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St Pats Day Dinner

by Linda Shiflett

Until I sat down to a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner at Club Deportivo in San Carlos, I had always thought St. Pat’s was just a day that you wore green or you were going to get pinched. My first St. Patrick’s Day dinner at Club Deportivo was an experience in itself. I have never eaten food that tasted so good! And, I have been to Ireland, where the food was very good, but not the same as this. Recently, I was visiting with Chef Nancy Leras and I asked her to jot down what she does to make this dinner so memorable. She is a busy lady and I was quite pleased when she wrote me a detailed letter explaining her process.

The following is a summary of what Chef Leras told me: The day after the Valentine’s Dinner, she starts the process of corning the beef briskets. To do it right without injecting the chemicals, it takes almost 30 days. They mix commercial chemicals (powders) with water and put the briskets into plastic garbage cans (used only for this process), as no metal must touch the liquid or the meat during the corning. The garbage cans go into refrigeration, where the meat stays, turning it about once each week. On March 15th, the meat is washed off and put into electric roasters filled with the solution that has been thinned with water, and brought to a boil, then turned down to 325 degrees for about four hours. She then allows the meat to cool. The meat is cut and stacked upright. When stacked, some of the liquid is added; the meat is warmed and is ready to serve. Then the potatoes, carrots and cabbage are prepared for the meal.

The meal includes a salad bar, bread, macaroni, fruit, vegetables and a desert bar. On St. Patrick's Day, Club Deportivo serves over 235 people.

This is a meal that some think about nearly a year in advance. The Club Deportivo ticket policy is that all tickets are sold at the Banamex Bank, San Carlos, Monday–Friday, 9:30 a.m. until noon, on a first-come, first-served basis. The price of the dinner is not decided until the middle of February when the meat is purchased. The January dinner, which was half of a baked chicken, spaghetti with meat sauce, and a salad and dessert bar, was US$8 or 110 pesos.

Club Deportivo is a non-profit organization, staffed by volunteers. Volunteers do everything—teaching ceramics, exercise and dance classes; preparing monthly dinners; bartending; bridge; bingo; Performing Arts Council Concerts; scholarships; and so much more. They also help several other local organizations such as Rescate, Lions Club, SBPA (animal feeding, spay and neuter clinics), schools, and even help sponsor the Viva San Carlos website. For more info call 227-0048.

So, as we are sitting there, enjoying this to-die-for meal, we are also helping our community. A delicious dinner and a good cause for all. Remember, tickets are limited and are usually gone in a few days!

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