Tuesday, March 8, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Menu

"When Irish eyes are smiling,/ sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring./ In the lilt of Irish laughter/ you can hear the angels sing./ When Irish hearts are happy/ all the world seems bright and gay/ and when Irish eyes are smiling/ sure, they steal your heart away." - "When Irish Eyes are Smiling" by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff, Jr.

"I bind unto myself the Name/ the strong name of the Trinity/ by invocation of the same/ the Three in One and One in Three/ of Whom all nature hath creation/ Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:/ Praise to the Lord of my salvation/ Salvation is of Christ the Lord." - from St. Patrick's "Breastplate" prayer

St. Patrick's Day celebrates the man who brought Christianity to Ireland. For my family, it's always been a feast day, even though we're not practicing Catholics.

Our menu always includes:
  • Baked Ham 
  • Colcannon
  • Irish Soda Bread
We've been having Colcannon on St. Patrick's Day in my house ever since I can remember, and it's one of my favorite dishes. My mother uses the recipe found in "the Irish Farmhouse Cookbook."

 Another Irish cookbook I've recently come across is "the Irish Isle" which has many Irish menus, and includes a CD of Irish music.

the Shamrock became a symbol of the Trinity when Christianity was brought to Ireland

Irish Soda Bread has been varied and changed many times over the years. The original stuff is very hearty and brown, with little or no sugar, and no fruit or frosting (I recently came across something in the market that was white, filled with raisins and currants and whatnot, covered in some kind of hard icing and marked "Irish Soda Bread." My inward response doesn't bear repeating here). A good recipe for it can also be found in the "Irish Farmhouse Cookbook."

an example of real Irish Soda Bread

So, whether you're actually Irish or not, dipping into the culture and dishes on St. Patrick's Day can be a culinary adventure.



  1. What's colcannon? We'll be in Key West on St. Patrick's day, but hopefully we can find some good (non-green) ale and some hearty Irish fare.

    Great post!


  2. Thanks!

    Colcannon is an Irish version of mashed potatoes - it includes potatoes, parsnips, cabbage, onions and butter. I love it!

    Yes, do avoid the green ale. I'm a Guinness fan, myself, but it is rather strong...