Food and Fun for St. Patrick’s Day

St. PatrickIrish or not, St. Patrick’s Day is a great excuse to have a laugh, eat some good food, and chase the snakes out of Ireland.

If you can’t make it to Ireland this year (which would be a relief for the snakes), you might as well settle for the first two tasks.

The laugh part is easy. The Irish are known for their wry sense of humor and genial wit. And no doubt your children are just looking for an excuse to repeat all the great knock-knock jokes they’ve heard on the playground. In honor of the day, check out some websites with great, kid-friendly jokes that you can use to get your kids into the spirit of the day. Here’s one to get you started:

Knock, knock
Who’s there?
Thistle who?
Thistle have to hold you until dinner’s ready.

Corned Beef and CabbageWhile you’re laughing, take some time to cook with your children. One of my favorite recipes for St. Patrick’s Day is a slow cooker version of corned beef and cabbage. The corned beef you purchase in your local grocery store comes with a flavor packet. Put the corned beef in the bottom of your slow cooker. Add diced cabbage, carrots, and potatoes. Empty the contents of the flavor packet on top of the ingredients and pour either a 12-ounce can of beer or 12 ounces of a liquid such as water or beef broth to the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker according to the directions and in about 6 hours you have a fork-tender Irish meal to enjoy!

But if – like me – you’ve exhausted the allure of corned beef, why not try something new?

Cooking Light has several recipes for entrees your family may enjoy. As a soup lover, this is the one that caught my eye: Irish Colcannon and Thyme Leaf Soup.

At the end of the meal, recite a real Irish blessing or make up one of your own. Here’s one I thought was a good fit.

An Old Celtic Blessing

May the blessing of light be on you—

light without and light within.

May the blessed sunlight shine on you

and warm your heart

till it glows like a great peat fire.

 

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