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Wednesdays with Wade: The Story of “Ben and Me”

Though the Fourth of July was weeks ago, Wade Sampson pays tribute to a particular patriotic animated featurette that Walt Disney Studios released back in 1953.



“I think it is high time all these things got straightened out in the public mind. Walt Disney has gotten hold of all the facts in the case. Mr. Disney has always been very decent to us mice.”

— Amos Mouse (As voiced by Sterling Holloway) in the trailer for ” Ben and Me”

“The story of a mouse that lived in Ben Franklin’s hat.”

— Walt Disney in his introduction to “The Liberty Story,” a 1957 episode of ABC’s “Disneyland” television series

I know, I know. It’s closer to August 1st than it is to the Fourth of July. But still my mind keeps drifting to that holiday. The Fourth of July is one of my favorites, you know. I love the hot dogs & watermelon, the homemade lemonade and the fireworks.

So — to get myself back in a sort of Fourth of July mood — I just a tape in the VCR of one of my favorite cartoons from childhood, “Ben and Me.” Which is reportedly finally going to be released on DVD as part of one of the upcoming “Disney Treasures” multi-disc sets.

Based on the book by Robert Lawson, “Ben and Me” tells the “true” story of the inventive churchmouse who was actually the brains behind Benjamin Franklin. Amos Mouse and his cleverness and common sense helps inspire such innovations as bifocals, Franklin’s “Poor Richard’s Almanac” newspaper, the Franklin Stove and the Declaration of Independence and much more. Of course, his participation in Franklin’ s experiments with electricity has tragic results that thankfully gets resolved in time to help the United States get born.

“Ben and Me” was originally released on November 11. 1953. It was on the same bill as “The Living Desert.” In fact, Buena Vista Pictures was created to release this theatrical program when RKO balked at releasing a full length True Life Adventure film.

” Ben and Me” was the first Disney animated featurette. It was made in Technicolor and ran about twenty-five minutes. Walt felt that an animated featurette could be paired with a live action feature to make a complete program of Disney entertainment. Some stories were too long for the standard short but not sufficient to maintain a feature.

“Ben and Me” was nominated for an Academy Award in the two reel short subject division. The winner for two reel short subject that year was Disney’s True-Life Adventure “Bear Country.” The winner for one reel short subject was Disney’s “Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom.”

The inspiration for the featurette was the original book “Ben and Me: An Astonishing Life of Benjamin Franklin” that was published in 1939. It was written and illustrated by Robert Lawson. Lawson was the illustrator of Munro Leaf’s “Ferdinand the Bull” that Disney had made into an Oscar winning short cartoon in 1938.

Lawson also wrote “Mr. Revere and I” about Paul Revere’s horse, the mare Sheherazade, saved from the glue factory by Sam Adams. She and Paul Revere make the ride that changed the course of history.

“I have never, as far as I can remember, given one moment’s thought as to whether any drawing that I was doing was for adults or children. I have never changed one conception or line or detail to suit the supposed age of the reader. And I have never, in what writing I have done, changed one word or phrase of text because I felt it might be over the heads of children. I have never, I hope, Insulted the intelligence of any child. And with God and my publishers willing, I promise them that I never will,” stated Lawson. It was a philosophy that echoed Walt Disney’s own philosophy about family entertainment.

After he illustrated “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” Little, Brown and Company asked Lawson to illustrate another book and to suggest a subject that would interest him. He wrote an outline of “Ben and Me” and sent it off to Little, Brown. They immediately wrote back that while they liked the concept, they could not possibly think of any author who could do justice to the odd story, and Lawson would have to do it himself.

The publication of “Ben and Me” in 1939 demonstrated his ability to write as well as to illustrate. Lawson has been awarded both the Caldecott and Newbery Medals. The Lawson’s’ home, called “Rabbit Hill,”was the original setting for the book by that name written and illustrated by Lawson. Robert Lawson died at Rabbit Hill, Westport, Connecticut, in 1957 so he did get to see “Ben and Me” delight audiences in theaters.

Famed Disney storyman Bill Peet did the primary adaptation with additional dialogue supplied by Winston Hibler, Del Connell, and Ted Sears. The adaptation kept fairly close to the source material but added some scenes and humor that helped focus the slight story.

The film was directed by Hamilton Luske. Luske had joined the Disney Studio in 1931 as an inbetweener and became an animator in 1934 on the “Silly Symphonies.” At the time, he was a sequence director on “Peter Pan” and would soon move into being a sequence director on “Lady and the Tramp.”

