SAVANNAH Georgia USA— Bells of Ireland dress the table of Green Palm Inn when the top-pick bed and breakfast cottage serves up its hearty Irish food from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, pleasing lodging guests at the inn’s 2015 St. Patrick’s Day party in Savannah, GA.
Eager to extend an Irish heritage-centered welcome for her 2015 celebration, bed and breakfast innkeeper Diane Crews chased down some of the less talked about fare of Ireland. She gives her nod to the sometimes forgotten coastal foods with Poached Salmon, and the farm-to-table foods with Leek Bacon Potato Soup, Kerrygold’s recipe for Pear and Dried Cranberry Chutney, and sauerkraut with green pepper and pimento chutney.
Adding more to the cottage inn’s hearty Irish dinner party menu are her ‘market plates’, overflowing with Irish cheese — blue stilton cheese, Murray’s Irish Cheddar, Kerrygold® Blarney Castle (gouda style), Kerrygold Aged Cheddar, and Kerrygold Aged Cheddar with Irish Whiskey — Kerrygold Irish butter, Irish Banger Sausage (from The Fresh Market), top round corned beef (sliced), smokehouse ham (sliced), pork loin marinated in garlic and honey mustard, plus 12-grain pumpernickel and Irish raisin soda breads, and Harvest course ground mustard.
Then, for desserts, beyond Pistachio Bread and Peach Pie with Cheddar, there are more surprises for the popular inn’s March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day guests.
In this final year of the Civil War Sesquicentennial (2011-2015), the devoted foodie serves up delicious sweets, cobbled with her robust applause to the literary Irish of Georgia, set in the USA Civil War era. Yes, a Chocolate Layer Cake takes center stage with White Chocolate Mouse with Raspberries, and Champagne Pound Cake Muffin Tops for her three variations to the O’Hara’s “Gone With the Wind” inspired desserts for her Irish dinner. [Side Note: In the United States, that would be lunch.]
“And three desserts, so everyone might have his choice, chocolate layer cake, vanilla blanc mange and pound cake topped with sweet whipped cream….” — “Gone With The Wind” by Margaret Mitchell
Another surprise is the wine. “Many of our lodging guests prefer wine to beer, even on St. Patrick’s Day,” reports the Diane. “Emmet’s Irish Cream, plus red and sparkling white wines complement the Irish fare deliciously.”
The literary foods from Tara, the plantation of Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind” epic novel, open a reminder to the O’Hara’s roots in Savannah, Georgia, where Gerald O’Hara immigrated with his merchant brothers and met his bride. “Gerald relished the thought of becoming a planter and gave his mostly wilderness and uncultivated new lands the grandiose name of Tara after the Hill of Tara, once the capital of the High King of ancient Ireland.” (Wikipedia)
FROM WHERE DID THE IRISH “GONE WITH THE WIND” IDEA COME?
Talking about “the old days, and the meals of the old days”, the O’Hara dessert menu was an idea that jumped off the page, posted by author Suanne Laquer: “Tuesdays Great Literary Eats: Gone With the Wind“.
The food of “Gone With the Wind” a wonderful blend of the Irish O’Hara’s (who first immigrated to Savannah) and the foods of the American South. “Without knowing of Scarlett’s mother’s ancestry before my selection of a pound cake, Katie Scarlett O’Hara’s mother was of French decent. Maybe the Champagne Pound Cake with a Champagne Glaze was inspired!” Diane shares with her winning smile.
From Chapter XXV, Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, Macmillan & Co, New York, 1936:
“Beyond Tara was the war and the world. But on the plantation the war and the world did not exist except as memories which must be fought back when they rushed to mind in moments of exhaustion. The world outside receded before the demands of empty and half-empty stomachs and life resolved itself into two related thoughts, food and how to get it.
Food! Food! Why did the stomach have a longer memory than the mind? Scarlett could banish heartbreak but not hunger and each morning as she lay half asleep, before memory brought back to her mind war and hunger, she curled drowsily expecting the sweet smells of bacon frying and rolls baking. And each morning she sniffed so hard to really smell the food she woke herself up.
There were apples, yams, peanuts and milk on the table at Tara but never enough of even this primitive fare. At the sight of them, three times a day, her memory would rush back to the old days, the meals of the old days, the candle-lit table and the food perfuming the air.
How careless they had been of food then, what prodigal waste! Rolls, corn muffins, biscuit and waffles, dripping butter, all at one meal. Ham at one end of the table and fried chicken at the other, collards swimming richly in pot liquor iridescent with grease, snap beans in mountains on brightly flowered porcelain, fried squash, stewed okra, carrots in cream sauce thick enough to cut. And three desserts, so everyone might have his choice, chocolate layer cake, vanilla blanc mange and pound cake topped with sweet whipped cream. The memory of those savory meals had the power to bring tears to her eyes as death and war had failed to do, had the power to turn her ever-gnawing stomach from rumbling emptiness to nausea. For the appetite Mammy had always deplored, the healthy appetite of a nineteen-year-old-girl, now was increased fourfold by the hard and unremitting labor she had never known before.”
From the Savannah innkeepers at Green Palm Inn, we extend “A Hundred Thousand Welcomes”, “C’ead Mile Failte” in Gaelic, for St. Patrick’s Day 2015 and every day!
Copyright © 2015 Green Palm Inn.