Luck of the Irish - a little history lesson
Celebrating for St. Patrick's Day is energized, fun and festive. It is a holiday that you need not be Irish to enjoy! I'm a history buff, I love to learn why and how things began. St. Patrick’s Day occurs annually on March 17 in observance of the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Saint Patrick, who lived during the fifth century, is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. Born in Roman Britain, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people. In the centuries following Patrick’s death (believed to have been on March 17, 461), the mythology surrounding his life became ever more ingrained in the Irish culture: Perhaps the most well known legend is that he explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock.What began as a religious feast day in the 17th century has evolved into a variety of festivals across the globe celebrating Irish culture with parades, special foods, music, dancing, and a whole lot of green. So, go ahead and celebrate that Irishman or Irish Woman in your life!
Our Family Tradition with a Greek Twist
Over the years, things have gotten cheesy to say the least with all things St. Patty's Day Decor. I'm here to say cut the crap! Let's make this day classy, fun and filled with style. Time to keep it classy!
Decor and Design has the top spot in my heart just like history. I am gearing up to host a St. Patrick's Day feast here on Sunday. I am Irish as well as Danish and English. My husband is 100% Greek. But guess what? They celebrate their Irish family in style. My mother always cooks the traditional dinner of corn beef, cabbage and potatoes. We traditionally host it on St. Patrick's Day, but held off this year for my inlaws. My mother in law LOVES this meal and she is in Aruba, so we will wait for them until Sunday. Family celebrating together is the whole idea. Am I Right? The best, unique part of our celebration is how Greek cuisine is married in with the Irish. It is purposeful, amazing and such a reflection of our family as a whole. Wouldn't change it for the world1
My first area I plan out for a dinner party is the table. This is one of my favorite places to jazz things up for any holiday. To begin, pick a color scheme. This step is essential to creating a curated, cohesive feel in the decorations I choose for the table. It doesn't have to be green, white, and orange. That seems just too obvious at times. I love changing things up and making it unique year to year. Here are some ideas below:
Now that you have picked your color scheme, keep it consistent throughout your decor for the party. On the table, it is best to use a cream, white or ivory table cloth so the other colors will pop on the table. To the table add:
- Green Foliage: Examples include clover, evergreens, tropical leaves or plants, and herbs
- Flowers with greenery
- Fruits, Vegetables and Potatoes -- classic right?
Trending Now: Mother of Pearl
Mother of pearl is a soft, smooth shining iridescent substance forming the inner layer of the shell of some mollusks, especially oysters and abalones, used in ornamentation. It is hot in decor right now. It was in all of the showrooms in the fall markets. One way to bring this gorgeous, sophisticated trend your table is with trays or napkin rings. There are so many possibilities to add to your table. Checkout some of my finds below!
Did you know that Pantone's Color of the Year is Greenery?
Not sure how to decorate with the color Greenery? Grab a quick guide today and add the color throughout your home for St. Patrick's Day and Spring. How Perfect!
Meal Time! How do you cook corn beef and cabbage?
Ingredients: 3lbs of Corn Beef, small potatoes, carrots (i use the small snack ones and dump in), head of cabbage cut into wedges
- Place corned beef in large pot or Dutch oven and cover with water. Add the spice packet that came with the corned beef. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer approximately 50 minutes per pound or until tender.
- Add whole potatoes and carrots, and cook until the vegetables are almost tender. Add cabbage and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove meat and let rest 15 minutes.
- Place vegetables in a bowl and cover. Add as much broth (cooking liquid reserved in the Dutch oven or large pot) as you want. Slice meat across the grain.
Cook Time: 2 hours and 25 minutes
I also love Irish Soda Bread. I do not have my own recipe but found this one.....Yummy!
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup margarine, softened
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- Eggs Large White
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf.
- Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Check for doneness after 30 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.
Boozy Celebration Time!
Finally, we do need to have some cocktails at our dinner party. Create an area with a bar cart or designate a "bar" in the kitchen for your spirited cocktails and coffee.
- Buy a variety of Irish beer and spirits. Pick three Irish beers, Irish Whiskey and Baileys.
- Make a whiskey punch to place out for guests who would rather enjoy some whiskey instead of beer and not in a shot form! I found this yummy recipe online!
- Dress the bar with a beautiful green arrangement to add some color. Continue with what greenery you chose for your table to make it all feel cohesive.
- Choose a variety of stylish green glassware for your bar cart and don’t be afraid to serve beer in them! Just like with room decor, adding varying sizes, shapes and colors adds texture, interest and balance to a space.
Don’t forget the water! Perrier or Pellegrino because the bottles are green, or you can fill a large water dispenser and fill with cucumbers to continue the green color throughout your festive decor.
Use your bar food as an additional place to add some green such as olives, pistachios, Irish cheese (dubliner is my fav!) and other green snack foods for your guests to nibble on.
Be sure to include some festive Irish music. This creates the ambience and set the fun energetic tone! You may already have some of your favorites, if not, check out the Flogging Molly or Dropkick Murphy.
As I run off to begin my preparations, remember to have fun and enjoy your loved ones! Share below how you will be kicking back this St. Patty's Day!