In addition to his work on the features (which would even include work on “Mary Poppins“), Luske may be best known for his work on educational shorts like “Donald in Mathmagicland” and “Scrooge McDuck and Money.” Luske’s directorial assistant on “Ben and Me” was Rusty Jones.

Animators included Wolfgang Reitherman, Ollie Johnston, John Lounsbery, Hal King, Cliff Nordberg, Les Clark, Marvin Woodward, Don Lusk, Hugh Fraser, Jerry Hathcock, Eric Cleworth, Harvey Toombs, Hal Ambro, Merle Gilson, Milt Kahl, Eric Larson, Bob McCrea, and Art Stevens. Dan McManus did some effects animation and art direction was by Ken Anderson and Claude Coats. Backgrounds were by Al Dempster, Thelma Witmer, and *** Anthony. Oliver Wallace did the music.

Sterling Holloway is the only voice credited on the film. According to Disney Archivist Dave Smith, Holloway, Hans Conried, Bill Thompson, Charlie Ruggles, and Stan Freberg were all in to record voices for the film during January 1952, but the files do not specify which roles they recorded.

However, their voices are so distinctive, it is easy to tell that Holloway did the voice of Amos Mouse who narrated the story, Charlie Ruggles was a genial Ben Franklin, Hans Conried (who had just finishing voicing Captain Hook for “Peter Pan”) was a fiery Thomas Jefferson, Bill Thompson (who had just finishing voicing Mr. Smee for “Peter Pan”) was the guide at the beginning of the featurette as well as the Governor Keith and some bit roles, and obviously the talented Stan Freberg filled in some miscellaneous parts as well.

Charles “Charlie” Ruggles was one of the most popular comedy character actors of the 1930’s and 1940’s. Usually playing a henpecked husband or a genial, eccentric character, he appeared in about eighty movies including the well-known “Ruggles of Red Gap” in 1935. While he was recording the voice of Ben Franklin, he was appearing on his television show, “The Ruggles” (1949-1952). The show featured Margaret Kerry as his teenaged daughter. At this time, Margaret had just recently done live action reference modeling for the role of Tinker Bell in “Peter Pan” .

Years later, Ruggles provided the voice of Aesop in the Jay Ward cartoon series “Aesop and Son”. He also appeared in several live action Disney films including “The Parent Trap“(1961), “Son of Flubber“(1963), “The Ugly Dachshund” (1966) and “Follow Me Boys“(1966).

Although Sterling Holloway’s first Disney work was as the messenger stork in “Dumbo” (1941), Walt Disney was apparently aware of Holloway’s work on radio since — in a memo dated August 9, 1934 — he recommended Holloway as the voice of Sleepy in “Snow White.” The part eventually went to Pinto Colvig.

Despite his many memorable voices for Disney characters including Kaa the Snake, the Cheshire Cat and Winnie the Pooh, Holloway only voiced one other mouse: Roquefort the gentle mouse in “The Aristocats” (1970). Holloway is also known to Disney fans as a narrator of Disney cartoons like ” Peter and the Wolf.” His first narration was as “Professor Holloway” in “The Three Caballeros” (1945) telling the story of “Pablo the Cold Blooded Penguin.”

To help promote Disney’s first featurette, a DELL comic book (Four Color No. 539 illustrated by Al Hubbard released in 1954) and a Sunday comic strip version of the film were released. In addition, a Little Golden Book storybook (adapted by Campbell Grant and originally numbered “D-37” in the Simon and Schuster edition), a Cozy Corner Book (adapted by Earl Klein and released by Whitman Publishing in 1954 as well) and a recording of the “Ben and Me” theme “You and Me” by composer Ollie Wallace were offered to eager audiences. WD Classics Collection released an Amos sculpture in 2003 with a specially designed pin.

I first saw “Ben and Me” in black and white on a rerun of the Disney television series, “The Liberty Story” that was originally shown on May 5, 1957. The first half of the show was a promotion for the then-in-release live action feature, “Johnny Tremain.”

However, the second half was “Ben and Me” preceded by Walt Disney informing the audience that a small bookcase with books had been located in a church basement when it was being torn down and since the books seem to have been written by a mouse, it was natural to send the books to Walt. Walt even showed an old newspaper describing the find. As a child, I believed every word because, after all, Walt walked over to a mouse-size bookcase that was attached to his regular bookcase where he normally pulled a volume of literature to introduce a show.

