There is almost nothing that makes me happier than having my family gathered at our house, to celebrate a holiday or even for no special reason at all. But holidays are, of course, especially fun.
St. Patty's Day is a particularly special holiday for the Pearl clan, because there is so much Irish blood flowing through our veins (well, a whole lot more of it on my husband's side than mine, but I've got some of it, too).
Our bishop gave a dispensation, so we had a green light for eating meat on this one Friday during Lent, in honor of the Emerald Isle's patron saint; therefore, I was able to make traditional Irish fare like corned beef and cabbage and beef stew.
Our three VA boys and their families came over for the evening, along with the brother of one of our daughters-in-law and his wife, who were visiting from FL. Food was eaten, drinks were drunk (but not to worry, nobody got drunk!), and a house got very messy. When 13 grandchildren ranging in age from 8 down to almost a year visit your house, there will be sticky spots on the floor afterward, and lots and lots of crumbs to vacuum. (But if you knew how much I love to vacuum, you would realize that this is not a bad problem for me to have. Ha ha! No, but really, that wasn't sarcasm: I love to vacuum!)
|Cousins make the best friends!|
We had an overabundance of food; but too much is definitely better than not enough, right?
Here are the things we had that I would definitely serve again, along with the traditional corned beef and cabbage:
2. Keogh's Sour Cream and Shamrock potato chips, from Ireland. (Yes, SHAMROCK! Did you know that shamrocks are edible?! I didn't.) We discovered them at Aldi's when we were in TN. My favorite chips ever.
3. Mule Punch--my own invention: dump one can of frozen limeade in a punch bowl, add five bottles of cold ginger beer, stir (and a few drops of green food coloring if it's March 17). That's it! Then have a shot glass nearby, with vodka for Moscow Mules, bourbon for Kentucky Mules, and tequila for Mexican Mules. It's delicious as is for the underage crowd, but spiked it becomes a tasty adult beverage.
4. These shortbread cookies, from Ina Garten
. (You can dip them in chocolate, but I left them plain.) Mouthwateringly good!
Here's what I would skip next time:
1. The Pinterest-y rainbow of fruit, with clouds (mini marshmallows) at one end and a pot of gold (gold-covered chocolate candies) at the other. It's cute and all, but not worth the trouble. Just having a bowl of cut-up fruit makes more sense, in my opinion. We had both options going and almost no one picked fruit from the rainbow.
2. I asked one of my daughters-in-law to make a veggie tray in Irish flag colors. She used carrots and peppers for the orange part, cauliflower for the white, and broccoli and cucumbers for the green. It was AWESOME, but I feel bad about all the effort she put into it. Because...dare I say this? Veggies aren't always the first thing people go for at our parties. What does that say about us Pearls?
Anyway, it's usually not really about the menu anyway, is it? It's about the people.
Especially these people. (Of the 13 grandchildren who were there, only one is missing from these two photos.)
So that's the recap of our celebration. One of our young grandsons is studying violin, so maybe someday in the future he can fiddle us some Irish tunes at our St. Patrick's Day party! Wouldn't that be grand?
I’m hanging up my St. Patty’s apron until next year, and already planning the menu for 3/17/23: maybe it will be an all-potato feast (rather than a famine)! Keough’s sour cream and shamrock potato chips with that heavenly loaded baked potato dip. Twice-baked potatoes stuffed with butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon as a main course, methinks. ☘️
Enough of that—I’ve got plenty of time to menu plan.
Slainte, dear readers! ☘️
Saint Patrick, pray for us! St. Joseph, pray for us!