st. patrick's day | the friday fifteen!

The Friday Fifteen: Éirinn go brách!

March 1, 2013

Can you seriously get over the fact that today is March 1st? I really don’t believe it. It’s impossible. Just yesterday it was October 1st, and I was baking with pumpkin, and it really seems like yesterday that I was getting ready for Christmas. Now it’s March and I have fresh daffodils on the counter and hopes for an early spring, and I’m getting ready for St. Patrick’s Day. Time flies when you’re having fun.

St. Patrick depicted in a stained glass window at St. Benin's Church, Ireland

Saint Patrick’s Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, “the Day of the Festival of Patrick”) is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on 17 March, the anniversary of his death. It commemorates Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.[2] It is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland),[3] the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church. Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official feast day in the early seventeenth century, and has gradually become a celebration of Irish culture in general.[4] The day is generally characterised by the attendance of church services,[4][5] wearing of green attire,[6] public parades and processions, and the lifting of Lentenrestrictions on eating, and drinking alcohol,[6][7][8] which is often proscribed during the rest of the season.[4][6][7][8] 

Saint Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland,[9] Northern Ireland,[10] Newfoundland and Labrador and Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora, especially in places such as Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand.

Originally, the colour associated with Saint Patrick was blue. Over the years the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick’s day grew.[12] Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick’s Day as early as the 17th century.[13] Saint Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish, and the wearing and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the day.[14][15] In the 1798 rebellion, to make a political statement, Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms on 17 March in hopes of catching public attention.[12] The phrase “the wearing of the green”, meaning to wear a shamrock on one’s clothing, derives from a song of the same name.

Being an Agnostic, I enjoy this holiday as I enjoy all others; in a secular way. I celebrate my Irish heritage and enjoy some of my favorite things- Irish beer, Irish bacon, Irish soda bread… and more beer. And of course, the coming of spring & all things green! Which may not be an official part of the celebration, but it’s always been for me. The best thing about holidays is the good food and good company associated with them, so that’s what I intend to enjoy.

And I encourage you, Irish or not, to do the same. La Fhéile Pádraig Shona Daoibh!


  1. First off, we’re gonna start with some St. Patty’s Day baking/cooking/canning ideas, straight from my archives: Irish soda cake, Irish soda muffins with caraway seeds, Irish soda cake muffins with Jameson-soaked raisins, Guinness jelly, drunken Shepherd’s pie, green velvet cupcakes, cupcakes with maple-whiskey frosting, green shamrock cookies, Bailey’s Irish cream cupcakes, Black & Tan macaroni & cheeseGuinness cupcakes, Irish potato candies, green coconut cupcakes… *takes a deep breath* I think that might be it. Go nuts. You don’t have to be Irish to eat this stuff!
  2. I love this banner! It would look adorable over a mantle or over a kitchen table. If you’re having a party, it would be even better.
  3. These pot holders from KraftyGrannysHome on Etsy! Green beer & shamrocks. My kinda theme!
  4. You all know I love themed kitchenware & housewares… so a little clover dish like this one form RaiseYourGlassShop is perfect. Put some Kerrygold cheese, Guinness jelly & crackers on it for a St. Patrick’s Day appetizer.
  5. I mentioned daffodils above… and so I have to list them here as something I’m loving lately. And also, the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days are a wonderful celebration of life.
  6. A table without Belleek on it this time of year is an empty table. They make the most beautiful pottery, and let’s not even talk about Galway crystal. Everyone talks about Waterford, and that is lovely… but Galway crystal seems to be overlooked. They have beautiful pieces as well.
  7. I’m hoping to get my hands on this Irish soda bread plate this year! Although I’m not sure if I like that one or this one with handles more… decisions, decisions.
  8. Samuel Adams Alpine Spring isn’t an Irish beer, but it’s delicious. I recommend getting the Spring Thaw variety pack; it’s filled with tons of awesome varieties, includng Alpine Spring & A KNOCKOUT Maple Pecan Porter.
  9. The Irish Pub Food cookbook I just got a few weeks ago. I’m already filled with ideas for the big day this month, just from that book. Oh, and a little from Pinterest & my sordid brain.
  10. After being coerced into seeing a (free) country music concert back in February (DON’T ASK), I admit my mind is a little more open to it than before. I was always into Johnny & June, Dolly, Waylon, Patsy Cline, etc. The old school guys & gals. And I always liked music that sounded like it belonged in O Brother, Where Art Thou? I like old school authentic blues. But I never really understood the newer stuff, except for the Dixie Chicks. To me they seemed like the rebels of country, and I liked that, especially the whole FUTK thing with Toby Keith (who I cannot stand). But now… I admit. I’m warming up to it a little bit. Not a lot. Just a little. And certainly not ALL of it. Some of it is just too horrible for me to even think about, some of it is so cheesy it makes me cringe, but there’s a little bit that’s tolerable. However, I still can’t grasp the concept of seeing idiots who live in NY wearing cowboy hats though. Ridiculous.
  11. Oh- I almost forgot. I’m a blonde again. Hurray! I knew my brief respite as a brunette wasn’t going to last long…
  12. Green-frosted shamrock cookies will always have my heart. Ever since I was a baby & the bakery by my parent’s house used to sell them, and my mom would walk me there in my stroller to get some. Literally- ever since back then, I just love shamrock cookies. Any and all kinds! But these from Bake at 350 are especially cute.
  13. This idea is just adorable. I think I have to do this! Why have I never thought of that?
  14. Martha Stewart is bringing back the print edition of Everyday Food! YAY! It’s going to be arriving only in conjunction with Martha Stewart Living subscriptions, but still. I loved that little magazine. I’m glad to see it back… digital subscriptions are just not the same.
  15. I’m very, very excited about this last one. VERY. What is it? Well.. pretty soon I’ll be getting the Le Creuset French oven I’ve been drooling over forever (!). Ahh, so exciting. I can’t wait to get it.

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