Musings on St. Patrick’s Day . . .

Top o’ the mornin’ to ye!

Do you have any St Patrick’s Day memories?

In grade school, my teachers were nuns and many of them were Irish.

They loved to say that there were two kinds of people in the world:

The Irish,

and those who wished they were Irish. 😉

Now I’ll grant you those nuns may have been exaggerating, but it does seem as if everyone enjoys the March 17th festivities, or at least tolerates them! The Irish are known for having a fierce pride in their heritage. My grandmother was born in Ireland so we always made sure to wear something green on St Patty’s Day. When my girls were little, I would tie green bows in their hair.

Boston, Massachusetts, where I grew up, has a large Irish population. Every year there’s a big parade on March 17th. I can remember many times it fell on a cold, damp day that made us feel sorry for both the marchers and the spectators. The mood was quite merry, though, regardless of the weather!

There’s something about St Patrick’s Day that reminds me just how much I miss my Irish grandmother. I miss HER Irish Bread, which she made year round! I make it now but hers was the ultimate. She also made the most delicious lamb stew. I’d give anything for just one more bowl of that right now. When I was a kid, she lived with us for a while after my grandfather died. I’d often be with her when she was cooking or sewing. In the middle of our regular conversations, she would stop and say little things that taught me how to do what she was doing.

For example, we’d be chatting about a TV show as she was making dinner and suddenly she’d say: “Now see, when you are preparing the vegetables, just cut them in pieces of this size and they’ll cook quickly.” Sometimes, I can still hear her voice today, when I’m sewing or making a meal.

You all know this blessing but it was her favorite and so it became mine as well . . .

An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and the rains fall softly on your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

And I’ll leave you with a more recent Irish “toast” that always makes me giggle.

“May those who love us, love us.
And those who don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we’ll know them by their limping.”

Wishing you the luck of the Irish today! //(-_-)\\



Her Irish Eyes Were Smiling

irishMy grandmother was born and grew up in Ireland. Every year around St. Patrick’s Day, there’s something I like to do to remember “Nana”, and also to help get into the spirit of the holiday!

“Make paper garlands of shamrocks?” (You ask.)

No . . . ( I answer.)

“Go to a St Patrick’s Day parade?” (You guess.)

Nope! ( I smile.)

“C’mon Crystal – just say it!” (You sigh. 😉 )


Well . . . although I also do this at other times of the year, I especially like to do it for St Patrick’s Day.

First, I gather my supplies.


After mixing, kneading, and baking, I have this.


If you have never tasted homemade Irish Bread, you must try it sometime! I do mean homemade though, because the stuff they sell in stores is nothing like real Irish Bread!

Labeling the store version as “Irish Bread” is like comparing a loaf of generic, air-filled, white sandwich bread in a plastic bag to a mouth-watering, home-baked, crusty, loaf of yeast bread.

Here – let me give you some to try, along with a little butter and nice hot cup of tea!


Whenever my grandmother prepared this snack for me, her Irish eyes were smiling. If you are not familiar with it, think of a combination of cake and bread – sweet but with a heavier texture than cake would have, and liberally sprinkled with regular raisins, golden raisins, and caraway seeds. A recipe can be found here.

A wish for you on this St. Patrick’s Day . . .


May your mornings bring joy,

and your evenings bring peace . . .

May your troubles grow less

as your blessings increase!