Luck of the Irish
Ah, Saint Patrick’s Day – that yearly event when the Irish contribution to America is celebrated. The beef is corned, the cabbage cooked, and the beer and clothing flow green. Irish immigration to the tri-state area was significant, as the popular film Gangs of New York shows. It’s a festive day that can involve the Irish love of whiskey and beer, and it’s always been inclusive to the non-Irish. The more the merrier. Leprechauns may show up on this day but beware: as the long-running film franchise demonstrates, they are protective of their pots o’ gold and often speak in limericks.
You Say Potato
Food plays a large role in St. Patrick’s Day, and potatoes are deeply associated with Ireland, but, interestingly, potato dishes don’t feature prominently. This may be because potatoes are so ubiquitous, a staple of American, and global, cuisine.
Wondering how to get into the SPD spirit? Corned beef is pretty self-evident: pop it in a crock pot/slow cooker, throw in some cabbage, and fuggedaboutit. Green beer or a non-alcoholic beverage is easy to convert to a Hibernian color. You can make it w/ healthy, natural dye. Why the heavy green emphasis on SPD? Ireland is a fabulously naturally-green country, with visitors reporting seeing shades of green they never knew even existed. It’s also part of Ireland’s flag colors and the color of the Shamrock, which comes from the Irish root word seamair and simply means “young clover,” either of the Genus Trifolium or Oxalis.
If you’d like to incorporate potatoes into SPD – and it only makes sense – Chef Becky recommends mashed potatoes made with a little chicken stock to add flavor and aromatics and garnished with something green such as parsley or watercress. Mashed potatoes are one of her favorite foods, and they’re easy to make– just find out if who you’re serving/feeding prefers skin-in or skinless (keep in mind potato skins are loaded with nutrients and add texture and flavor, but skinless mashed potatoes are creamier).
We here at Bex came up with a little limerick in the spirit of SPD:
If you’re fancying a party or hootenanny
But don’t want food that’ll fatten your fanny
Give Bex a call
In spring, summer, or fall
We’ll cook up something vegan or salmony!
We at Bex wish you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day. May the luck o’ the Irish be with you!