Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I took the picture on the left exactly one year ago today (ok, so for some reason Blogger doesn't post the pics the way appear in my feeder or in my preview- but in my world, there are two pictures side by side and not on top of each other).  Well, maybe not EXACTLY given the fact that we are a day ahead of most of the rest of the world and also last year was a Leap Year, but it's close enough...  The picture on the right is him today.  Can you believe how much he's changed? How much our life has changed?

St. Patrick's Day is actually a pretty big deal around our house.  Don and I are both Irish (with a few other things thrown in for good measure).  We celebrated our Irish heritage by wearing green; sharing a dinner of brisket (the closest I could get to corned beef), mashed potatoes, cabbage and several bottles of Guinness with folks from Don's office.  It was a good day.

I have been thinking about our heritage, who we are and where we come, from quite a bit lately.  I've always been interested in my family's genealogy (and really regret not paying better attention to taking notes when my grandparents told me stories about my relatives).  But my recent interest has been spurred by the shows Who Do You Think You Are?   and the less commercial version of Henry Louis Gates' Faces of America.  Both of these shows reignited my desire to find out where I came from, where Don came from.    

So Sunday, Don and I sat down at the computer, signed up for a free trial at and started looking at our family tree.  I immediately found ACTUAL copies of my great grandfather's draft registration and we saw the Census records for his paternal grandparents.  We spent hours, just looking for the next set of relatives.  Unfortunately, we have hit dead ends for almost everyone, but that just makes me want to try harder to see what I can find, who I can find.

Here's the brisket recipe I used, adapted from something I found on

  • 1 (4 pound) beef brisket, trimmed of fat (I left the thick layer of fat on top of brisket)
  • Tony's (creole seasoning, could use salt and pepper instead)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) bottle dark beer
  • 1 apple, cored and chunked
  • 3 tablespoons worchestire sauce + 1 tablespoon
  • 3 tablespoon brown sugar 
  • 1 can of beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (could substitute ketchup, mustard and syrup with equal amount bbq sauce)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Heat olive oil in large dutch oven (must be able to use on stove top and in oven).  Cover the beef brisket with Tony's Creole seasoning.  Add brisket to hot pan and brown all sides (about 4 minutes per side).  Remove brisket from pan.  Keeping pan on heat, add beer and beef stock, bring to a simmer, stirring with wooden spoon to remove brown bits from pan.  Add all remaining ingredients, reserving half of apple, onion and garlic.  Place brisket fat side up in pan, cover with remaining tablespoon of worchestire sauce, apple, onion and garlic.  Cover pan.
  3. Bake for 6-8 hours in the preheated oven.  Brisket is done when fork tender.  Cut fat off (it should come off very easily), shred brisket with fork.  Serve on bun, use drippings as sauce.

Due to the seasonings, this brisket has a little bit of kick to it, but not super spicy.  I made two briskets tonight, one in the oven and the other in the crockpot.  They both cooked for the same amount of time and were cooked using the same basic method.  The brisket done in the oven was definitely the better of the two- better flavor, moist and delicious. I cooked it for about 6 hours and it probably would have been even better with another hour or two.  


Kelly said...

Yes! I'm glad to read you watched "Faces of America"! Isn't it so moving?

Rachel Bice May said...

We LOVE the show Who Do You Think You Are? My mom's side of the family has it tracked back to Civil War and I think Nathan said his dad's side has it tracked back to Rev. War. Really would love to find out about my dad's side since they are Native American and I really didn't pay attention when my grandpa told me stories before he past. Happy St. Patrick's Day from state side :)

Kalina said...

They grow so fast, don't they. I have that picture of Aidan and Price in the bathtub at his baptism when they were both babies. Now they are both big boys with big boy haircuts (Price got his a little earlier than Aidan - what can I say, the poor kid has the Pohlmeier hairline). I don't think I really understood the concept of time flying until I had kids.

Terrell said...

Rachel- yes, I'm pretty addicted to both who do you think you are and faces of america. you should do the free trial at ancestorytree- it's pretty cool. My mom's family also goes back to revolutionary war, but i don't have family names to look them up :( Hope it's warming up there.

Kalina- I can't believe that Price got a haircut before Aidan, or was he just older than when Aidan got his?!? The boys in the bath is one of my favorite memories of Price's baptism weekend. But time definitely does fly- I'm sure yours does especially with 3 little ones- WOWZA! BTW- did you ever get a package from me? It should have come a little after Valentine's Day...

Terrell said...

KJ- Yes, I've been a fan of Henry Louis Gates for quite a while... Thanks for telling me about the series or I would have missed it!! In some ways, I like it better than Who Do You Think You Are? Hope you're doing well and I'll try and call ya this weekend.

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