I feel oddly committed to the Saint Patrick's Day holiday. Or, well, maybe it's not so odd. I do have the maiden name O'Neill. Growing up I thought it was such a cool last name even though that apostrophe caused so much trouble in computer systems. Not to mention, there is enough Irish in my father for him receive dual citizenship. Some of that got past down to me - somewhere about 25% Irish. That's enough to make my Irish eyes smile. Oh, and fun fact, if I had been born a boy, my name would have been Patrick. That's all pretty Irish.
To celebrate, my mom would cook corned beef and cabbage for Saint Patrick's Day when I was growing up. However, my dad would tell you that this is one of the last things you'll actually find in Ireland for Saint Patrick's Day. He actually can say this because he has been to Ireland. He's been more than me (I've been once). The first trip was when we all went together as a family. I was much younger - high school, I believe - and all I recall eating was tomato soup and brown bread. Oh, and there was an Italian restaurant I really enjoyed. I also remember being very cold. Beautiful, but cold.
Okay, enough of my Irish jibber jabber and memory lane stuff. Let's talk celebrating. Every year, I make an effort to have a meal, treat, and/or craft. Generally, they end up being something green, Guinness, rainbow, leprechaun, or shamrock themed. But I hate it when someone says, I made avocado toast and deem it Saint Patrick's Day fare. That's all wrong. Just wrong. I want to be a little more authentic, but it's tough to do and not as cute or fun. So I tried to find a middle ground.
I started by consulting Wikipedia to be sure I was accurately informed on Saint Patricks' Day. I learned that Saint Patrick was thought to bring Christianity to Ireland. Green is associated with Catholics in Ireland and that it's said Saint Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity. So we can say green and shamrocks are authentic. Of course, Guinness is authentic. I'm not sure about the rainbows, though. Now that we know what's more authentic, let's talk food and crafts.
I opted for stews because, from my experience, Ireland is cold and stews warm you up. Also, they feel similar to a corned beef and cabbage style meal. Although, a few years ago, I made this Dublin Coddle and colcannon and both were delicious. However, they are time-consuming, and well toddlers and time-consuming don't belong in the same sentence. Crockpot meals are what I'm all about. Or, you could just do a corned beef sandwich. Yup, we did that last year.
I had a hard time finding treats that fit my Irish authentic criteria. I didn't want them so gimmicky but still wanted them to still be fun. I noticed for some reason people use mint for Irish goodies. Is this really an Irish flavor, or is it just because it's green? Hmm, I wonder. If you're okay with the mint thing, then these chocolate mint chip cookies are a yummy option. Or, if you think Lucky Charms are the answer, then these white chocolate lucky charm cookies are for you. You could make brownies and put green Tic Tacs on top...oh wait, that was my grandma. And please don't do that, lol. Also, I have tried Guinness brownies in the past. I didn't like them much as there was definitely a taste of Guinness (and I don't like Guinness). Go figure, Guinness brownies has a taste of Guinness. Anyway, I decided to stick with cookies with one wild card, a sweet Irish Soda bread.
There are the food options. What do you think? I didn't want to throw out a ton of options and overwhelm you. If you need more ideas, I wrote a ton up last year. The ones listed above, though, are all things I'm seriously considering making for Saint Patricks Day. Although, honestly, it falls on a Saturday this year and Saturdays are usually our take-out meal day. I might not be so committed to Saint Patricks Day that I give up my "no cooking dinner day." Maybe I'll make it Sunday instead. Or, I might just make a treat and skip the meal. No shame. No shame at all.
Arts & Crafts
I love doing arts and crafts, but with an active two year old, it can be difficult. He's attention span is short or he wants to do something with the craft that I did not intend. Like coloring, he will scribble for one minute and then decide the crayon is a hose and run around the house making a hose sound. I try to be the "let him be messy" mom, but I'm naturally quite the opposite. I want to tidy the minute something is misplaced. We used paint for Valentine's Day and he had a blast, so I'm going to dive into Saint Patrick's Day with a no worry attitude. Wish me luck!
I'll be lucky if I get one of these things done. And I don't mean one per category (dinner, treat, craft), I mean one of these things listed. I will need the luck of the Irish, eh?
What are you doing for Saint Patrick's Day?