So soon after Valentine’s Day, we take down our red decor and opt for the green. Being the only holiday, since the turn of the 10th century, that was once known in Ireland as “The Feast Day” of St. Patrick’s, takes place during the Catholic season of Lent, where on 3/17, it became an official feast day for the Catholic church since the beginning of the 17th century. As a cultural and religious holiday, celebrated by millions of people, they are excused from dietary restrictions in order to fete on corned beef and cabbage, boiled potatoes and carrots. Even Hallmark has its stakes on the greeting card market where the sales of such top anywhere from 8-15 million cards each March.

Historied on the 17th day of March , it honors Ireland’s most acknowledged patron and legendary Saint, and the arrival of Christianity, who sacrificed his life on this day in 461, and he wasn’t even Irish.

The young Brit’, named “Maewyn”’s life is more interesting than the myth. A story of an amazing life of pain and suffering-self doubt and struggles, but ultimately of faith and hope in world which was falling apart around him. His father served as a magistrate, he was a spoiled, rebellious young Roman, living the life of 5th century Britain elite when he was kidnapped from his family’s estate at the age of 16 and sold into slavery. For 6 years he endured brutal conditions watching his masters sheep’s on a lonely mountain in a strange land.

One day he escaped and returned to his homeland, traveling in the shadows of piracy, starvation and many other challenges into the welcoming arms of his family and was assumed to retake his life of the privilege, instead, lacking all his formal education, he went to France where he studied for priesthood. In early 432, named “Patricius”, by Pope Celestine I, which means noble in Latin, was sent to Ireland as a christian missionary to bring a new way of life to the same people who had enslaved him facing opposition, threats and even criticism from jealous church officials, maintaining his faith and persevered in his Irish mission.

What items are familiar with St. Patrick’s Day? First the Shamrock, credit is due to “Patricious” whose teachings about the doctrines of the holy trinity, illustrated the Christians teachings of 3 persons in God. The small-three-leaf shaped plant, appeared on the UK.’s coat of arms with the English Rose, Scottish thistle which have all become central iconic symbols for St. Patrick’s Day. The highest number of leaves found in a clover, recorded by Guinness Book Of World Records was 14. You have a 10,000 in 1 chance of finding a three leaf clover to a lucky 4 leaf version of which love-hope-faith and luck represent. Today there is 34.7 million US residents with Irish ancestry, which is 7x’s the population of Ireland and also the 2nd most reported ancestry behind Germans. Currently 144,588 US residents are born in Ireland, and as far as secularism, over centuries, it’s focus on Irish ancestry and culture has made a bigger impact on celebrations around the world with parades and festivals.

The Irish Flag, The trio of colors represent as follows: Green- Catholics, Orange-Protestants, and the white, the wish for harmony.

The Leprechaun: The little fairies who work day and night mending shoes of other fairies. Shillelagh: A small walking stick, or and Irish stout, or a forest that once stood in County “Wick-low.”

•Another legend of the legendary Saint, was that he single-handed drove the snakes from Ireland by beating a drum. To this day, Ireland is still not populated by snakes.

The crazy traditions include many weird and fun facts at the same time.

•In 1962, Chicago dyed the Chicago River like Philadelphia and NYC to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day first held in Boston. 40 #’s of dye is what it takes to dye the river green for a day…

•The very first parade was not held in Ireland, rather in Boston around 1937. An estimated 1 million spectators watched the longest recurring civilian parade in the world in which Irish soldiers of the English military took to the streets.

•On any given day, 5.5 pints of Guinness (famous Irish stout) are consumed around the world. On St. Patrick’s Day, that number more than doubles to over 13 million.

Corned Beef Tips and Suggestions:

My favorite St. Patrick’s Day recipes, also corned beef and cabbage also a New World Dish!

Often relished by Irish-Americans and M-a-Irish-for-a-Day Americans or at the very least a once-a-year tradition!

It is an almost forgotten flavor in Ireland.

To “corn” something is simply to preserve it in a salty brine. In days before refrigeration, “corning” was essential for storing meat. The current multi-continent trend of Chefs looking to the past for inspiration coupled with a craze among food-lovers for all things cured, this briny classic is poised for a comeback.

•When buying corned beef, be sure to get “ready-to-cook” not precooked. The meat should be nice and firm and not bright pink. If it’s too pink, “they’ve used too many nitrates.”. Brisket is the most common cut of corned beef you’ll find at the supermarket, get the leaner cut if you can find it. Cooking this recipe and other holiday special recipes you have, are a great thing to pass on from one generation after generation.
To keep your carrots, onions, and cabbage from turning to mush, use large pieces. You can also add white turnip or rutabaga. To keep your meat from getting tough, keep it covered with water or beef broth at all times and once you have come to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and let it simmer along gently. How do you know if it’s cooked? A carving fork or skewer should come right out of your meat without lifting it. Serve with preferably, Yukon Gold potatoes, which is as close as you’ll get to Irish potatoes in the US. Use lovely and fresh-tasting vegetables, and a savoy cabbage which boast a buttery like taste. A simple salad of organic greens or mixed greens and garlic should round out your meal.

As a condiment, real mustard is the stuff to serve, the ready mixed mustard is for wimps. And what would you drink with this fabulous meal? A Guinness, or a Beamish Irish stout.

The Recipes:

Ready in 8 hrs 10 min. Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

2 1/2-3 lb. of corned beef brisket, package juices and spices included.

2 large onions, peeled and cut in 8th.

2 cups of beef broth

1 can of young’s or Guinness or Beamish stout.

1 medium red onion, sliced thinly

2 tbsp. Brown sugar

2 bay leaves

3 tbsp. Red wine vinegar.

8 medium carrots, cut lengthwise and in chunks

2 med. white turnips, in chunks

1 med. head of cabbage, in wedges

Directions:

1. Peel and cut onion, and place in bottom of cooking pot or crock pot.

2. Opened corned Beef package and pour juices into your cooking pot, place your beef on top of the onions, and then sprinkle with the spice pack and add other spice ingredients. Pour the broth over the broth, and add with can of stout. Arrange the red onions on top of the beef.

3. Cook crock pot on low for 4-5 hours, turn the beef over and cook another 4 hours.

4. During the last two hours of cooking, add the car

5. Remove vegetables when tender, reserve juices.

6. Cut beef across the grain into slices and serve all together to enjoy.

And then of course, you can make corned beef sandwiches, with or without sauerkraut,

corned beef hash, Beef and cabbage bake, quiches, Irish Egg Rolls, Reuben Pizza, that is if there’s beef left!

Happy Fooding! Happy St.Patrick-ing! Keep your notes coming Scrappy fans! We love to hear from you  E-Mail: [email protected] Keep Staying tuned….Coming still, big news to share with you…Soon, I hope you’ll be excited as we are!~and the last words~May the blessings of each day be the blessings you need most.” Irish Blessing.

Credits: A. Oxford University, B. Edna Barth; All about American Holidays World Book, C. Guinness Book of World Records

 

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