Hello, my name is Donna and I'm Irish. There, I said it. And I'm not afraid to flaunt it either. When March 17th rolls around, I pull out all the stops! St. Patrick's Day is a big holiday here in Rhode Island. The concentration of the Irish population in RI is very high, so that means we have another great food holiday to celebrate! I do draw the line at green beer though. Why would anyone ruin such a wonderfully outrageous beverage? What a waste!
I grew up without a clue that I had green blood flowing through my veins. It wasn't until the 7th grade when my class did a genealogy lesson that I finally knew the truth. My mother always hated the fact that she was Irish and denied it even though she knew that we knew it was true. Her mother made her wear a green skirt and blouse to school on St.Patrick's Day and all the kids razzed her. I guess she had issues with the patron saint of leprechauns! Poor Mom. I was even more Irish after I found out!
Today, my family looks forward to St. Patrick's Day all year long because they know it brings out the best in me ;-) Even my sons-in-law ~ who are as far removed from the shamrock as can be ~ become Irish for the day! Every year I go all out with the food and drinks. There's always Corned Beef & Cabbage. I buy at least 15 pounds of meat, sometimes more ~ Hey, you need leftovers! 3 big heads of cabbage, 15 pounds of potatoes, 3-4 large onions and 5 pounds of carrots. I pull out the three pressure cookers and start cooking. Oh, the intoxicating smells that come wafting from the kitchen! My son John makes a HUGE batch of Irish Soda Bread. We usually make 12-16 loaves of this freakin' good bread at a time. That's way down from the hundred or so we used to make every year. We had customers order 6-10 at a time just to put some away in the freezer for later. I make the Bailey's Irish Cream Mousse because that's what I do! And last but not least, a bucket full of Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur that is to-die-for! You can find my recipe for this liquid gold over at Suite101.
Coming up next...My personal recipe for Irish Soda Bread!
I'll leave you with a famous Irish Toast
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
The sun shine warm upon your face
The rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.
(shamrock photo by scol22,sxc)