Now that St. Patrick’s Day is over I want to ask what is it really about. The Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, "the Day of the Festival of Patrick") is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

To most people these days it is just a day to go out and get drunk. But it is a celebration of Christianity coming to Ireland and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, céilithe, and the wearing of shamrocks, as well as green or orange attire. Some Christians also attend church services and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday's tradition of alcohol consumption.

Saint Patrick - The Missionary and Bishop of Ireland

St. Patrick, or the "Apostle of Ireland," actually started out in the pagan religion. While not much is known about his early life, as many of his life's details were lost to folklore, letters from St. Patrick reveal that he was captured in Wales, Scotland, or another close area outside of Ireland and taken to Ireland as a slave. Years later, he escaped and returned to his family, who were Romans living in Britain, going back to Ireland for mission work after finding a place as a cleric and then Bishop within the Christian faith. He was born around 460, and by the 600s, he was already known as the Patron Saint of Ireland.

There are many legends associated with St. Patrick. The symbol of the shamrock used for St. Patrick's Day comes from the story of St. Patrick using the shamrock to illustrate the Holy Trinity. The three-leafed plant coincided with the Pagan religion's sanctity of the number three and is the root of the green color theme.

Another popular belief is that St. Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland. The story says that while St. Patrick was fasting, snakes attacked him, so he chased all snakes into the ocean. However, there have never been snakes in Ireland during the post-glacial period. The absence of snakes and symbolism involved with snakes is believed to explain the story, although it could have been referring to type of worm rather than snakes. One legend has St. Patrick sticking a walking stick into the ground while evangelizing, which turned into a tree.

- See more at: http://wilstar.com/holidays/patrick.htm#sthash.vYqUMYcY.dpuf

Food of the Day

In America most people think of Corned Beef and Cabbage when they think of St. Paddy’s day but there is there food that are served as well.

Feasting on the day features traditional Irish food, including corned beef, corned cabbage, coffee, soda bread, potatoes, and shepherd's pie. Many celebrations also hold an Irish breakfast of sausage, black and white pudding, fried eggs, and fried tomatoes.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef with Cabbage

This Slow Cooker Corned Beef with Cabbage results in fork-tender beef that doesn't even need to be cut with a knife! The veggies are flavorful and tender, and potatoes are succulent. Extra sauce is great for pouring over noodles, if you like.

From: Chew Out Loud
Recipe type: dinner, main
Serves: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • ½ lb baby carrots
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 4 lb corned beef brisket, trimmed, with spice pack
  • 4 cups regular beef broth
  • 1 can of Guinness beer
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 TB whole peppercorns
  • 7 fingerling potatoes or baby red/gold potatoes, halved
  • 1 medium head of cabbage, sliced

Directions

  1. In a large slow cooker, place baby carrots and onion into the bottom. Place corned beef on the veggies. Pour in the beef broth over the meat/veggies. Add the beer, garlic, and peppercorns. Sprinkle on the contents of spice pack that came with your corned beef. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours.
  2. Add potatoes and cabbage, try to submerge them in the liquid as much as you can, and cook 2 more hours on low, for a total of 12 hours. This will result in a corned beef that is very fork-tender and can easily be pulled apart rather than sliced. (If you prefer a less tender beef that you can slice, cook for a total of 9 hours instead of 12 hours.)

Recipe by Chew Out Loud at http://www.chewoutloud.com/2015/03/10/slow-cooker-corned-beef-with-cabbage/

One of the best things to do is not put the Cabbage in the slow cooker but instead make the following

Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Onion Dijon Sauce


Author: Jami Boys ­

An Oregon Cottage A revelation in flavor and texture, roasted cabbage wedges are easy and perfectly complimented with an Onion­ Dijon Sauce.

Ingredients:

  • ½ medium green cabbage (about 1½­lbs)
  • 1 TB. garlic­infused olive oil (or regular olive oil)
  • salt & pepper

Sauce:

  • 3 TB. butter
  • 2 TB. minced fresh onion
  • 1 TB. Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp. minced garlic
  • pinch (1/8 tsp.) each salt and pepper
  • optional: chopped chives or parsley for serving

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone.

2. Cut cabbage half into four equal wedges and set on prepared baking sheet. Use a pastry brush to coat the cut side of each wedge with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn wedges and repeat.

3. Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 10­12 minutes. Flip the wedges and roast until nicely browned, 8­10 minutes more.

4. Meanwhile, make the sauce by adding all the sauce ingredients to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the butter is completely melted. Keep warm (alternately, place ingredients in a microwavable container and cook on high for about 1 minute ­ warm again before using).

5. To serve, place the wedges on a plate and drizzle with the sauce. Sprinkle with chives or parsley, if desired.

Recipe by an Oregon Cottage at http://anoregoncottage.com/roasted­cabbage­wedges­with­onion­dijon­sauce/