Smith) used to say "There are only two kinds of people in the world:  the Irish, and those who wish they were."  Clearly, Mom's family never had to worry about that.

But I'm going to share an old family recipe with you, handed down from my great-grandmother.  And a few other recipes, too, of course, converted into vegetarian dishes. 

From Sara Hamilton to Emma Crawford to Jeanne Smith to Victoria Smith to you.

Soda Bread

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Pour the flour, salt, cream of tartar and baking soda into a bowl. Stir it together dry. Make a well in the middle.  Slowly add the buttermilk and stir and knead it until you have a workable dough.  Flour a flat surface to roll it out into a circle, about 1/2" thick.  Cut it into quarters.  Flour a flat skillet and place the wedge-shaped scones on the skillet over a low steady heat, and toast both sides and the edges until they are golden brown.  Split open and serve with margarine. You never ate anything better.  Serve with tea for best results.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: Less than half an hour

Vegetarian Corned Beef Hash

  • 1 package Morningstar Farms vegetarian sausage substitute
  • 1 can refried beans (vegetarian)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 box croutons
  • 2 slices process cheese
  • 1/2 bag of shredded cheese
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 envelope tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 envelope artificially flavored chicken gravy

Cook the sausage substitute for 4 minutes in the microwave on the high setting.  Add to this the refried beans and the breadcrumbs together.  Add to this the croutons and the sliced and shredded cheese.  Add water to the mixture.  Next add the mayonnaise and tomato sauce to the mixture.  Next add the pepper, salt, and garlic powder.  Mix well.  Finally add the gravy to the top of the loaf.  Cook for 10 to 15 minutes in the microwave, high setting.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Irish Potato Soup

  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 blades mace
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 sprig thyme, 1 bay leaf, 1 bunch parsley, tied together
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • Chopped chives to garnish

Melt the margarine in a heavy pan.  Add the thinly sliced onions and potatoes.  Toss well in the margarine.  Lay a piece of waxed paper or aluminum foil down over the vegetables, tucking them in.  Prevents drying out.

Cover the pan with a lid and allow the vegetables to soften for 10 minutes over a slow heat.  DO NOT BROWN THEM!  Remove the paper or foil and add the milk and all the other ingredients except the evaporated milk and chives.

Simmer for 1/2 hour.  Remove the thyme, parsley, and bay leaf bundle, and sieve the soup.  Reheat in a clean saucepan.  In the bottom of each soup cup put a tablespoon of evaporated milk and a good scatter of chives.  Pour in the hot soup and give it one stir.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: About 40 minutes
And may you be in Heaven half an hour before the Devil knows you're dead!  My Mom says that.