Drowning the Shamrock

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The traditions for St. Patrick’s Day are far and wide, ranging from anything green to anything gold.

Truth be told, my family is Scottish. So, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the same way that a distant relative might. We celebrate it, but hardly with the fervor of Ireland.

And, with any distant relative, it is important to remember what traditions are important besides the obvious (see: corned beef).

I think the most interesting tradition I have learned in my familial research has been the fact that, according to History.com: “Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast–on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.”

Wait, wait, wait…Irish bacon and cabbage??

I thought it was corned beef and cabbage!!

According to WiseGeek: “The term Irish bacon has confused many an Irish person, as well as most from the UK. In Ireland and the UK it is simply referred to as bacon. This food is a close relative to what those in the US think of as Canadian bacon…”

So, why are we eating corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day? According to Irish Central:

Beef was not readily available in Ireland and was considered a luxury and that’s why the traditional Irish meal centered around ham, the bacon.” When many Irish immigrated to America, they found that corned beef was now the meat they could easily afford, and thus the tradition became.

Furthermore, at the end of the night the Irish had the custom of “drowning the shamrock,” by putting a shamrock into the bottom of their cup and drinking a toast to St. Patrick, who had brought Christianity to Ireland.

So, a toast to St. Patrick, and may the luck of the Irish be with you!

1) 5 Non-Alcoholic Green Drinks For St. Patrick’s Day

This is a really fun way to enjoy something green today! You can enjoy these at home, at work or with friends! Some of the easy recipes are “basil lemonade,” a “cool kiwi mocktail,” or a “green tea mojito,” which is only green tea, lime juice, mint leaves and sugar. This is a fun way to spice up the end of the week!

2) Alton Brown’s Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe

Well, when in America, have beef. This corned beef recipe is fantastic, hands down. Corned beef is such a tough piece to cook, since you need a low temperature and lots of time. You absolutely cannot rush corned beef…however, Alton Brown has a little trick up his sleeve. The total prep time for this dish is 243 hours and 30 minutes. Yes, you read that right. You are going to spend 30 minutes preparing a brine, and 10 days marinating your brisket in the fridge. So…maybe this is more of an “end of the month” dish than “tonight.” But it is so worth it.

3) Slow Cooker Guinness Beef Stew

Total prep time: 15 minutes. Total prep time: 8 hours. That is a little more reasonable, and something you could get going after you finish your morning coffee, and will be able to enjoy for dinner in the same day! This is a delightful recipe which not only incorporates the flavors of Ireland in its malted Guinness, but you get a hot dinner at the tail end of winter. How lovely!

4) St. Patrick’s Day Snack Ideas

If you need some ideas for snacks, these guys have you covered. There are ideas you could use for work, for school, for a potluck, for after-school, after-work, or during a movie after dinner. I am kind of a sucker for lime Jell-O, so that one stuck out in particular. But the lime sherbet floats also may have caught my eye…

5) Enchanted Learning: St. Patrick’s Day Crafts

Sometimes it is fun to jump in to some good, old-fashioned paper crafts with the kids on holidays. Enchanted Learning has always been a great resource for finding these treasures. Looking for a kissable Blarney stone? A rainbow streamer made out of a paper plate and crepe paper? A leprechaun marionette? They got you covered!

Sona Lá Fhéile Pádraig!

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