Folks all across the US will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today by wearing green, drinking beer, parading in the streets, and proudly proclaiming, “Kiss me, I’m Irish” – whether they’re really Irish or not.
They’ll do all these things, despite the fact that St. Patrick’s official color is pale blue (not green), pubs in Ireland were forced to close on March 17 for many years (to discourage revelers from getting drunk during Lent), St. Paddy’s Day parades originated in Colonial America (not in Ireland), and even St. Patrick himself was not Irish (he was born in Britain and was taken as a young boy to Ireland in the 4th century by raiders who held him captive there for six years).
Our family has been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day for nearly thirty years now with an equally non sequitur tradition, something we call a “Leprechaun Lunch.” The menu varies from year to year, but the theme remains the same – everything’s green!
In the beginning, I served things like lime jello, guacamole, and clover-leaf cookies coated with green sugar sprinkles – not necessarily a well-balanced meal, I’ll admit. Over the years, the fare we prepare has gotten decidedly more healthful, since I’m one of those fortunate moms whose kids actually like eating their vegetables. Here’s what’s on the menu this year:
- split pea soup
- sugar snap peas & zucchini rounds with hummus
- spinach & avocado wraps (made with green tortillas)
- cucumber salad
- spinach souffle
- streamed broccoli
- roasted Brussels sprouts
- iceberg salad with garlic stuffed olives and apple smoked cheese
- parmesan asparagus
- green salsa with tortilla chips
- white grapes & kiwi fruit salad
- Paddy’s Punch (1/2 gallon of lime sherbet mixed with a 2-L bottle of gingerale
As you can see in the photo above, our celebration has grown over the years and now includes grandkids, too. Six more things you should know about this photo:
- It was actually taken yesterday, since we had to have our Leprechaun Lunch early this year.
- That’s because we all went to Houston today to be with Samuel (that’s him in the center of the back row) for Match Day. Today’s the day everyone in his medical school class finds out where they’ll be going next year for residency.
- Samuel and the two brothers to his right are actually all the same height — Joseph and Benjamin are just exceptionally good at standing on tip-toe!
- Dad was on call and had to miss the celebration (which was okay by him, as he’s not quite as fond of veggies as the rest of us. 🙂
- David and Bonnie missed lunch, too, as they are in Tennessee, getting ready for the birth of our first granddaughter (due in July), followed by an Army-facilitated move to Germany.
- Bethany missed our green-themed meal, as well, since she spent spring break in Minnesota and California visiting friends.