Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Kitsch-en Kounter: The Luck O' the Irish

It is possible that I've mentioned it here before, but my paternal grandparents were absolutely enchanted by the Emerald Isle.  Having seen The Quiet Man (1952) one too many times, my Yugoslavian grandfather and his Swiss wife named their kids Patrick Joseph, Jeffrey Logan, and Michael Anthony. If they'd had a daughter, there is no doubt in my mind that her name would have been - now you have to imagine this in my best John Wayne impression - "Mary Kate....Danaher."  Yep, they totally would have changed their last name to accommodate the ruse.

The Quiet Man (1952)
A wonderful movie starring John Wayne & Maureen O'Hubba Hubba...err...O'Hara

Committed to their charade, we were raised on a strong Irish-American diet of corned beef, boiled potatoes, and malarkey.  Carrying on in the faux-Irish tradition, I decided to turn to the March issue of Every Woman's Magazine from 1952 (the very same year that The Quiet Man was released) for some wacky tacky St. Paddy's inspiration.

Every Woman's: The Woman's Guide to Better Living - March (1952)

I was anything but disappointed to find a fitting recipe for our type of St. Patrick's Day festivities (totally devoid of actual Irish heritage).  I daren't fiddle with the traditional fare, but our dessert course allows for the taking of some liberties; Mary Alden's St. Pat's Peppermint Candy certainly fit the bill. 

I was sold by the first check mark; "So easy - youngsters can make it!"  I 'll take Mary Alden's word for it.
If a youngster can do it, then chances are I will think I can do it and then be shocked at my own ineptitude!

As it turns out, May Alden was not only the Director of
Home Economics for the Quaker Oats Company, she
 was a successful cookbook author.
Mary Aden's Cook Book for Children is now on my wishlist!

Full disclosure:  I used generic crispy rice instead of the called for Quaker
Oats Puffed Rice; I didn't even know they still made the stuff.  Crispy Rice may
be an adequate substitute but "Shot from Guns" it ain't!  Looking more like
Fruity Pebbles than Rice Krispies, I decided in retrospect that I should have
shot the works on name-brand cereal and upped the Irish ante with Lucky Charms! 

As per usual, the outcome of my culinary effort is decidedly less spectacular than my initial desire.  Although, I'm not sure what I had hoped for as my St. Pat's Peppermint Candies look very similar to Mary Alden's.  And really, how life-changing are crispy rice squares supposed to be anyway???

One thing I might change for future St. Patrick's Day sweets is crushing
the peppermints finer.  Allowing for larger pieces of candy (so more of
the green would show) also allowed for the possibility of a broken crown!

Because Mr. Tiny is hopping a boat for a weekend wedding, we decided to celebrate St. Patrick's Day a little prematurely and everybody dug in; the consensus was that Mary Alden had a pretty bright idea when she added crushed peppermints to the standard, rice square recipe.

By the look on his face, I knew I had at least one raving fan!

Do you get creative with your Rice Krispie treats?  What is the craziest thing you've ever added to the mix?  Whether your St. Patrick's Day is spent with all the "traditional" fixings or with a few pals down at the pub, we hope that this March 17 brings you all the luck of a rabbit's foot, a penny, and a four leaf clover!

"I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover" - Art Mooney

Cheers & Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Mr. Tiny


  1. You have me intrigued. I'm also not a bit Irish...but like to pretend I am

    1. I will admit it, I like a plain rice krispie treat better! The hard candy changes the whole dynamic and makes think I'm going to break a tooth...

  2. I love that cover of Every Woman's Magazine! But the real star of the show here, is your nephew - so adorable! :)

    1. Isn't he the cutest?!?!! I can barely stand it. Even when he is being bad, I just can't be upset with him. He already has all of us wrapped around his little finger!

  3. I get excited about the green beer. I don't get excited when they dye the Chicago River green over here?

    1. I just wonder how much green dye it takes to color the whole river!!! Growing up, my mom always put green food coloring in our water water is pretty unappetizing.

  4. How funny - I love the story about your adopted nationality. I was a European mutt - no set ethnic identity. In grade school we were asked to bring in a meal from our heritage, so I chose Swedish meatballs and colored the flag of Sweden to hang over my desk. My mom was puzzled to see me sitting there proudly - her non-Swedish daughter - claiming a country we never came frome!

    1. Hahahahaha!!!! I love that you co-opted a culture too. I wonder what drew you to Sweden in the first place. I guess we have kind of gone for Sweden in a big way too; we all drive Volvos and have spent the better part of the week at Ikea.

  5. I've put mini m & m's in a rice krispie treat batch before, and I think my mom did candy corn for halloween a couple times. Any kind of added candy is pretty much a win, right? I'd like to try some of these peppermint guys! And I love when you said your family was raised on a diet of corned beef, boiled potatoes, and milarkey...! Ain't it the truth. :)

    1. You know how some things are so obvious that they just seem to fly right over your head? Well, it happens to me all of the time. I remember the first time I went to a friend's house and her mom had put chocolate chips in the rice krispie treats. Needless to say...mind blown!!! I love RCTs as a medium for experimentation. I have made cereal treats out of other cereals too - TRIX are not just for kids, just saying.

  6. Hi! I am actually interested in buying a copy of this particular magazine. The one featured has a pink stain on it. Would you by chance have any others???