Years later (after I had wised-up), I did discover that new animation written by Peet and directed by Luske had been added to “The Liberty Story.” In the new introduction, Amos introduced his early ancestors before he moved into the story of how he helped Ben Franklin. I don’t know whether that new animation will be included in the forthcoming DVD release (and true be told, you can tell that it was quickly done “television” animation and it barely blends with the lusher animation of the animated featurette) but I am glad that a new generation will be able to celebrate the Fourth of July whenever they’d like by watching this little animated gem.

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Jens Dahlmann of LongHorn Steakhouse has lots of great tips when it comes to grilling



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Sure, for some folks, the Fourth of July is all about fireworks. But for the 75% of all Americans who own a grill or a smoker, the Fourth is our Nation’s No. 1 holiday when it comes to grilling. Which is why 3 out of 4 of those folks will spend some time outside today working over a fire.

But here’s the thing: Though 14 million Americans can cook a steak with confidence because they actually grill something every week, the rest of us – because we use our grill or smoker so infrequently … Well, let’s just say that we have no chops when it comes to dealing with chops (pork, veal or otherwise).

So what’s a backyard chef supposed to in a situation like this when there’s so much at steak … er … stake? Turn to someone who really knows their way around a grill for advice. People like Jens Dahlmann, the Vice President and Corporate Executive Chef for Darden Restaurant’s LongHorn Steakhouse brand.

Given that Jens’ father & grandfather were chefs, this is a guy who literally grew up in a kitchen. In his teens & twenties, Dahlmann worked in hotels & restaurants all over Switzerland & Germany. Once he was classically trained in the culinary arts, Jens then  jumped ship. Well, started working on cruise ships, I mean.

Anyway … While working on Cunard’s Sea Goddess, Dahlmann met Sirio Maccioni, the founder of Le Cirque 2000. Sirio was so impressed with Jens’ skills in the kitchen that he offered him the opportunity to become sous-chef at this New York landmark. After four years of working in Manhattan, Dahlmann then headed south to become executive chef at Palm Beach’s prestigious Café L’Europe.

Jens Dahlmann back during his Disney World days

And once Jens began wowing foodies in Florida, it wasn’t all that long ’til the Mouse came a-calling. Mickey wanted Dahlmann to shake things up in the kitchen over at WDW’s Flying Fish Café. And he did such a good job with that Disney’s Boardwalk eatery the next thing Jens knew, he was then being asked to work his magic with the menu at the Contemporary Resort’s California Grill.

From there, Dahlmann had a relatively meteoric rise at the Mouse House. Once he became Epcot’s Food & Beverage general manager, it was only a matter of time before he wound up as the executive chef in charge of this theme park’s annual International Food & Wine Festival. Which – under Jens’ guidance – experienced some truly explosive growth.

“When I took on Food & Wine, that festival was only 35 days long and had gross revenues of just $5.5 million. When I left Disney in 2016, Food & Wine was now over 50 days long and that festival had gross revenues of $22 million,” Dahlmann admitted during a recent sit-down. “I honestly loved those 13 years I spent at Disney. When I was working there, I learned so much because I was really cooking for America.”

And it was exactly that sort of experience & expertise that Darden wanted to tap into when they lured Jens away from Mickey last year to become LongHorn Steakhouse’s new Vice President and Corporate Executive Chef. But today … Well, Dahlmann is offering tips to those of us who are thinking about cooking steak tips for the Fourth.

Photo by Jim Hill

“When you’re planning on grilling this holiday, if you’re looking for a successful result, the obvious place to start is with the quality of the meat you plan on cooking for your friends & family. If you want the best results here, don’t be cheap when you go shopping. Spend the money necessary for a fresh filet or a New York strip. Better yet a Ribeye, a nice thick one with good marbling. Because when you look at the marbling on a steak, that’s where all the flavor happens,” Jens explained. “That said, you always have to remember that — the higher you go with the quality of your meat — the less time you’re going to want that piece of meat to spend on the grill.”

And speaking of cooking … Before you even get started here, Jens suggests that you first take the time to check over all of your grilling equipment. Making sure that the grill itself is first scraped clean & then properly oiled before you then turn up the heat.

