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Top of the Mornin’ to Ye
St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. It requires no gifts or long speeches. No lavish meals. No expensive fireworks or costuming—though a bit of greenish bling certainly brightens the occasion. A simple necklace of green beads will get you into most any parade or pub in town.
You can celebrate anywhere with anybody, because everybody’s “a little bit Irish” on St. Patrick’s Day.
Hmm . . . Maybe We Should Be Eating Green Spaghetti
I’m convinced we celebrate the venerable saint far more than do those living on the ol’ sod. Truth be known, St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish. Maewyn Succat (his birth name) was born in the British Isles to Roman parents. So I guess that makes him Italian. All the more reason to observe the day on The Hill, if you chose.
A Foodie Celebration
When it comes to food most of us give a hat tip to St. Patrick. We down a mug of green Guinness or mix up a batch of green-tinted pancakes. Enthusiastic celebrants might cook up a pot of corn beef and cabbage or a loaf of soda bread. (Some call soda bread the “Irish fruitcake;” either you love it or hate it.)
Enough History. Let the Eating Begin
If you want to add some authentic Irish fare to your menu, forgo the lime Jello, tinted pancakes, and green beer. Or, at least, augment them with some beloved Irish recipes. This one is sure to please your clan: Irish Shepherd’s Pie. It’s one of those dishes that comes from humble beginnings, having been born out of food shortages and hard times.
‘Tis True Comfort Food
While Americans eat the ancient pie primarily on March 17th, the dish is year-round pub grub in the Irish and English countryside. The meaty-vegetable concoction topped with mashed potatoes is so named because it contains lamb. Mid-westerners are traditionally beef-eaters rather than lamb-lovers, so the beef version is often called Cottage Pie or Cowboy Pie.
(SLAAN-tye! meaning “cheers” or “health”