St. Patrick's Day Party:
How To Do It Right
About 39 million Americans claim to have some Irish in them -- that might be why we go nuts on St. Patrick's Day! It is a grand celebration of culture and there's a lot of tradition that goes with it. Here are a few ideas you need to include in your party to celebrate St. Patrick's Day right.
It's not uncommon for St. Patrick's Day revelers to drink green beers in travel mugs for the dozens of parades around the country, but that's an American tradition rather than an Irish tradition. If you want to take the authentic route, going with Guinness as your drink of choice is a legitimate Irish beverage that both Irish and Americans enjoy on St. Patrick's Day. Guinness claims about 3 million pints of Guinness are served each St. Patrick's Day. However, the truly Irish Guinness is the Guinness Draught because it's brewed exclusively in Ireland -- other types might be brewed in Canada.
If you need an extra spring in your step on St. Patrick's Day, Irish coffee gives you a boost while you enjoy the festivities. It originated in Ireland's County Limerick with simple ingredients: coffee, Irish whiskey, cream, and brown sugar. People have messed with it a bit over the years -- in the United States, the cream is replaced with Irish cream (cream liqueur), but that just makes it more Irish than the original recipe.
Corned Beef And Cabbage
Serving corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day is a very nice gesture if you want to honor Irish culture, but it's not actually Irish. In Ireland, they don't eat corned beef with their cabbage, rather they eat Irish bacon which is similar to Canadian bacon. When Irish immigrants started moving to the United States en masse, they started eating corned beef with their cabbage because that's what was available (which can be attributed to their Jewish neighbors). Though it's not exactly Irish, it's Irish-American and worth keeping on the menu because it's tasty and easy to make in a slow cooker.
Irish stew experienced the same fate as Irish bacon and cabbage once Irish immigrants made it across the Atlantic. Traditional Irish stew uses lamb and root vegetables grown locally in Ireland, but the immigrants had to adapt their recipes to what was available in the US. Beef is the meat they could get, so today, if you order Irish stew in the United States, it's probably going to be made with beef. Making it for St. Patrick's Day is a fine way to honor Irish-Americans, but using lamb would make it authentically Irish.
Soda bread is about as Irish as it gets -- it's served at most meals. It's also really easy to make with very few (if any) changes to the recipe over the centuries. There are only four ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk -- elements that were available in both Ireland and the United States. No meal is an Irish meal without soda bread.
Americans love to drape themselves and everything else with green. It makes sense to connect the color to Ireland because it is the country's signature color. It's known as the Emerald Isle because the damp, cool weather keeps the landscape green and lush year-round.
These mythical creatures turn up every St. Patrick's Day, even though there's nothing religious about them. However, these tiny tricksters explain why you get pinched if you're not wearing green on St. Patrick's Day. As legend has it, these little Irish sprites can't see people if they're wearing green -- even if it's just green socks -- and if they see you, they will pinch you! So for one day, we're all Irish, eating corned beef and cabbage, drinking Guinness and living in fear of leprechauns.
Wearing a shamrock to show your Irish spirit is about as Irish as red hair and freckles. St. Patrick was a Christian missionary and he was responsible for converting nearly everyone in Ireland from pagan religions to Christianity. He used the shamrock as a religious teaching tool -- with the three leaves he illustrated the Holy Trinity. Like most of the holiday traditions, it has evolved to be more than a Christian symbol, but it's definitely Irish.
The Lakeside Collection can help you make your St. Patrick's Day celebration lively! Whether you need dinnerware to pull off the perfect Feast of St. Patrick or you're looking for green accessories so you don't get pinched, shop The Lakeside Collection for fun products at practical prices.