Thursday, March 17, 2011

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig

St. Patrick's Day is amongst my favorite of holidays.  Not for any reason, outside of the fact that I'm Irish,  my family is Irish, and we love Ireland.  In fact, I think I spend a lot of this time of year reminiscing about our lives in Ireland, and how I might not of appreciated it at the time, but I miss it now.

The first time I lived in Ireland was in 1999.  John and I spent a year at University College, Cork.  We had a pretty cool apartment in the city, living with a Taiwanese Medical student.  We got to travel a bit- Dublin, Galway and many other sites.  I think one of my favorite memories is traveling to Bantry Bay for the Mussel festival with John and our friend Phillip.  We spent the day eating various mussels and drinking a ton of Guinness.

The second time we lived in Ireland was 2006.  We lived in a sublet in Dublin, and I was 4 months pregnant.  Not as fun a time, as I couldn't enjoy a pint, but it was still a remarkable time.  As lazy as I am, I totally miss walking to the shoppes, and taking the bus home with a trolley full of groceries.

This St. Patrick's day, we didn't do much.  I returned to the dentist for a filling (boo!), but that gave me an excuse to grab a Shamrock shake.  I made some Guinness Bread, from a mix you can buy at Wegmans.  It's quite good- you add butter, milk, molasses (or treacle if you have it), and Guinness, then bake.  It's not bitter- both my kids enjoyed a slice.

Doesn't it look delicious?
Instead of our traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage (which we will make and consume on Saturday, at our annual St. Patrick's Day party), I made Shepherd’s Pie Twice-Baked Potatoes.  They were very delicious, and awesomely enough, it made so much that I now have a pan of Shepherd's Pie in my freezer for next week.  (And I halved the recipe!)

I didn't make any dessert.  I had wanted to do something with the kids, but we didn't get around to it.  We also didn't drink any green beer, but trust me, that's for the best.

Of course, Saturday will see many delicious treats.  Guinness (Didn't find Magners at Wegmans, how sad is that??), more Guinness Bread, Guinness Cake with Bailey's Frosting, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Cheddar with Irish Stout (omg, I can't wait to try that!)...just to name the Irish stuff.  The best part is good times with some really good friends.

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