Saint Patrick’s Day

Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17. Patrick was a Christian missionary credited with bringing the faith to Ireland in AD 400. There are so many fantastical legends about his life that we don’t know which were true or which were fabricated. There are a few things we do know for sure- the man wasn’t actually Irish, he loved Jesus and he cared about the Irish people.

I did a bit of research to discover some of the stories that are told around St. Patrick’s Day.

First of all, St. Patrick himself is an interesting character. He was a Roman citizen and was captured by pirates at the age of sixteen and sold into slavery in Ireland. As he worked in the fields with the sheep, he came to know Christ and developed a deep burden for the souls of the Irish people. After about six years he escaped slavery but eventually returned as a missionary.

So why do we wear green on his day? The story goes back to the fictional character of the leprechaun. These creatures like to pinch anyone they see, but if you wear green on that day, you are invisible to them. The Irish love this color because of the country’s verdant landscape.

On St. Patrick’s Day, be sure you eat Irish-inspired foods like corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie and Irish soda bread. I’ve had shepherd’s pie but not soda bread. I looked up the recipe and included it at the end of this post.

If you visit Ireland, you won’t have to worry about running into snakes. The Emerald isle is serpent free. It is believed that Patrick chased them into the sea after they attacked him. Strangely enough, some believe that snake ownership is a status symbol. Not me.

One last piece of information: If you go to Ireland, be careful about hugging, touching, or getting overly physical with others in public. It is considered inappropriate etiquette. And if you need to use the restroom in someone’s home, ask for the “jack.” It means toilet.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, all. 

Soda Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 t salt

2 t baking soda

4 cups whole wheat flour

2 t white sugar

2 cups buttermilk

1 cup milk

1 T vegetable oil

Directions:

Heat oven to 400. In large bowl, sift together all purpose flour, salt, and baking soda. Add whole wheat flour and sugar. Stir to combine. In a separate bowl, mix buttermilk, milk, and oil. Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Mix just until combined. Divide dough in half and form into two round, flat loaves. Place loaves on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

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