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The Irish Holiday

Every year some of your friends get together on St. Patrick’s day, eat some weird foods and drink green stuff. “But why?!”, you wonder with horror as you receive yet another invitation in the middle of March. Most of the time they seem like solid, reasonable people, right? If this sounds like a conversation you have had with yourself multiple times, please don’t fret! I have all the ‘inside’ information you could ever need to decode St. Patrick’s Day. If you are like me, though, you have heard the story a ton of times and can skip straight to the end of the post for my Irish Dirt Recipe.

The History

Contrary to the secular reputation of the holiday, it is actually a religious celebration which marks the death of St. Patrick. A deeply religious and compassionate man, he shows up in Ireland in the early 400’s as a sixteen year old Scot who has been captured and sold into slavery. This captivity was the basis for his ministry of kindness that would follow. During this time, he prayed continuously and build a strong relationship with God. Although he escaped after about six years, he would later return to the land. In fact, he was the founder of several schools and churches there.

The 17th of March usually falls within the period of Lent, during which traditional Catholics were prohibited from eating certain foods (such as meats) or consuming alcohol. After church, however, they would memorialize the death of their beloved saint with a feast and several spirits. Even the symbol of the clover is spiritual in nature, and was used by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity.

The Good Stuff

So it may be a relief learning that your buddies aren’t quite as crazy as you thought, and if you’d like to join in the “shenanigans” next year, the following tools will get you started. The first is a link to a traditional and printable Irish Blessing, and the second is the recipe for scrumptious Irish Dirt. Don’t forget to let me know if you love either!

Irish Blessing: http://www.asouthernmother.com/2015/03/old-irish-blessing.html

Irish Dirt:

What you Need:

  • 1 Package Lime Gelatin
  • 1/4 Cup Irish Whiskey (I used Bushmills)
  • 1 Package Chocolate Pudding
  • Graham Crackers
  • Whipped Cream

(Prices for all items correct as of March 24, 2017)

                                  What you Do:

                                              ~ Prepare all packaged items according to directions at least four hours ahead of time. I added the Irish whiskey directly to the lime gelatin before I put it in the refrigerator to set up (but it would be just as tasty if you made a kid-friendly version). Once everything is set simply layer the ingredients in the following order: Graham crackers, chocolate pudding, lime gelatin, and whipped cream on top.