On March 17th, we celebrate the life of a great missionary of the anniversary of his death; St. Patrick. He devoted his life to serving the people of Ireland and over 1500 years later is beloved as their patron saint.
The following is an article I wrote for the Salt Lake City Deseret News that was published on Wednesday, March 11, 2015.
“Did you know that St. Patrick was an English missionary who shared the message of Christianity with the people of Ireland and that his color was actually blue? (See history.com and catholic.org.) Or that corned beef was an American food that Irish immigrants ate when they moved to New York? (See history.com.)
Facts aside, the cheery green-tinted holiday that graces March 17 provides a treasure trove of possibilities for service, celebration and fun.
Leading up to the big day, my family has a Shamrock Service Week. We each receive glittery shamrocks and the challenge to do secret acts of service for one another, leaving a shamrock to mark the spot. At the end of the week, the shamrocks are collected and sprinkled on the table as a visual reminder of the kindness we have extended and received. We also have a Leprechaun Treasure Hunt where each family member has a personal treasure hunt with a small gift left by the leprechauns, which have apparently been converted to Christianity and are now more generous than their forebearers, at least at our house.
As a caterer and artist, I tried — and ruled out — green-tinted pancakes and milk for our St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. Green egg and bacon burritos made with spinach tortillas and green smoothies were more successful. We follow the trend of serving a glazed corned beef, potato and cabbage meal; it’s a great way to enjoy a lot of healthy vegetables. We top off the day with shortbread shamrock cookies that are easy for children to make and fun to decorate with green sugar sprinkles.
GLAZED CORNED BEEF
1 corned beef brisket, about 4 pounds, rinsed with visible fat removed
1 can of ginger ale
1 tablespoon whole cloves
½ cup prepared mustard
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the corned beef fat side up in a baking pan. Cover with foil and bake for 2½ hours or until fork-tender. Drain off any liquid, then baste with the ginger ale. Score the meat and stud with the cloves.
For the glaze, stir together brown sugar and mustard, heat in a small saucepan until the sugar is melted and the glaze is almost boiling.
Brush on the glaze and return to the oven to bake for 30-40 minutes uncovered. Let the beef rest for 15 minutes, then remove the cloves, slice the corned beef across the grain and serve with additional glaze.
SHAMROCK SHORTBREAD COOKIES
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup cornstarch
green sugar sprinkles
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. With a mixer, cream the butter until soft. Add the powdered sugar and blend until the mixture is soft and fluffy, then stir in the vanilla. Sift together the flour, salt and cornstarch and add to the creamed ingredients, mixing just until the dough is crumbly and holds together.
Between two sheets of parchment or waxed paper, roll the dough to ½-inch thickness. Cut the cookies with a shamrock cookie cutter and place on ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle with green sugar if desired. Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until barely golden around the edges.”
Tamar Tephi and the High King Of Ireland
Did you know that there are old stories about 2 Jewish princesses that were taken by the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah out of Jerusalem before it fell to the Babylonians? They were Zedekiah’s daughters and great-granddaughters of Jeremiah. The stories say he took them to Egypt for safety; all of Zedekiah’s sons were killed in front of him except Mulek who escaped to America. As Egypt was about to fall, they sailed up to Spain where one eventually married into the royal family there. He then took the other to Ireland and she married the chief high king. Her name was Tamar Tephi and the sacred burial ground of Tara was built for her and her husband when they died. The interesting thing about this story is that when a DNA study of population of Europe was complete, the people with the most closely matched DNA were in Spain and Ireland. Perhaps this helps explain why the people of Ireland were interested in the message of Christianity, it came from a branch of the House of Abraham, their ancestors in the Holy Land. Remember it was the Stewart (Stuart) King James that had the Bible translated into English. I believe he was a descendant of ancestors from Israel. The lion and the unicorn in British heraldry represented the tribes of Judah and Joseph. I also read that the British Union Jack had two meanings; one was the kingdom united under King James, the other was the reuniting of the Biblical patriarch Jacob’s family.
http://familyshare.com/growth/we-owe-st-patricks-day-to-pirates-yes-pirates – An article from FamilyShare.com