Wednesday, March 18, 2015

AM~Erica Took in a Wee Bit o'the Irish

So anyway...

Yesterday was one of the biggest international holidays. It's a religious holiday that has become quite secular. And it's a holiday that comes out of the Emerald Isle...but has been turned into an insane spectacle in the United States. This shouldn't be a shock.

Only if you live in a cave would you probably have no idea that yesterday was, in fact, St. Patrick's Day.

Parades breaking out everywhere, folks dressing like leprechauns & crazy people in all green, downing corned beef & cabbage with a green beer...


Oh! And it's a day when everyone seems to find Irish heritage in them, whether it's there or not.

I do come from some Irish decent. This honestly shouldn't surprise anyone.

And I am quite proud of the Irish that runs in my veins.

Also, I do try to always tweak what foods we consume & how to dress as part of a more authentic celebration. I have yet to take in a parade. I try to catch the big KC one when it's aired on TV, but haven't been able to work going.
(Hey, Dad...maybe we should consider being in it for the Shanahans? Just a thought.)
Part of how the parades started was when Irish immigrants used the day, in New York, as a political statement. They were looked down upon & they wanted to show their pride in their people...and to show that they were people, too.

I have been having several conversations with people who have been going thru some of my struggles (reminder HERE), as well as those who have loved ones they have lost or who are struggling. Not sure what's in the air, but it seems to be a lot...or...more people are willing to step out to discuss it. Between that being a little overwhelming (in a good way), and then reminiscing my Irish heritage thru my grandmother...I had a great wave of emotion come over me. It's been really difficult for me to do regular running lately, and I'm behind. But I just needed to run. So much on mind, it needed my mind cleared. I was not fully prepared or fueled properly, but I needed the run. So, to lift my spirits a bit more, of course I needed to put together an Irish-inspired cosTUTUme that I had planned to wear for an Irish race...that I never got to run due to schedules.

Yeah...I did a short run around the neighborhood like this. And, it did help. I did feel better. Good thing, I had food to prepare!

Now then, you know I had to go as all out as possible while I celebrate...even if it's by myself.

I did begin the day, of course, with coffee. I even saved enough to enjoy an Irish Coffee:

Isn't it beautiful? I have a confession about it, though: it contains no whiskey. It was early in the day & I needed it to actually help me function! So there's brown sugar, coffee, Irish Creme creamer, and some whipped topping with a sprinkling of cocoa bean/coffee bean/sugar ground together on top along with a pinch of green sugar. And I have about 8 of these Irish Coffee glass mugs that I found at the dollar store!

Originally, I had planned to enjoy some Irish oatmeal for breakfast, but I found St. Paddy's Day specific Lucky Charms!!

Uh...yeah. In original AND chocolate! So I mixed the two together for some fun to start the day with. Never hurts to have a bit of craic.

As I got ready, I know that green is the typical was actually the color of St. Patrick! Most Irish won't wear's actually more of an American thing. Go figure. (So is the pinching thing, too.) I have several Irish sweaters & hoped it would actually cool back off enough to wear one of them. With it being around 70 & 80 degrees lately, I was a bit concerned. It did, however, cool off to be in the 50' an Irish-style sweater it was!

A navy fisherman's sweater with an old green broomstick skirt seemed to be perfect! Topped off with my Irish-like shawl/wrap & pinned with my grandmother's tiger eye brooch made for a pretty fitting Irish outfit. I may have to wear it when I go to Ireland! Well...someday...

I did fix some lunch that worked in the Irish oatmeal & some Barry's Irish Breakfast tea!

The oatmeal included some buttermilk, honey & a bit o' brown sugar; the tea had milk & honey added to it. It was delicious!

As I had the KC parade tuned it on the television, I decided to start prepping some of the dinner I had planned.

First, I want to keep getting the lesson out there that corned beef & cabbage is NOT Irish!!
You could say it's Irish-American. See, a staple meal for the Irish was bacon & cabbage (Irish bacon is more like Canadian bacon, not the strips we tend to fry up)...but when the immigrants came over, they found they couldn't afford their bacon & had to go with a more affordable option (at that time) of corned beef...which they bought from Jewish markets. They didn't want corned beef...they had to make do. And right now, beef is at an all-time high. So having the corned beef & cabbage...or even a not accurate. There's even an article from that says that corned beef & cabbage is as Irish as spaghetti & meatballs, and as American as apple pie. BOOM.

OK, now that I've had to put that out there AGAIN, and since our non-pork eater would not be with us, we could have a much more authentic meal! Typical meats for the Irish are pork & lamb. Lamb is not as easy to get a hold of around here, but pork can be found in abundance! So...I roasted up some pork loin with Irish herbs & served it up with Colcannon, Irish Soda Bread (which I added a little thyme to for the meal...but will definitely stick to the most simple from now on), cider glazed roasted carrots & onions, plus some potato cakes for the boys.

It was SO good, people!! I still haven't had time to make my Irish Creme Apple Cake. So there was no dessert...but we were so full, it didn't even matter! But I'm still planning on making it.

The day was hard to plan. My hubby had a day full of meetings, even having to travel to a meeting; Teen Boy had to stay after school for a bit; Lil Guy was staying late at school for chess club. We didn't even know if my hubby would make it home for dinner. But we had dinner late as I was trying to work around schedules as a chauffeur for the boys while trying to make dinner late enough in case hubby was home for it. Turns out hubby made it home & we got to enjoy the feast together.

We didn't get to take in an Irish movie again. I'm always going to be optimistic about future celebrations, though.

Now, it's time to plan for St. Joseph's Feast tomorrow...and then cardigans & sneakers to honor Mr. Rodger's birthday on Friday.

Busy, busy with celebrations!! March is full of 'em!

Hope you had a great St. Paddy's Day! And next year, I will try to start getting some of these lessons of St. Patrick's Day out sooner.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

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