As I sit here attempting to find some funny words to inspire you to celebrate in Irish style, I am listening to stories oflast year's horror in Japan on the BBC. This jolly week that heralds in spring is took on a much greyer tone. What I know of St Patrick's and the Irish plight in general is full of sadness, strife and strain. What makes people want to be Irish for at least one day? The Celts and their Saint Patrick always found a way to rise above the grey and celebrate life.
One legend of St Patrick is that he was born in Great Britain and kidnapped at the age of sixteen. He spent six years as the slave of an Irish chieftain. Using the time wisely, he learned about celtic culture, including language and indigenous religions, finding solace in his own faith. He finally fled his captor after a prophesy told him his ship was waiting. Indeed it was, after a 200 mile walk took him to the wild west coast of the Ireland.
After some time travelling St. Patrick returned to England and became a Priest choosing Ireland as his mission. Banishing the island's snakes and or savage faiths made him the patron saint of Éire and his death on March 17th is remembered.
Over a thousand years and many struggles later, Irish in Boston formed a parade or protest, to make a political statement about the poor treatment they were subject to. It caught on and for hundreds of years Irish citizens have seen it as a cause to celebrate their heritage. Today rivers and fountains flow with green water in remembrance. Our presidents now mark March as the month to commemorate the Irish. Around the world people dedicate a toast to St Patrick's chosen home. Which includes a national holiday in Montserrat, all night revelry in Argentina and month long parades and fetes throughout another Island nation, Japan.
Again this year for St Patrick's day I am going to travel. I will wake up with the sunrise and walk through rolling hills, imagining I am in Tipperary. While enjoying a cup of Irish breakfast tea, I will try a new recipe for Spotted Dog, envisioning the coziness of a thatched roof cottage in Donegal. I will visit a farmers market to get the freshest ingredients necessary for an Irish feast in Galway. I will watch a parade, pretending I am in Dublin and visit a pub that could be in Belfast. I will come home to a table laden with farm cheese, Irish stew, Steak & Kidney pudding, soda bread and Guinness. Such a grand time will wind down with a proper Irish Coffee. Every toast to be had will be for those in Japan. May they continue to do what they have done before, overcome, prosper and celebrate like the Irish.
What are you doing for St Patrick's Day?
My favorite St Patrick's day menu includes:
Some of what you've shared:
- We are celebrating St. Patrick's Day with a simple boiled dinner of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. Gluten-free of course!
- Happy St. Patrick's Day! William Baines
- Since I retired from the Springfield Public Schools, I have a ladies luncheon to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. It's mostly Irish cousins/wives of, my sisters and a few local friends. There's weraing of the green, corned beef, some Irish coffee, and a lot of laughs. If your travels take you to Wilbraham, plan to stop by! A happy St. Pat's to you and your parents. Linda Moriarty
- Julie...this is lovely! Enjoy.
Posted by Marisa Procopio
- I am going out to dinner with my husband for our anniversary. We were married on St. Patrick's Day in 2007. Abby Dejnak
- Unfortunately most of my St. Patrick’s day will sent working. After work I plan to make a dinner of Corned Beef and Cabbage and enjoy a Guinness. Thanks for sharing your day! April Minnich
- Going skiing!!
Posted by Charlene Smolkowicz
- Traditionally I bake Irish Soda Bread (no seeds) and I have a glass of Guiness Stout to go with the bread. Corned Beef and Cabbage with boiled potatoes is traditional, but some years I will have fish instead. One year I prepared a multi-course dinner with all foods in an Irish theme including a terrine with the colors of the Irish Flag: Green - spinach; White - cauliflower and potato; and orange - carrot and garnet sweet potato. It was a lot of fun, especially for my Italian American guests. Mark Darragh
- Mark - that sounds very interesting! To be honest mid week and with a pile of people to sort I don't spend too long cooking but one very traditional meal is Boiled Ham with Cabbage cooked in the water served with mashed potatoes - very tasty.
Another lovely one is Champ - again mashed potatoes with butter and cream through with lots of chopped scallions and a knob of butter on the top -- cholesterol etc -- ouch!Delicious! We used to have that at home in Holywood, Co Down!
Another one from the Co Fermanagh area and again with potato is Boxty Potatoes which can be adapted - they are mashed potato with grated raw potato mixed through, add a little beaten egg to "hold" the mixture ( S+P etc), maybe a little flour added if needed and fry in spoonfuls on the pan - they fluff up and are lovely with grilled bacon or this chopped on top and then topped with grated cheese and toasted --
Posted by Marie Cruickshank
- On the road for work today, but I'm sure I'll find my way to O'Brien's Corner in Springfield for lunch!
Posted by Edmund Bird
- We Irish love the potatoes - don't we? I just finished baking Irish Soda Bread using currants instead of raisins. Also, I baked Guiness cup cakes which are rich and chocolately. The recipe was in Cooking light a few years ago for a Guiness cake using sour cream but I subbed using buttermilk. Very moist a oh so good! Enjoy the holiday.
The parade is over in NYC and the pubs are filling up fast.
Posted by Mark Darragh
- I'm on my 8th pint of black stuff in an Irish pub we've just watched a video a of bare knuckle fighting and the barmaid keeps coming round with green vodka kelly shaped like Irlenad. jelly. and i'll keep giongo for as lonfg as poss thenhave a kebab -put thaton ur blog
Posted by Martin Lee
- Shanon Marie • Hey Julie,
Happy St. Pats! How beautiful your day has been as you have painted a wonderful picture. I will have tea with a nip of whiskey on the side with scones.
- Do you think I should come over for next year to NYC ??? I know Boston they used to or maybe still do -- make the sea green --???
Here in Scotland they don't do anything - maybe privately in families etc. Tonight I did Boxty potatoes as mentioned earlier ( with finely choppped onion when husband wasn't looking -- he hates the look of them -- but a NECESSITY in life! Don't tell him!! ) Served with crispy bacon and grated cheese under the grill -- some left over for tomorrow!!
We will go out for a meal Friday as week-end to a local restaurant so no cooking etc but they now have lime green walls ---
Saturday is a local classical concert with a Georgian pianist -- Sunday is a buffet lunch with him and others and all in Georgian style - will be very interesting!!
- Janet Woodward • Watching the Rugby on TV, hoping the right team win......
- Elizabeth Jones • Irish Breakfast tea is a favorite at our house...have never tried the spotted dog...may have to give that one a go. Oh dear...now the dogs are running, you don't think they can read do you? <s> Great recipes as always Julie!
Photo Credit: Getty Images