My mother received her love of All Things Irish from my great-grandmother who had emigrated to the U.S. from Ireland before settling in Upstate New York. With Mom in charge of family holidays, we started celebrating St. Patrick’s Day as soon as February rolled into March which culminated in a traditional Irish-American meal on the 17th. After that, we needed the rest of the month to recuperate! Mom never let us forget our Irish roots.
Sadly, neither my great-grandmother nor my mother passed along any cherished family recipes to mark the occasion. But that hasn’t stopped me from serving at least a few of these comforting foods and spirits on St. Paddy’s Day in memory of my mother and in honor of my Irish heritage:
- Irish Soda Bread (best made with buttermilk, with caraway seed, dried currants and golden raisins mixed in for good measure)
- Lamb or Beef Irish Stew, served with colcannon (a blend of russet potatoes, cabbage, milk, green onions and butter) or
- Corned Beef and Cabbage, served with boiled red potatoes, carrots and other root vegetables
- Shortbread Cookies, Chocolate Mousse, or Chocolate Cupcakes – or all three! – for dessert
Now it wouldn’t be a true Irish celebration without one of these favorites on hand, would it?
- Irish Whiskey or Irish coffee (Add 1 to 1- 1/2 ounces of whiskey and a teaspoon of sugar to 6 ounces of strong black coffee. Top with whipped cream.)
- Guinness or Harp
Ah, it’s great to be Irish!
What about you, Wanderboomers? Tell us how you plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and/or share the foods that remind you of your family heritage and childhood.