I love celebrating holidays. There’s something satisfying in marking the year with festivities. St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite ‘minor’ holidays, and this year the kids were old enough to enjoy it a little bit, too.
We started the day listening to Celtic music. The only album I have from the Gettys is their Christmas album, so we enjoyed it! From there on it was High Kings on Pandora.
I had planned on checking some books out from the library for my children, but due to several reasons, didn’t actually make it there until yesterday. So you can imagine the pickings were pretty slim. We did find one book illustrated by one of our favorites. I’m probably enjoying it more than my little folk. 🙂
A dear friend (who happens to be Irish) brought me Irish cream coffee in the afternoon and stayed for a while. She was just the sort of St. Paddy’s Day cheer I needed. I made eskimo dough (um, not Irish but delish) and we chatted and enjoyed. She didn’t even rub it in my face once that she’s more Irish than I am. That’s love!
For dinner I made Irish coddle. I have a problem with making corned beef and cabbage. The corned beef I find always tastes so salty and over-processed-probably because it is-so I was happy to find this alternative. And this was good! Simple, rich, and easy to make. And rich. Did I mention that? I think I should go herd sheep for 12 hours or work on a farm no with all the energy I have! Although, part of that is due to the coffee…
And there was gluten-free Irish soda bread! For a wheat-free person this was quite a treat. The recipe was as authentic as I could find it. And, fool-proof:) So dinner was a success and I ended up finishing both my kid’s bowls. Care to try your hand? Both recipes are below.
Finally, after dinner we made Irish flags out of construction paper. I had also printed out lots of celtic knots, so we used those to decorate the flags. I meant to investigate the significance of the knots. No doubt they each have a different meaning, or at least I think they do. They’re so interesting that I found it fun(ny) to imagine what each might mean. Caution: American working with materials not fully understood! For all I know, our little flags display some sort of message like “take three turns in the fertility dance and stand by the Celtic soft pretzel.”
I’m looking forward to teaching my kids more about St. Patrick and Ireland. While myths abound on the day’s namesake, there is quite a bit we do know about him. St. Patrick lived an extraordinary life, not one of his own choosing, and his legacy goes far beyond all things green and traditional Irish recipes. If you’re interested, here’s one article to start with.
This time it was just fun and music, and we loved it. I’ve always loved the Irish culture and pretending I’m more than just a bit Irish. And I am in spirit, if not in ancestry. I think I won’t wait til next March 17th to celebrate this mysterious, beautiful culture and the significant if enigmatic figure of St. Patrick!
How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
IRISH SODA BREAD (adapted from this recipe)
2 cups all-purpose flour (I used gf)
1 cup buttermilk, or milk + 1 T. lemon juice
1 tsp baking soda
Preaheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a baking sheet. If using milk and lemon juice, combing now and let sit for 5 minutes. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. Then form a little well in the center and pour in milk. Stir until mixed. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead a few times, just until it all comes together. Form into a round loaf, patting down, and place it on the pan. Cut a cross on the top and bake for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!
IRISH CODDLE (adapted from this recipe)
1 lb sausage
1 lb bacon
6-8 medium potatoes
1 cup beef or ham broth
1 bunch fresh parsley (I didn’t have any)
Peel and slice the onions into rings. Fry them with the bacon and sausage until meat is cooked through. Add the broth to a crockpot, and turn it on high. Wash and slice the potatoes, then lay half of them in the crockpot. Add half the meat and onions. Repeat. Add pepper to taste. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8. Go chase sheep afterwards.