St. Patrick's Day celebrates the Roman Catholic feast day of the patron saint of Ireland who died on March 17, 461.
But did you know that St. Patrick wasn't even Irish?
The Origins of St. Patrick's Day
Born in Roman Britain, St. Patrick's birth name was Maewyn. He was kidnapped into slavery and brought to Ireland. Where he later escaped to a monastery ⛪ in Gaul (France) and converted to Christianity. In 432 he returned to Ireland as a missionary. ✝️ Patrick became a bishop and after his death was named Ireland's patron saint. Celebrations in Ireland were understated. It wasn't until the Irish emigrated to the U.S., that they created the bigger celebrations and parades that we know today. The celebrations became a way for the Irish to connect with their roots after they moved to America. Unlike its American counterpart, St. Patrick's Day in Ireland is still primarily a religious festival.
According to legend St. Patrick used the three leaf clover ☘️ (or shamrock) to explain the Trinity. However, this story did not appear until more than 1000 years after St. Patrick's death. In ancient Ireland, the Celtic people revered the shamrock as a sacred plant because it symbolized the 🌱 rebirth of spring.
Corned beef and cabbage
This is an Irish American dish. 🍲 Cabbage has long been a staple of the Irish diet, but it was traditionally served with Irish bacon, not corned beef. Irish Americans were so poor they could not afford Irish bacon. On St. Patrick's Day, the best meal they could afford was beef and cabbage. It has now become a staple for the holiday.
- 3 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet
- 10 small red potatoes
- 5 carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
- 1 large head cabbage (2-3/4 pounds), cut into small 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.
The most common traditions on St. Patrick's Day include wearing green, enjoying Irish folk music and food, and by consuming large quantities of Irish beer 🍺 (sometimes dyed green) or other Irish liquors. Enjoying Irish Tea ☕ is a relatively new tradition started by me when I discovered Stash Single Serve Super Irish Breakfast Black Tea this year. I am loving the full bodied taste and its superb reddish color. This Super Irish Breakfast Tea ☕ is a more caffeinated version of the regular Irish Breakfast. While Irish Breakfast is usually blended with an Asam tea base, this Super Irish Breakfast has even more Asam, which makes the tea maltier, richer and more full-bodied. This robust and invigorating tea definitely pays tribute to the Irish, who are well-known for their love of strong teas.
When is Tea Time?
The Irish drink a cup of tea ☕ in the mornings and anytime during the day. Just like the English and Scottish, taking tea is customary in Ireland. 🇮🇪 Traditional teas are taken at 11:00 a.m. and served with scones. Afternoon tea is generally served between the hours of 3 and 5 with a not too sweet cookie, and high tea is typically served at 6:00 p.m. with all the trimmings. 🍰 I say that anytime is the right time to enjoy this deep, dark, and delightful tea.
This is a simple butter cake that is great with tea or coffee.
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- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9-inch round pan.
- In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated; stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. If the batter is too stiff, a tablespoon or two of milk may be added. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack, then turn out onto a serving plate. Dust with confectioners' sugar right before serving.
What are your St. Patrick's Day traditions? How do you celebrate?