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Kissin' the Blarney Stone
Page 1 of 2

Leprechaun Do you ever wonder how certain holiday traditions began? For instance, let's take a look at St. Patrick. He may be Ireland's patron saint, but it's unlikely he ever feasted on corned beef and cabbage or washed a meal down with a pint of green beer!

St. Patrick is largely known for chipping away the Druid influence prevalent in Ireland and introducing the Irish to Christianity. According to legend, St. Patrick is equally known for driving the snakes from Ireland, although some believe this is more likely symbolic of his putting an end to paganism. Dr. Ralph F. Wilson has written an interesting article on the history of St. Patrick, most of which is based upon the confessions of St. Patrick himself. As fascinating as all that may be, today's observations show little religious influence, except for maybe the shamrock which St. Patrick used to symbolize The Trinity.

So why do so many of us dress up like leprechauns, eat corned beef and cabbage and drink green beer? According to the rumblings at Brian's Belly, this is the work of our Irish-American cousins. For instance, corned beef and cabbage is actually an adaptation of a traditional Irish meal of cabbage and Irish bacon. To brush up on your Irish cookery, visit the site, and get ideas for a St. Patrick's Day feast. I also found more sumptuous recipes at Potluck O' The Irish. The Shamrock Chocolate Mint Brownies and the Leprechaun Cake sound especially tempting! For your enjoyment, they also provide links to dozens of other Irish recipe sites.


Quick Find:

Looking for a special place to take Mom this Mother's Day? Here are some resources!

Blarney Stone
Brian's Belly
Celtic Music Online
Irish Pubs
Irish Recipes
Happy Holidaze
History of St. Patrick
Patron Saints
Potluck O' the Irish
St. Patrick's Day
St. Patty Post Cards
Virtual Beer Server

This recipe is for bread machines.

1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp caraway seeds
3 cups bread flour
2 1/2 tsp yeast
1/2 cup golden raisins

Add all ingredients to the bread pan (except for raisins), following the instructions provided by your bread machine's manufacturer. At the beep, add raisins.

Makes one 1-pound loaf.

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