There is something about St. Patrick’s Day that brings out the Iris cook in all of us. At least it seems to have this effect on the women in my family. If you are not of Irish decent it may not have quite this profound effect upon you. If you are, then I’m quite certain you will understand what I mean by this. There’s something about revisiting traditions that may have been lost in the fog of coming to a new world and adopting a new way of life that is lifted on this one day of the year. As a result old favorite recipes handed down from mother to daughter over the centuries come out and grand meals are prepared.
If your mother wasn’t of Irish decent and you do not have a stockpile of wonderful Irish recipes in your inventory there are a few great websites on the Internet that offer excellent recipes that have already been converted to standard American measurements that will have Irish eyes and any eyes that think they might wish to be Irish smiling once again.
Corned beef and cabbage is a favorite. In our house we add great things like potatoes and carrots to the recipe. This is a great meal because it can be put in the crock pot before the work of the day begins and with very little effort is simply waiting on you to be ready for dinner time. No real effort is necessary in creating an outstanding feast that many will think you’ve had to miss a parade or two in order to prepare. Just make sure you hide any throws you might have caught and they will never know that you were out having fun and drinking green beer along with everyone else in the neighborhood.
Lamb stew is another great dish to put on your St. Patrick’s Day table. There are also slow cooker or crock pot recipes available for this family favorite if you take the time to search them out. This is a stick to your ribs kind of meal that is very popular in cooler climates for the St. Patrick’s Day festivities. This makes a great lunch or dinner for this great day and goes quite well with Irish Soda Bread.
Shepherd’s pie is another hale and hearty meal that is a wonderful addition to the St. Patrick’s Day festivities. This dish is a favorite among those who have tried it and might just become a staple recipe in your kitchen if you haven’t managed to prepare it before. There are many recipes online though I recommend going the path of least resistance and finding the simplest recipe possible.
No Irish meal is really complete without potatoes of some kind on the table. Keep this in mind no matter which meal you cook. There must be potatoes in order to complete the meal or it simply cannot be authentically Irish. This may be a slight exaggeration but you should take a moment to make sure that there are potatoes for this particular event because it’s just a very Irish thing to do.
Of course Irish coffee and green beer are quite often the drink choices for St. Patties day celebrations and they are never a bad choice, provided someone not drinking those drinks is doing the driving. If alcohol isn’t your beverage of choice it is definitely not a requirement. However, if you are feeling particularly in line with the green theme of St. Patrick’s Day you could make a green milk shake, a green smoothie, green powdered drink mix, or any other green drink that comes to mind. The drinks and even the colors aren’t really all that important in the end. It is all in good fun at this point even if it isn’t Irish in nature. There are some days when it just pays to be green despite the fact that Kermit still claims, “it ain’t easy being green.”
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