Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona

As his life wound down, the honorable missionary who had served the people of Ireland for so long and so well was venerated with the holiday we know as St. Patrick’s Day. It is said the people mourned his death for an entire year.

According to the History channel:


“Much of what is known about Patrick’s legendary life comes from the Confessio, a book he wrote during his last years. Born in Great Britain, probably in Scotland, to a well-to-do Christian family of Roman citizenship, Patrick was captured and enslaved at age 16 by Irish marauders. For the next six years, he worked as a herder in Ireland, turning to a deepening religious faith for comfort. Following the counsel of a voice he heard in a dream one night, he escaped and found passage on a ship to Britain, where he was eventually reunited with his family.

According to the Confessio, in Britain Patrick had another dream, in which an individual named Victoricus gave him a letter, entitled “The Voice of the Irish.” As he read it, Patrick seemed to hear the voices of Irishmen pleading him to return to their country and walk among them once more. After studying for the priesthood, Patrick was ordained a bishop. He arrived in Ireland in 433 and began preaching the Gospel, converting many thousands of Irish and building churches around the country. After 40 years of living in poverty, teaching, traveling and working tirelessly, Patrick died on March 17, 461 in Saul, where he had built his first church.

Since that time, countless legends have grown up around Patrick. Made the patron saint of Ireland, he is said to have baptized hundreds of people on a single day, and to have used a three-leaf clover–the famous shamrock–to describe the Holy Trinity. In art, he is often portrayed trampling on snakes, in accordance with the belief that he drove those reptiles out of Ireland. For thousands of years, the Irish have observed the day of Saint Patrick’s death as a religious holiday, attending church in the morning and celebrating with food and drink in the afternoon. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade, though, took place not in Ireland, but the United States, when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City in 1762. As the years went on, the parades became a show of unity and strength for persecuted Irish-American immigrants, and then a popular celebration of Irish-American heritage. The party went global in 1995, when the Irish government began a large-scale campaign to market St. Patrick’s Day as a way of driving tourism and showcasing Ireland’s many charms to the rest of the world. Today, March 17 is a day of international celebration, as millions of people around the globe put on their best green clothing to drink beer, watch parades and toast the luck of the Irish.”

After visiting 6 countries in Europe , we found the Irish to be among the very best hosts. Our meal in a pub at Waterford was one of the culinary highlights of our month-long adventure.

Blarney Castle nnear Cork, Ireland
There may have been some kissing of the Barney Stone involved.
Even the trees look magical.
All of the leprechauns we saw had already been captured.

Our St. Patrick’s Day Feast Menu

Every year we have a fanciful feast on St. Patrick’s Day, as much as I wish we could share it together – the practical thing is to share our favorite recipes:

Spicy baked cheese fondue with crudites and croutons

Mustard-glazed roast corned beef

Garlic colcannon

Dijon-buttered cabbage

Irish soda bread

Apple blueberry crisp

Roast asparagus and carrots

Cheesecake and Leprechaun treasure dessert

Mustard-glazed corned beef

This is so tasty, you may never go back to old-school boiled corned beef.   

Preheat the oven to 350. Place fat side up in a baking pan
1 corned beef brisket, rinsed, don’t use the spice packet
  Cover with foil, bake for 2 1/2 hours or until fork-tender. Drain, score with a knife,    stud with
whole cloves
   baste with 
1 can Vernor’s ginger ale
   brush on glaze, return to oven and bake for 30 – 40 minutes uncovered. Let cool for 15 minutes,
       slice across the grain


   Stir together   
1/2 C prepared mustard
1/2 C + 2 TBSP brown sugar


    Cut in half, remove core and cut into 1/2″ slices
1 medium head of cabbage
    Steam covered for 6 to 8 minutes until crisp-tender, drain, drizzle with Dijon butter and season
    with sea salt and pepper.

1/2 C butter
   Stir in
2 1/2  TBSP Dijon mustard


The leprechauns keep this hidden until the end of the meal for good reason. You might wish to dig out a Halloween cauldron to serve this dessert sprinkled with gold (chocolate) coins; this treasure has layers of rich chocolate goodness. You can make your own or buy these ingredients:

1 pan of brownies (9″ x 13″ size)
1/2 gallon good-quality mint and chip ice cream
fudge sauce
whipped cream
shaved chocolate


   Bake brownies according to package directions, then cool and break into large chunks

   Warm in a sauce pan
1 1/2 C heavy cream
   Add and stir until melted
16 oz. milk chocolate chips or chocolate bars, chopped
1 tsp vanilla


    In a chilled bowl, whip until soft peaks form
1 1/2 C heavy cream or whipping cream
1/4 C powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla


In a cauldron or other container, layer
fudge sauce
ice cream
fudge sauce
ice cream
fudge sauce
whipped cream

Sprinkle with shaved chocolate and serve with gold coins

Our favorite family-friendly Irish-themed movies for a wee bit o’ entertainment

Starring a gorgeous young Sean Connery

(For more adult tastes)

And a drawing lesson for your wee ones!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQXvBKUDinE

Video by Art For Kids Hub

And our wishes for you in the coming year