Saint Patrick’s Day ~ History & Simple, Healthy Celebrations

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Shamrock

Saint Patrick’s Day holds a special place in my heart.

My father is from Dublin, Ireland and March 17th was my late mother’s birthday.

In fact, most of my father’s relatives still live on the Emerald Isle.

I visited there during my college years and it really is a special place.  (Though I’m sure in the many many years since then that it’s changed quite a bit.)

While in Ireland one summer, I:

    • Studied at Trinity College.  But the courses were in Irish History and Literature so I don’t recall much.  Just ask my husband – I’m a math and science brain for sure!
    • Spent loads of time with relatives.
    • Hitch-hiked across the small island in 6 hours with another girl in my program (yes, it’s pretty safe in Ireland)
    • Enjoyed all the funny names for things like “crisps” for potato chips
    • Learned that fresh eggs can be stored at room temperature for a long time (they have eggs stacked on the floor in the grocery store)
    • Walked into a pub on the Western side where everyone was speaking Gaelic, Ireland’s native language.

The story behind St. Patrick’s Day is inspiring.  In a nutshell:

      • Patrick was from Britain, born near the end of the fourth century.
      • When he was sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and forced to tend sheep in Ireland.
      • His trials led him to seek God.  One day he thought he heard God telling him to flee his captors, so he did.
      • He was caught again and put into slavery, but again escaped and returned to Britain.
      • He had another “vision” from God calling him back to Ireland.
      • There, he studied with priests, became a priest and a deacon, and eventually Bishop of Ireland.
      • “Patrick evangelized, taught literacy, equipped men and women for ministry, and provided leadership for new churches throughout the Emerald Isle.”

Read more at the source for the above:  Breakpoint.org.

I don’t know how all of the alcohol and revelry started, but I like to celebrate on some level.

I’d love to do the whole naturally corned beef and all that, but frankly that’s a little ambitious right now.

Some simple Saint Patrick’s Day ideas you might try:

1.  This morning I made my hubby and son a fruit and protein shake that I flavored with mint and added a bit of parsley to to color it.  Kind of like a healthy shamrock shake.  Not quite tasty enough to post, but they enjoyed it!

2.  One year we used potato stamps and stamped green shamrock shapes all over paper bags which I then taped  together into a table runner :-).  Here are simple instructions in case you can’t easily envision what I’m talking about.

3.  How about Saint Patrick’s Day Fudge?  Super simple, yummy and green!

 

Dairy Free, Sugar Free Fudge with Natural Color

4.  How about Saint Patrick’s Day Popcorn!  It’s really my Surprisingly Good Seasoned Popcorn (which is pretty amazing in its own right.  So many people tell me that it’s really addictive. Not sure about that, but I will say it is pretty hard to stop eating it once you’ve started!

The seasoning has quite a bit of parsley in it so it’s fairly green already.  But here it is with a little extra ground parsley mixed in!

Popcorn Topping

Whatever you choose to do, I hope this Saint Patrick’s Day finds you healthy and enjoying loved ones around you.

How will you be celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day?

Top Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/doyland/4428362687/

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  1. St. Patrick’s Day is a special day in our home too. I love the story of Patrick and the courage to go back and evangelize to a country that had held him captive. My husband and I both have Irish ancestors and love remembering the customs and passing them on to our children. Thanks for sharing healthy treats for the holiday.

  2. We will be having green Yoda pancakes. We have a Star Wars mold for them!

  3. Hi Adrienne,

    What a lovely post. Hello to a fellow Irish gal!

    I generally use the Holidays as a time to teach and instill cultural awareness, which is very important to my husband and me.

    So this year I did a geography lesson with my daughter and we mapped out Ireland (cut, colored, glued, etc). We also did some math (counting the leaves of shamrocks, addition and multiplication). My grandfathers were Irish and so we talked a little bit about heritage and what that means. We did some coloring sheets and some workbooks. My son joined us (he’s only 2.5), but still had fun. We have been listening to Celtic and Irish music all week. I play guitar, and playing some fun Irish songs for the kids (we love our music time). I’ve been making green dishes and green smoothies. I’ll surprise my husband with some Guinness (my all-time favorite beer). I can no longer drink it, but he will enjoy it for me. :-)

    For us, everything comes back to family and love. After a fun day with the kids, I’m sure Scott and I will spend the evening cuddled up watching a funny movie.

    Hugs,
    –Amber

    • I love your thoughts on the Holidays. I have to say, this one almost went by me with all of the anxiety that we’ve been dealing with with my son, and my husband has been exceedingly busy – and also since my sons have their hockey “closing ceremony” tomorrow so my mind wasn’t on St. Patrick’s. But now it is. No time for a bunch of “hoo haa”. I play guitar also, but not very well now – I’m so rusty! I’d love to know what Irish songs you play – maybe I can find a way to get the music from you :-).

      Think I’ll go break out the Irish music. We don’t have much, but I do love what I have. Take care, Amber!

  4. We love to do it up for all the holidays and you have some great ideas here. We are a popcorn family so I love that one the most I think.

  5. I recently just learned that fresh eggs can stay at room temperature, too. And a bowl or basket of eggs on the counter just looks so lovely.

    I’ll admit, I’ve been pretty slack about St. Patrick’s this year. I think I’ll make a command decision and have green smoothies for breakfast and a big wilted spinach salad (with bacon and chopped egg) for dinner. Thanks for the late night inspiration.

    • Toooo late night inspiration for me. I’m up early and not feeling so chipper. And with all that I tried making last night a lovely egg bowl won’t fit on my counter :-)…but sounds great! Actually that’s a great idea. Thanks, Stephanie!

  6. OOh love that you wont taste the parsley in fudge! great tip! Happy St Patrick’s Day Adrienne!

  7. I always make a meal for my family from the the Irish Heritage Cookbook. It seems pretty authentic and all the recipes are good to great! I think most of the recipes are WAPF friendly as well, or can be adjusted easily.

  8. To make our green smoothies/shakes I did two things (one the day before and one the day of St. Patrick’s Day):

    *Added some mint-flavored liquid chlorophyl and a drop of peppermint flavoring for a minty green shake.

    *Added an avocado and some spinach leaves for a green smoothie.

    Both had a base of frozen bananas, plain yogurt, and milk. My kids and hubby loved and devoured both. :)

    I *LOVE* St. Patrick’s Day!

  9. looking forward to this – might eliminate the green, just because the baintrain has some pre conceived notions about eating that color;)

  10. Thanks for this! I didn’t know the history of St Patrick’s Day. I made “green deviled eggs and ham.” The ham was normal ham, but for the eggs, I mixed the yolk of 6 hard-boiled eggs with 1/4 c mayo, 1/2 of a ripe avocado, some apple cider vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper together. So tasty and festive

  11. Interesting post! We were missionaries in Hungary, and they also sell and store their eggs at room temperature. I knew St. Patrick was a Christian, but had forgotten his story. Thanks for the reminder. God bless!

  12. I really didn’t know the story of St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, I really didn’t realize I didn’t know it until I read your post. Great recipes and great info!

  13. I’d love to make natural corned beef. Will have to see if I can find a recipe.

    One of my favorite books is called How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill, a historian who wrote a series of books on key turning points in history that greatly influenced the world we live in today. Anyway, it has great, detailed history about St. Patrick in there. I’m not Irish, but I love history and I learned so much in this book about St. Patrick and Ireland.. It’s a great, great book, as are all of them in the series.