Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick’s Day in D.C.

I generally don't care about St. Patrick's Day. I love corned beef and Irish soda bread (which I've been eating it for breakfast this week, recipe below), and everyone wears green, which is my favorite color. So while I won't be going out and drinking green beer tonight, I will share with you one of the more ridiculous press releases I've received lately. This "party" happened this morning, but the idea is so absurd, I can't not post it.

St. Patrick’s Day Party at the Great Ape House with the Smithsonian National Zoo’s Orangutans and Gorillas

The National Zoo has taken St. Patrick’s Day up a notch! In keeping with a “green” theme - all the food served at the “party” to the gorillas and orangutans will be green and given as enrichment; the keepers are painting shamrocks on giant brown paper bags that are then filled with goodies: green foods that include melons, grapes, kale, etc. Both the orangutans and gorillas truly enjoy the thrill of finding the bags (strategically placed throughout their exhibits) and retrieving the food out of these giant containers. In addition, the keepers also decorate their exhibit (inside where the gorillas and orangutans actually live) with more shamrocks and green decorations.

Though it's not "green" in conservation to the naked eye, all the products the Zoo uses for this party are indeed recyclable (brown paper bags, paper shamrocks) while the food is healthy for the animals. It's a tie-in with conservation, nature, and St. Pat's Day.

If you want to celebrate in a more traditional way, whip up easy Irish soda bread.

Irish Soda Bread:

1 egg
1 1/2 C buttermilk*
2 T oil
3 C flour
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 C raisins

*To make buttermilk add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to milk and let stand for 5 minutes.


Beat egg slightly in the buttermilk. Put all dry ingredients
in bowl. Add liquid ingredients and blend well. Add raisins.

Lightly grease round cake pan. Spread dough evenly and cut a cross into the top with a knife. Bake at 350* for 50-60 minutes - check with a toothpick. Cool on rack.

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