By Sage Thee
My grandmother is Irish, and she loves to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. When I was young, every St. Paddy’s Day morn’, I would wake to find the living room furniture flipped upside down, candy always hidden in my shoes — signs that mischievous little Leprechauns had caused a ruckus in our home overnight. From the kitchen, the smell of Irish soda bread already baking in the oven, a sign that she loved me.
This is not how St. Patrick’s Day will be this year; to keep her safe, I cannot visit my grandma yet, and the classic celebratory parades and pub crawls are on hold. Despite this, we do not have to sit around in boredom and mourn for the Before Times, when we could be out with friends. There are still so many fun ways we can celebrate this year!
Some people do not have traditions they have followed for St. Patrick’s Day, but with everything happening, I think this would be a great year to start. If you have children, you can bring a little magic and mischief into their day by upturning some furniture before they wake, leaving chocolate gold coins and other fun candies in their shoes, or making them some green pancakes for breakfast. Perhaps you could even try speaking in an Irish accent for the day — bonus points if you have never attempted an Irish accent in your life. It’s fun, not to mention hilarious, and our kids can always use more laughter in their lives, especially with how scary and not fun the world probably feels to them right now.
Many of us are fiercely missing St. Patrick’s Day parties — I know I am. But there are fun ways we can celebrate, even from afar! Gather your friends and share a (virtual) beer (or soda!) over a Zoom call. The world we live in is quite strange right now; why not go all-out silly and have a costume contest? Have everyone put their Leprechaun Looks together just from things they already have at home — see who can create the best look or even the worst look!
St. Patrick’s Day celebrations have a history of being large, raucous gatherings, and though that may not be a possibility this year, that does not mean the jovial Party Spirit has to take a hit. We are ushering in a new era of celebration and the ways we connect — even though it is only temporary — and isn’t that kind of beautiful?
Throughout time, humans have shown an amazing ability to adapt, even in the grimmest of circumstances. We have an innate need and desire for Connection, and while it has been quite difficult at times — we are amid a devastating global pandemic, after all — we have found so many ways to continue to connect with our loved ones. How magnificent that is; the way human beings are ever-evolving, continually growing, changing with the world around us.
Happy trails and safe celebrations, dear readers. May we one day again be able to celebrate face to face.
Make Your Own Irish Soda Bread
You will need:
1 & ¾ cups buttermilk
1 large egg
4 & ¼ cups flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
5 tbsp unsalted butter, cold & cubed
Seasoned 10-12” cast iron skillet
OR greased 9-10” cake pan
1. Whisk buttermilk & egg together in one bowl.
2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, & salt together in another bowl.
3. Cut cold butter into the flour mixture—a crucial step. You can use a fork, a pastry cutter, or even just your hands (this is my grandma’s favorite way). Add the wet ingredients.
4. Gather dough together with your hands and use a very sharp knife to score the dough (this allows the center to bake fully).
5. Bake at 400°F until golden brown (about 45 min.)