Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! I grew up with Irish grandparents, so this was always a BIG day in my family. My grandmother would make corned beef and cabbage, my grandfather would hang a big Irish flag up over the garage, and there was a lot of singing of folk songs (never mind that no one in my family can actually sing!). It was like “My Big Fat Irish Holiday.”
Today, I’m going to go to a parade this afternoon, and a concert of Irish music tonight. There will be no singing, and probably no corned beef, and definitely none of those tall green hats, but maybe some Guinness.
A few factoids. This is the feast day of St. Patrick, who lived from around 373 to 493, and who died on March 17 (the best way to commemorate this, of course, is green beer!). The biggest parade in the US is in New York City, where an estimated 2 million people show up. The first public celebration of SPD in the US was in Boston in 1737. In New York, the Crown and Thistle tavern held a party in 1756, and in 1780 George Washington allowed his troops a holiday on March 17 (later known as the St. Patrick’s Day Encampment).
I hope you all have a bonny day! Does anyone have any fun plans?
And, in case you feel the urge to bake, here is my grandmother’s soda bread recipe (I don’t give this to just anyone!):
Irish Soda Bread
5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
I tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp, cut into cubes
2 1/2 cups raisins
3 tbsp caraway seeds
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter heavy, ovenproof 10 to 12 inch diameter skillet with 2 to 2 1/2 inch high sides. Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add butter; using fingertips, run in until coarse crumbs form. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds. Whisk buttermilk and egg in medium bowl to blend. Add to dough; using wooden spoon, stir just until well incorporated (dough will be very sticky)
Transfer dough to prepared skillet; smooth top, mounding slightly in center. Using small, sharp knife cut 1 inch deep X in top center. Bake until bread is cooked through and tester inserted comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool bread in skillet 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day back at you, Amanda! Did you also know 24% of Massachusetts residents can claim some sort of Irish ancestry (says Megan nee McLaughlin)?
I am making soda bread tomorrow, too, but not drinking green beer. I leave that for the amateurs.
I also read that wearing green is bad luck in Ireland because the fairies steal kids wearing too much green.
I’ve always been very proud of my Irish Heritage. One day, when I was well into adulthood, I asked my mother and my aunt, “During which potato famine did our Irish relatives emigrate to the US?”
They pondered a moment and answered, “Irish relatives? There might be some Irish relatives somewhere, but our ancestors mostly came from Alscace Lorainne.”
But then everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!
Well, Diane, my ancestors came both from Alsace-Lorraine and Ireland! (And other bits of Germany. And heaven knows where else). So you can borrow some of my Irish bit if you want. 🙂
Amanda, thanks for the recipe! I definitely want to try it. Looks extremely yummy.
As to what I’m doing today… Nothing Patrickish, I’m afraid. Will visit a historic soda fountain for lunch. And probably see “Amazing Grace” (yay, Ioan Gruffudd! Also just recently rewatched “Fantastic Four”, which is another Yay, Ioan! And then the sequel’s coming out this summer…)
Sorry, where was I?
Cara (whose “King” is the Irish version)
Happy St. Pats! 🙂 Alas, nothing green here. . . and my bubbly was ginger ale. LOL 🙂 You know, I’m not even seeing anything green around me. Hmm. And no Irish in the family, that I know of. So I’m rather boring. LOL
Oh wait. . . I do have a lot of Pierce Brosnan movies. 🙂 There, some irish in me after all. LOL 🙂
No green beer here, either! Just normal-colored beer. 🙂
The parade was fun! A plethora of step dancers and disorganized Irish setters! Plus bagpipes, oddly playing “Scotland the Brave”
No green beer here, either. Just some Celtic music on the CD player and maybe some scones.