Today is St. Patrick’s Day! Are you wearing something green?
Every year on March 17th, Irish and Irish Americans commemorate the death, as legend has it, of Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, who died on March 17th, around 492. But mainly, people today honor Irish heritage and its rich culture and traditions. Cities all over the US celebrate with parades and festivities.
The most famous of these annual festival traditions includes the Boston parade, with its first parade in 1737; the New York City parade, which began in 1762; and the Savannah, Georgia, parade which started in 1812.
Irish Americans, especially those who arrived in the US in the 1840s, have had to overcome much suffering. The Great Potato Famine of 1845-1849 claimed the lives of 1 million Irish back on the Isle of Erin. To escape starvation, those that could immigrated to America. Most of the Irish who settled in the US during this period arrived with little education and few material possessions. As a result, they encountered poverty and discrimination. Most were Catholics and also suffered because of longstanding prejudices against their religion. But Irish Americans showed their strength and courage.
In 1862, during the Civil War, the Irish Brigade was formed. These Irish American soldiers fought for the Union in some of the bloodiest battles of the war. One historian, Phillip Thomas Tucker, said, “These Celtic soldiers were fighting most of all for their own future and an America which did not segregate, persecute, and discriminate against the Irish people and their Catholicism, Irish culture, and distinctive Celtic heritage.” Irish American heritage has become an important part of American culture. In song, festivity, appearance and company, Americans of all ethnicities are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day today!
What do you do to honor Irish tradition? Wear green? Look for four-leaf clovers? Sing Irish songs?
The Chef and I are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a hearty (and healthy) dinner of corned beef and cabbage. Before he left for work this morning, The Chef filled our crockpot with corned beef, baby red potatoes, carrots, onions, cabbage, chicken broth, and a bottle of Founders Brewing Breakfast Stout. Can I just say, I can’t wait for dinner!
Corned Beef and Cabbage
- 1 1-pound corned beef brisket (with seasoning packet)
- 8 small red potatoes, scrubbed and halved
- 2 cups baby carrots
- 2 onions, quartered
- 1 head of cabbage, cut into 6 wedges (core removed)
- 32 ounces chicken stock
- 1 12-ounce bottle beer of your choice
1. Place quartered onions in the bottom of a slow cooker.
2. Remove corned beef from packaging and reserve spice packet. Trim excess fat from the meat, leaving a small amount.
3. Place corned beef on top of the onions in the slow cooker. Sprinkle the contents of the spice packet on and around the meat. 4. Add potatoes, carrots, and cabbage on top of the corned beef.
4. Add chicken stock and beer to the slow cooker.
5. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours or on high for 6 to 7 hours.
6. Remove corned beef from slow cooker, discarding onions. Slice and serve with cabbage, carrots, and potatoes.
Notes:Spice packet missing from your corned beef? Just pick up a bottle of pickling spice. 1 to 2 tablespoons will do it. Want to make your own? See the recipe below!
- 5 bay leaves, crushed in your hand
- 1 tablespoons coriander seed
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 1 teaspoon whole mustard seed
- 2 to 4 whole cloves
1. Mix spices together.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!