Will you be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day today? I don’t have any Irish ancestors but like so many people around the world, have long celebrated the day in one way or another. A dear friend has taught me that life is short, and it’s good to capture and celebrate as many moments, both big and small, as you can.
I enjoyed Maggie’s post earlier this week about her memories, both old and new, of corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, her description of the corned beef and cabbage she had at the culinary school sounded so tasty I briefly looked at all of the corned beef prominently displayed in the cooler at the front of my local grocery. I have a couple friends who are making their corned beef cooked in a bit of Guinness and that also sounds interesting. I also saw a display of lamb featured prominently in the butcher’s section, but have never made Irish stew, and decided I didn’t feel adventurous enough to start today. Alternatively, many local bars and restaurants are having special St. Patrick’s Day celebrations tonight. But, I’ve had a rather stressful week and decided to do a very low keyed St. Patrick’s Day.
When I was in Dublin a few years ago I enjoyed a lot of Irish cuisine. But none of it actually involved Irish stew or corned beef and cabbage. The first thing I fell in love with in Ireland was Irish tea. So this morning, I began my day with a pot of Barry’s Irish Gold blend. I’m not sure if this is the kind of tea served in my hotel in Dublin, but it’s pretty inexpensive here — I find it in the British section of my grocery — and it brings back lovely memories of Dublin.
I had some grand plans to make Irish soda bread for the first time, but instead picked up a loaf baked at a nearby bakery. I’m enjoying a piece right now with my tea and a bit of lovely Irish cheddar cheese.
My dinner tonight will be a bit more adventurous. When I was in Ireland I enjoyed a lot of wonderful, simply prepared fish. I’m going to make cod cooked in a bit of olive oil with some lemon for dressing. Along with that I’m going to be making — for the very first time — that Irish comfort dish Colcannon. This past year I’ve developed a real fondness for kale, and the chance to add it to mashed potatoes seemed impossible to resist.
Earlier this morning I also did some reading to get into the spirit of the day. I began with an article on Why We Wear Green today at The Huffington Post. I then headed over to the Discover Ireland site and found all kinds of interesting information including a clip of a recent Dublin St. Patrick’s Day celebration. A recipe there for smoked salmon sandwiches sounds so good that I’m thinking of walking up to the store later to pick up the ingredients.
But my real mood reading will come later. Spurred on by Maggie’s article about her favorite Irish heroes, I’ve pulled out my well-worn copy of Nora Roberts Born in Fire, featuring my favorite Irish hero, Rogan Sweeney. Later this afternoon I intend to begin yet another reread of the book, while listening to some Irish music.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!