“If you’re working with a dirty grill, when you go to turn your meat, it may wind up sticking to the grill. Or maybe those spices that you’ve just so carefully coated your steak with will wind up sticking to the grill, rather than your meat,” Dahlmann continued. “Which is why it’s always worth it to spend a few minutes prior to firing up your grill properly cleaning & oiling it.”

Photo by Jim Hill

And speaking of heat … Again, before you officially get started grilling here, Jens says that it’s crucial to check your temperature gauges. Make sure that your char grill is set at 550 (so that it can then properly handle the thicker cuts of meat) and your flattop is set at 425 (so it can properly sear thinner pieces of meat).

Okay. Once you’ve bought the right cuts of quality meat, properly cleaned & oiled your grill, and then made sure that everything’s set at the right temperature (“If you can only stand to hold your hand directly over the grill for two or three seconds, that’s the right amount of heat,” Dahlmann said), it’s now time to season your steaks.

“Don’t be afraid to be bold here. You can’t be shy when it comes to seasoning your meat. You want to give it a nice coating. Largely because — if you’re using a char grill — a lot of that seasoning is just going to fall off anyway,” Jens stated. “It’s up to you to decide what sort of seasoning you want to use here. Even just some salt & pepper will enhance a steak’s flavor.”

Then – according to Dahlmann – comes the really tough part. Which is placing your meat on the grill and then fighting the urge to flip it too early or too often.

“The biggest mistake that a lot of amateur cooks make is that they flip the steak too many times. The real key to a well-cooked piece of meat is just let it be, “Jens insisted. “Of course, if you’re serving different cuts of meat at your Fourth of July feast, you always want to put your biggest thickest steak on the grill first. If you’re also cooking a New York Strip, you want to put that one on a few minutes later. But after that, just let the grill do its job and flip your meat a total of three or four times, once every three minutes or so.”

Of course, the last thing you want to do is overcook a quality piece of meat. Which is why Dahlmann suggests that – when it comes to grilling steaks – if you’re going to err, err on the side of undercooking.

“You can always put a piece of meat back on the grill if it’s slightly undercooked. When you over-cook something, all you can do then is start over with a brand-new piece of meat,” Jens said. “Just be sure that you’re using the correct cut of meat for the cooking result you’re aiming for. If someone wants a rare or medium rare steak, you should go with a thicker cut of steak. If one of your guests wants their steak cooked medium or well, it’s best to start with a thinner cut of meat.”

Photo by Jim Hill

As you can see, the folks at Longhorn take grilling steaks seriously. How seriously? Just last week at Darden Corporate Headquarters in Orlando, seven of these brand’s top grill masters (who – after weeks of regional competitions – had been culled from the 491 restaurants that make up this chain) competed for a $10,000 prize in the Company’s second annual Steak Master Series. And Dahlmann was one of the people who stood in Darden’s test kitchens, watching like a hawk as each of the contestants struggled to prepare six different dishes in just 20 minutes according to Longhorn Steakhouse’s exacting standards.

“I love that Darden does this. Recognizing the best of the best who work this restaurant,” Jens concluded. “We have a lot of people here who are incredibly knowledgeable & passionate when it comes to grilling.”

Speaking of which … If today’s story doesn’t include the exact piece of info that you need to properly grill that T-bone, just whip out your iPhone & text GRILL to 55702. Or – better yet – visit prior to firing up your grill or smoker later today. 

This article was originally published by the Huffington Post on Tuesday, July 4, 2017

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Brattleboro’s Strolling of the Heifers is a sincere if somewhat surreal way to spend a summer’s day in Vermont



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Some people travel halfway ‘around the planet so that they can then experience the excitement of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona. If you’re more of a Slow Living enthusiast (as I am), then perhaps you should amble to Brattleboro, VT. Where – over the first weekend in June – you can then join a herd of cow enthusiasts at the annual Strolling of the Heifers.

Now in its 16th year, this three-day long event typically gets underway on Friday night in June with a combination block party / gallery walk. But then – come Saturday morning – Main Street in Brattleboro is lined with thousands of bovine fans.

Photo by Jim Hill

They’ve staked out primo viewing spots and set up camp chairs hours ahead of time. Just so these folks can then have a front row seat as this year’s crop of calves (which all come from local farms & 4-H clubs) are paraded through the streets.

