Thursday 17 November 2011

The Irish dinner!

        This dinner was and will be a one time only event and was possible the most anticipated meal of the entire year. Since the end of February Dee and I began chatting about "an Irish dinner" we even proposed to first cook it the St. Patrick's day weekend in March but once we found out about the parade and festival in Seoul that plan got waylaid. Numerous other dates had been set since and each had been quashed before they ever got the chance to become reality. I think our friends here began to associate "the Irish dinner" in the same category as leprechauns, the crock of gold at the end of the rainbow and fairies!!!
          Then we finally set a date. Last Friday evening (the 11th of November 2011, a date I am sure will be forever etched in their minds as the night they ate the best food) we finally held the infamous "Irish dinner". Despite our best intentions we failed to locate bacon (or ham as the yanks needed us to specify) and a cabbage dinner by itself didn't appeal very much so we altered our menu. It may not be traditional Irish but it is a dish that I think every Irish family have frequently... Roast Chicken.
          With seven for dinner we bought 2 chickens (thank God for that because despite their appearance Korean chickens turned out to literally be almost skin and bones!).
The chickens were picked to the bone.
 From 4 that evening Dee, Helena and I were like santa's elves on Christmas eve... not a moment was lost. Dee got onto prepping the veg (broccolli, potatoes and carrots), while I started dessert (Bailey's Cheesecake and apple crumble) and Helena got going on the veggie option (Kelly had to be awkward and decide she wouldn't even eat meat for the "Irish dinner" :P ) of Prawn curry (ok so maybe thats not traditionally Irish either but it was made with McDonnells curry powder which is Irish so we think it kinda counts! Regardless of it's Irishness it was delicious!
          After finishing the desserts I turned my attention to the chickens. I took them out of the plastic containers they were in to be greeted disturbingly by the fact that my chickens still had necks attached (no head luckily but still necks). Unfortunately nobody else volunteered for the job so I found myself ringing a chickens neck for the first and hopefully last time. Ok, so the chicken was already dead but I still twisted its neck til it snapped...yuck. After that I got the par-boiled potatoes from Dee (coz neither Helena or herself knew how to make roasties) and using granny and moms method I lathered them in butter. While the potatoes and chickens were in the oven we prepped my apartment. I have to say with Dee's and my tables and a few pieces of furniture repositioned we actually had a pretty good set-up. I collected the roast potatoes and basted the chickens (they were cooking in the schools cooking room as Korean houses don't have ovens, they mainly cook on stove-top). Then a while later Dee and Helena went to collect the chickens while I cooked the leeks and seasoned the mash (the way dad does..the best!).
The carrots
          Right on schedule Sam, Kelly, Kyle and Ness arrived and we got to serving up our meals. I have to say it was inpressive. Main course was Roast chicken with roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, leeks, carrots, broccolli and beautiful onion gravy!! In Sam's words "it was like a dinner your mammy would make". Then for dessert we had the baileys cheesecake and crumble washed down with a nice cup of Irish tea.
Kelly enjoying the cheesecake a bit too much!
 All the while with a continous playlist of Irish artists serenading us in the background (everyone from Westlife, to the cranberries to the pogues). Despite the wait I think the "Irish dinner" well and truly lived up to and may have even surpassed expectations!


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