Here’s how I see St. Patrick’s Day. You’ve just gotten over Valentine’s Day and here comes another holiday. At least this one wasn’t started by Hallmark. You decide it’s nice to think of green and Spring being just around the corner. . Maybe you’ll pot up some of that beautiful moss to bring indoors. You see some clover while you’re out there and add a few for the holiday. Very tasteful and natural. No fuss.
Later the kids start talking about making leprechaun traps in their bedroom and you smile at how creative your children are. Later still, you get annoyed by the mess of the leprechaun traps and how difficult it is to get into their rooms. Maybe it was really a parent trap. Just a few more days before that has to go.
|Green Pepper Shamrock Pizza|
You think about making some kind of green food for the kids since they enjoy the holiday so much. You consider making green cupcakes and those cute English muffin pizzas with the green pepper “shamrocks.” Wait, English muffins? Oh well, everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, right? There’s always my favorite guacamole. That’s green even if it’s Tex-Mex. Wow, we’re getting very international with this. I wonder if they’d like that very green punch we called Grinch punch at Christmas time.
|Quick, Easy Irish Soda Bread|
Maybe about this time you start thinking there should be something that’s authentic: Irish food as a cultural learning experience. You discover that Irish Soda Bread is very quick and easy to make. Perfect! You are feeling like you are educating your children now beyond the wearing of the green. Green? Oh, no, they have to wear something green to school on St. Patrick’s Day or they will come home covered in pinch marks! You thrash through their drawers only to find no green, not even a speck of green. Girls can wear a green hair ribbon, but there’s nothing so simple for boys. The next day you rush out during your lunch hour to buy the greenest shirts you can find to prevent everlasting trauma to your sons.
|Frozen Grapes in White Wine|
You start thinking maybe you and your spouse could have green pizza with artichokes, spinach, green onions, green peppers, and chicken when the kids have shamrock pizzas. And how about a little white wine with that and some frozen green grapes in the wine? Cute. Mmm, maybe a little Bailey’s after the kids are in bed. Love that stuff.
We could invite our friends over for some of that. Why not? We could make Guinness corned beef and cabbage in the crockpot. Easy-peasy. Serve it with the Irish soda bread. Yum. And darned authentic. Do we have enough green food coloring to tint lighter colored beers green?
I can make a fancy Bailey’s Irish Cream drink that looks like a sundae. I even have Mom’s copycat recipe for Irish Cream. This would be great with Luck-of-the-Irish Mint Chocolate Chip Brownies. Do we have enough glasses? Can we borrow some? Can we get your cousin to dress up as a leprechaun and pass drinks?
|Luck of the Irish Brownies|
Wait, didn’t we say our parties would be potluck from now on? We better get on the phone and see who can bring what.
I’m so glad the kids like St. Patrick’s Day!
I don’t always celebrate every holiday in a big way. I just do what fits our schedule and my energy levels. I like holidays in that they add some cheer to our everyday lives. In a way, they are a necessity. They are a break from routine and help us blow off a little steam. It’s when the holiday prep starts to make us more stressed that it becomes a problem. For example, I like homemade Halloween costumes for the creativity and fun. But I was never one to put in hours on a sewing machine to make sure my kids had the best costumes at the party. Some people enjoy that; I don’t. I like to to KISS–Keep It Simple Stupid. Do what works best for you. I skip some holidays some years and celebrate them other years. It’s nice to have traditions that the kids remember, but it’s also nice for them to remember a sane parent! That said, have fun!