Photo by Jim Hill

Viewed from curbside, Strolling of the Heifers is kind of this weird melding of a sincere small town celebration and Pasadena’s Doo Dah Parade. Meaning that – for every entry that actually acknowledged this year’s theme (i.e. “Dance to the Moosic”) — …

Photo by Jim Hill

… there was something completely random, like this parade’s synchronized shopping cart unit.

Photo by Jim Hill

And for every piece of authentic Americana (EX: That collection of antique John Deere tractors that came chugging through the city) …

Photo by Jim Hill

… there was something silly. Like – say – a woman dressed as a Holstein pushing a baby stroller through the streets. And riding in that stroller was a pig dressed in a tutu.

Photo by Jim Hill

And given that this event was being staged in the Green Mountain State & all … Well, does it really surprise you to learn that — among the groups that marched in this year’s Strolling of the Heifers – was a group of eco-friendly folks who, with their  chants of “We’re Number One !,” tried to persuade people along the parade route not to flush the toilet after they pee. Because – as it turns out – urine can be turned into fertilizer.

Photo by Jim Hill

And speaking of fertilizer … At the tail end of the parade, there was a group of dedicated volunteers who were dealing with what came out of the tail end of all those cows.

Photo by Jim Hill

This year’s Strolling of the Heifers concluded at the Brattleboro town common. Where event attendees could then get a closer look at some of the featured units in this year’s parade…

Photo by Jim Hill

… or perhaps even pet a few of the participants.

Photo by Jim Hill

But as for the 90+ calves who took part in the 2017 edition of Strolling of the Heifers, once they reached the town common, it was now time for a nosh or a nap.

Photo by Jim Hill

Elsewhere on the common, keeping with this year’s “Dance to the Moosic” theme, various musical groups performed in & around the gazebo throughout the afternoon.

Photo by Jim Hill

While just across the way – keeping with Brattleboro’s tradition of showcasing the various artisans who live & work in the local community – some pretty funky pieces were on display at the Slow Living Exposition.

Photo by Jim Hill

All in all, attending Strolling of the Heifers is a somewhat surreal but still very pleasant way to spend a summer’s day in Vermont. And that’s no bull.

Photo by Jim Hill

Well, that could be a bull. To be honest, what with the wig & all, it’s kind of hard to tell. 

This article was originally published by the Huffington Post on Sunday, June 4, 2017

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Looking to make an authentic Irish meal for Saint Patrick’s Day? If so, then chef Kevin Dundon says not to cook corned beef & cabbage



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Let’s at least start on a positive note: Celebrated chef, author & TV personality Kevin Dundon – the man that Tourism Ireland has repeatedly chosen as the Face of Irish Food – loves a lot of what happens in the United States on March 17th.

“I mean, look at what they do in Chicago on Saint Patrick’s Day. They toss all of this vegetable-based dye into the Chicago River and then paint it green for a day. That’s terrific,” Kevin said.

But then when it comes to what many Americans eat & drink on St. Paddy’s Day (i.e., a big plate of corned beef and cabbage. Which is then washed down with a mug of green beer) … Well, that’s where Dundon has to draw the line.

Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon displays a traditional Irish loin of bacon with Colcannon potatoes and a Dunbrody Kiss chocolate dessert. Photo by Tom Burton. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

“Green beer? No real Irishman would be caught dead drinking that stuff,” Kevin insists. “And as for eating corned beef & cabbage … That’s not actually authentic Irish fare either. Bacon and cabbage? Sure. But corned beef & cabbage was something that the Irish only began eating after they’d come to the States to escape the Famine. And even then these Irish-Americans only began serving corned beef & cabbage to their friends & family because they had to make do with the ingredients that were available to them at that time.”

And thus begins the strange tale of how corned beef & cabbage came to be associated with the North American celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day celebration. Because – according to Dundon – beef just wasn’t all that big a part of the Irish diet back in the 19th century.

To explain: Back in the Old Country, cattle – while they were obviously highly prized for the milk & cheese that they produced – were also beasts of burden. Meaning that they were often used for ploughing the fields or for hauling heavy loads. Which is why – back then — these animals were rarely slaughtered when they were still young & healthy. If anything, land owners liked to put a herd of cattle on display out in one of their pastures because that was then a sign to their neighbors that this farm was prosperous.

“Whereas pork … Well, everybody raised pigs back then. Which is why pork was a staple of the Irish diet rather than beef,” Dundon continued.

