Guest Author - Sandra Lee Garth
Legend has it that St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. However, that’s not true. What is true is that St. Patrick was born at the end of the fourth century in Britain into a wealthy family that wasn’t very religious. St. Patrick was taken prisoner at the age of 16 and held captive in Ireland for six years. During his captivity he embraced Christianity. He escaped from prison and then spent 15 years in religious training. As a priest he began to teach, and wove the Irish language, culture, and traditions into his teachings.
Today St. Patrick’s day is a day of celebration for those of Irish descent, and for many who just want to celebrate. It’s been said that everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. So if you’re planning on a March 17th that’s full of shamrocks, leprechauns, and maybe even green beer, here are a few ideas to get the party started.
Ready made invites may be a bit difficult to find. This where having a resource like Evite comes in handy. If they don’t have one with an appropriate motif, changing the color of the font to green is an option.
The one must have for the menu is the color green. Green beer is typically the standard if you’re serving alcohol. One of the most popular Irish beers is Guinness. Other choices are, Harp Lager, O’Hara’s, and Smithwick’s Ale. If you‘re a teetotaler or are serving kids try this green punch:
Kiss Me I’m Irish Punch
2 (3 ounce) packages lime flavored gelatin mix
1 quart hot water
1 (46 fluid ounce) can pineapple juice
2 (12 fluid ounce) cans frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 cups white sugar
4 1/2 cups cold water
2 liters ginger ale
Boil one quart of water in a large saucepan. Add the lime gelatin and let it cool. When gelatin is cool, pour into a large punch bowl, and add the pineapple juice, orange juice concentrate, sugar and 4 1/2 cups cold water. Add the ginger ale right before serving.
Now that the beverages have been taken care of, it’s time to add some green foods to the menu. It goes without saying that corned beef and cabbage is a tried and true option, and recipes abound on the internet. For more variety, consider a few of the following tasty options to add to the food line up.
Spinach wraps with hummus or avocado dip
Hollowed out cucumber halves with tuna
Tossed salad with romaine, spinach, arugula and green goddess dressing
Crème de Menthe brownies
Vanilla or chocolate cupcakes with green frosting, garnished with Andes Mints
A trip to the dollar store will net a huge supply of St. Patrick themed tableware and decorations. Another option is St. Patrick’s Day, or just plain green scrapbook paper used as placemats under white dinnerware. White napkins tied with green ribbon help to tie the place settings together. Gold covered chocolate coins in cups at each place setting are nice take home favors. Check your local florist for four leaf clover plants. Many grocery stores also have floral departments where the plants may be less expensive.
Green socks, ties, t-shirts, hair accessories and even hair all add to the festivities of the day. Wear green and have fun!
As with most celebrations it’s all about having fun. Start early with planning and the preparations will be much easier.