16 Mar 2017

We’re going green

St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, is right around the corner, and it suddenly occurred to me that this year, we might want a wee bit more than green beer to celebrate. So, you lassies and laddies who are handy in the kitchen, listen up. We’re going to need some food. Make that Irish food.

Yes, there is such a thing, and despite an undeserved reputation of bland, mushy, tasteless fare, there are some recipes to try and Irish specialties to sample that might just change your mind—and bring you good luck. You never know.

First, set the mood for some Irish food with fun and festive leprechaun hats, shamrock boutonnieres, a lucky banner, and a candle centerpiece made with split peas—just a touch of the green to get the party going.

But let’s be truthful, it’s all about the food. A couple years ago I made real corned beef. Well as real as Martha said it had to be. And I don’t mind telling you, Irish eyes were smiling at my house. I also tried my luck at Irish soda bread, which proved perfect for sopping up every last bit on my plate, and then smeared with Kerrygold Butter and jam the next morning for breakfast.

If you like your dinner more on the stout side, you can’t go wrong with Irish Guinness Stew. And if there’s a sip or two left in the bottle, while you braise away, well then, luck is on your side.

For an Irish touch to traditional Shepherd’s Pie, try using ground lamb in place of ground beef and your guests will be weeping with happiness into their beers.

For the vegetarians in the crowd, dish up Colcannon, a traditional potatoes and greens dish that’s sure to stick to their ribs and have them toasting “Sláinteto you all evening.

And then, it’s time for dessert, or your “afters.” Irish Coffee Pudding goes down easy after a hale and hearty Irish meal. If you prefer your coffee in a cup beside something yummy on a plate, make some irresistible Black and White Irish Cream Cupcakes, have a piece of Irish Apple Cake with Irish Whiskey Caramel Sauce (yes, please), or serve Chocolate Mint Layer Cake to all your Irish chocoholics. Of course, some of you may want that cup of coffee to have a little something special, and I say what better time for an Irish Coffee to cap off the night?

St. Patrick’s Day is a great excuse to have a wee celebration, whatever you decide to serve. So, I leave you with this Irish toast to you and yours—

“May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all your heart might desire.”




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