Tag Archives: Gaelic Storm

5 for Friday: St. Patrick’s Day Edition!


Taking a break from the books this week since it’s St. Paddy’s Day! I’m not Irish, but sometimes I celebrate like I am. 🙂

Here are 5 of my St. Paddy’s Day Faves:

  1. Food:

    • Creamy Reuben Soup – I made this for the first time on Wednesday. My husband devoured nearly 3 bowls of it! (For the record, I loved it, too.) Okay, so Reubens are not technically Irish, but the corned beef and sauerkraut (cabbage), makes me feel like Reubens kind of are…  Besides, a local bar always makes a version that Rob always dreams of this time of year. I wanted to see if I could do it justice. The verdict? This one might be better. Make it no! Side Note: I never really had a Reuben sandwich until I met Rob. He and his parents always ordered them when we ate out!
    • Corned Beef and Cabbage – Truth be told, this is not a traditional Irish dish either! It’s more Irish-American. This was our go-to recipe every year, a few years back. I don’t think I’ll be making it again, though. The Soup has won out for eternity.
    • Irish Bread – I think Irish Soda Bread might be Irish-American, too. I don’t remember ever having that when I was in Ireland.I do miss their brown bread, though! Maybe I’ll have to try whip up a batch of that next year. Anyone have a fave recipe?
  2. Drinks:

    • Guinness – People think that Guinness is such a heavy beer because it is dark and maybe also because of the foamy head. While it may be heavier than the lager you are drinking, Guinness really isn’t as think or full-bodied as you may think it is. There are several stouts that have much more flavor and richness than Guinness. So give it a try! Sometimes, I’ll drink a Guinness when I want something lighter – it has so fewer calories than many other beers! Plus, there are so many concoctions you can make, including the Black Velvet in this post.
    • Whiskey – I’m not much of a whiskey drinker, but my husband and friend Jen tend to like Johnny Jump Ups (a shot of whiskey in cider). But we did do a tasting while in Ireland. So much fun!
    • Irish Sangria – Want something a little nontraditional and fit for the beautiful weather we are supposed to have this weekend? Try the Irish Sangria in my Sangria post!
  3. Entertainment:

    • Irish Music – You can’t easily find trad in the U.S. but when you do, especially on this special day, it’s wonderful. We love the music at St. Paul’s FREE Irish Fair every August. And we go to see the non-traditional, but always fun Gaelic Storm whenever they are in town!
  4. Memories:

    • My friend Jen and I started a tradition when we backpacked Europe after college to find an Irish Pub in every country. My husband and I carry on this tradition to this day whenever we travel like we did here, here, here, here, here and here.
    • Almost two of those 10 weeks backpacking in Europe backpacking were spent in Ireland. I was most at peace in Dingle. I still remember that day and the calm I felt on the boat while in search of a the view of Fungie the dolphin. Although, hanging with my friend Colm in Dublin and Dundalk was wicked fun!
    • Then we took a family trip to Ireland with Rob’s parents in 2012. Here’s a link to my last post about that wonderful trip. If you scroll down to the bottom of that post, you’ve got a link to all of my posts about that trip on the bottom. We were chauffeured around The Isle by Ray with Walk with Me and made some friends with locals in Dublin. {Hi Ross!} We do need to plan a trip back. {Sigh.}| I haven’t seen the south yet!
  5. Lastly:

    • Our very own Shamrock:


Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

What is your favorite thing about this holiday?


Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

It’s funny how big a celebration St. Patrick’s Day is in the U.S., even for those of us who aren’t Irish.

I happily participate as if I am!

In fact, years ago, I read in a Lonely Planet guidebook of Chicago that St. Patrick’s Day is the chance for Americans to celebrate the Irish that’s in their blood… or those who’d just like to celebrate with Irish beer in their blood. Or something to that effect. It made me laugh.

What’s even funnier is that we Americans celebrate in some ways that the Irish do not. For example:

  • Green Beer
  • Corned Beef and Cabbage

There are other things things that Americans think of as “Irish”, but are really things that evolved in the U.S. and have come to be celebrated by Irish Americans. I absolutely love the song by Gaelic Storm on their album Cabbage, “Raised on Black and Tans” that comically pokes at how we in the U.S. celebrate, take pride in, and relate to our Irish heritage:

I was raised on Black & Tans,
Ronnie Drew and ‘Van the Man’
I go to mass on Sunday
And then it’s back to the pub on Monday
I’ve got a sister Meghan
With a Celtic cross tattoo
I’ll tell you a few stories
And every one of them is true

My mother’s, brother’s, sister’s, cousin’s, auntie’s,
Uncle Barney’s, father’s, brother had a cousin from Killarney

My great-granddad and his mates
They tried to make it to the States
His uncle, he was a failure
He got deported off to Australia
So they stowed upon a steamer
On the famous White Star Line
I was raised upon these stories
Since I was the age of nine…

More of the song here.

It’s all in good fun.

But some stuff just isn’t funny. My husband sent me this article yesterday about Nike naming a new sneaker the “Black and Tan” in order to “honor the country leading up to St. Patrick’s Day.” If someone at Nike would just have used our good friend The Google to look up “Black & Tans”, they would have learned that this was a term used in the 1920s for a suppressive British military group known for its violence against Irish natives.

And while here in the U.S., we usually concoct a “Black and Tan” by mixing a stout (black) with a pale ale (tan); these are not commonly consumed in Ireland. And when they are, they are not ordered as a “Black and Tan”. To do so would be considered disrespectful. Gaelic Storm playfully created ” Raised on Black and Tans” to illustrate that the passion for the Irish heritage in the U.S. is the genuine, even if the symbols are not quite accurate. {By the way, they are a fun concert to a attend. We see them every time they are in town!}

Black and Tan

I have a feeling St. Patrick’s Day will be crazy this year due to it being on Saturday. {But really, nothing’s stopping anyone from celebrating the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day. So, I’m sure it’s crazy every year.} I’m just not one to flock with mass crowds for these types of events.

You won’t find me:

  • in Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day
  • in New Orleans for Mardi Gras
  • in New York City on New Year’s Eve.

You won’t even find me at the Target Center or Xcel Energy Center for a concert. I prefer a smaller venue. {Okay, so I will attend the Irish Fair in St. Paul in the summer. It’s summer, it’s outdoors, and it’s free! And Gaelic Storm will be a headliner this year!}

What I would like to do next year is the Minneapolis-St. Paul Get Lucky 7K. This just looks like so much fun! Anyone want to join me? And since I’m not Irish, with my luck, we probably won’t have the crazy good weather next year that we have this year. It’s going to be in the 70s this weekend!

Also, I’m going to take a shot at making my first ever corned beef and cabbage for my honey using this recipe. Although there is another great recipe over at Skinny Taste that intrigues me, too.

What are you doing for St. Patrick’s Day?

Do you celebrate? And if so, what are some of your traditions?