Oh, Clancy was a peaceful man, and you know what I mean -
the cops picked up the pieces, when Clancy left the scene...
Or in modern parlance, he opened a big ol' can o' whup-ass. The refrain began, "Whenever they got his Irish up, Clancy lowered the boom!" My family has always related well to this song. We're a pretty peaceable sort, but if you get our Irish up, you'd best be getting out of the way shortly thereafter or else prepare to feel the wrath.
In addition to our temper - and probably closely linked - we tend to have a generous (by which I mean excessive) streak of good old Irish stubbornness. I have often found, when taking on grand new baking or cooking experiments, that said stubbornness is possibly as valuable a kitchen amenity as, say, the fridge. Similarly taken for granted, and yet indispensable, it's always there when I need it. This was never more true than on a recent Sunday, when it seemed like a good idea to spend the day making apple butter and cinnamon swirl bread. I had no idea that I was embarking on a journey that would make Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy look like a day in the park.
I got up at 8 a.m., knowing that the slow-cooker apple butter recipe called for 10 hours of cooking time, followed by straining the concoction. "No problem!" I