So if that’s what people actually ate back in the Old Country, how then did corned beef & cabbage come to be so strongly associated with Saint Patrick’s Day in the States.? That largely had to do with where the Irish wound up living after they arrived in the New World.

“When the Irish first arrived in America following the Great Famine, a lot of them wound up living in the inner city right alongside the Germans & the Jews, who were also recent immigrants to the States. And while that farm-fresh pork that the Irish loved wasn’t readily available, there was brisket. Which the Irish could then cure by first covering this piece of meat with corn kernel-sized pieces of rock salt – that’s how it came to be called corned beef. Because of the sizes of the pieces of rock salt that were used in the curing process – and then placing all that in a pot of water with other spices to soak for a few days.”

And as for the cabbage portion of corned beef & cabbage … Well, according to Kevin, in addition to buying their meat from the kosher delis in their neighborhood, the Irish would also frequent the stores that the German community shopped in. Where – thanks to their love of sauerkraut (i.e., pickled cabbage) – there was always a ready supply of cabbage to be had.

“So when you get right down to it, it was the American melting pot that led to corned beef & cabbage being found in the Irish-American cooking pot,” Dundon continued. “Since they couldn’t find or didn’t have easy access to the exact same ingredients that they had back in Ireland, Irish-Americans made do with what they could find in the immediate vicinity. And what they made was admittedly tasty. But it’s not actually authentic Irish fare.”

Mind you, what Kevin serves at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant at Disney Springs (which – FYI – Orlando Magazine voted as the area’s best restaurant back in 2014) is nothing if not authentic. Dundon and his team at this acclaimed gastropub pride themselves on making traditional Irish fare and then contemporized it.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

“Take – for example – what we serve here instead of corned beef & cabbage. Again, because it was pork – rather than beef – that was the true staple of the Irish diet back then, what we offer instead is a loin of bacon that has been glazed with Irish Mist. That then comes with colcannon potatoes. Which is this traditional Irish dish that’s made up of mashed potato that have had some cabbage & bacon mixed through it,” Kevin enthused. “This heavenly ham – that’s what we actually call this traditional Irish dish at Raglan Road, Kevin’s Heavenly Ham – also includes some savory cabbage with a parsley cream sauce as well as a raisin cider jus. It’s simple food. But because of the basic ingredients – and that’s the real secret of Irish cuisine. That our ingredients are so strong – the flavors just pop off the plate.”

Which brings us to the real challenge that Dundon and the Raglan Road team face every day. Making sure that they actually have all of the ingredients necessary to make this traditional-yet-contemporized Irish fare to those folks who frequent this Walt Disney World favorite.

“Take – for example – the fish we serve here. We only used cold water fish. Salmon, mussels and haddock that have been hauled out of the Atlantic, the ocean that America and Ireland share,” Kevin stated. “Not that there’s anything wrong with warm water fish. It’s just that … Well, it doesn’t have the same structure. It’s a softer fish, which doesn’t really fit the parameters of Irish cuisine. And if you’re going to serve authentic food, you have to be this dedicated when it comes to sourcing your ingredients.

Copyright Mitchell Beazley. All rights reserved

And if you’re thinking of perhaps trying to serve an authentic Irish meal this year, rather than once again serving corned beef & cabbage at your Saint Patrick’s Day Feast … Well, back in September of last year, Mitchell Beazley published “The Raglan Road Cookbook: Inside America’s Favorite Irish Pub.” This 296-page hardcover not only includes the recipe for Kevin’s Heavenly Ham but also it tells the tale of how this now-world-renown restaurant wound up being built in Orlando.

On the other hand, if you happen to have to the luck of the Irish and are actually down at The Walt Disney World Resort right now, it’s worth noting that Raglan Road is right in the middle of its Mighty St. Patrick’s Day Festival. This four day-long event – which includes Irish bands and professional dancers – stretches through Sunday night. And in addition to all that authentic Irish fare that Dundon and his team are cooking up, you also sample the fine selection of beers & cocktails that this establishment’s four distinct antique bars (each of which are more than 130 years old and were imported directly from Ireland) will be serving. Just – As ucht Dé (That’s “For God’s Sake” in Gaelic) – don’t make the mistake of asking the bartender there for a mug of green beer.

“Why would anyone willingly drink something like that?,” Dundon laughed. “I mean, just imagine what their washroom will look like the morning after.”

This article was originally published by the Huffington Post on Friday, March 17, 2017

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