Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Holiday of Coolness 2014

☘ ☘ ☘ ☘ Happy St. Patrick's Day! ☘ ☘ ☘ 
The Irish Countryside
It's that time of year again! St. Patrick's Day, aka "The Holiday of Coolness!" At the Eden home, we spend the day singing Irish songs, speaking in horrifically bad Irish accents, decorate the place in 40 shades of green, and... celebrating my birthday!

In keeping with Holiday of Coolness tradition, here are some fantastic Irish Things I Love...

love The Pogues. Traditional Irish music with a modern flare. And if you've ever doubted that the music of the "Old West" here in America was heavily influenced by the enormous influx of Irish immigrants at the time in American history, have a listen to this little number straight from the Emerald Isle...

It's no secret I'm a big fan of Irish drinking songs, despite not being a drinker. I have passed that love on to my children with sometimes disastrous consequences. Imagine my horror when my then 6-year-old daughter, when asked at church what her favorite song was, launched in to this little ditty...

Anyone who has read Longing for Home and Hope Springs knows that I love Irish fiddle music. Every tune mentioned in those books is authentic and real and absolutely adored by me. Here is the amazing Donegal fiddler John Doherty giving you just a taste of this amazing style of music. This is "Bonnie Kate," a particular favorite of mine...

Every year I post a song by The Script, one of my favorite groups of all time. These Dublin boys are pretty fantastic. They can regularly be found busking on the streets of Dublin and my daughter hopes to run into them next time we're there so she can sing this song with them, which also happens to be one I love as well...

Looking for more great Irish music? Tune in to the live internet radio feed at and thank me later!

The History
I visited Ireland in 2012, a lifelong dream of mine. As we walked through the Irish countryside and cities, I was struck by how filled with history it really is. For a history buff like me, it was heaven! We visited centuries-old monasteries and grave yards...

Glendalough, County Wicklow (founded in the 6th Century AD)

St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork (built in 1863)
Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny (built in 1195)
...and so much else. I absolutely loved it!

The Food
Every year I post a recipe for a traditional Irish dish. This year it's colcannon, an Irish staple!

1 lb cabbage, washed and shredded
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
2 green onions, trimmed and chopped
1/4 pint creamy milk or single cream (I use half and half)
salt and black pepper
pinch of mace (or nutmeg)
4 oz melted butter

Boil the cabbage and potatoes in separate saucepans until cooked. Meanwhile, chop leeks, add to the milk and simmer together in a pan for 5-10 minutes.

Drain the cabbage and potatoes very well. Mash the potatoes, stir in the leeks and milk and then add the shredded cabbage, salt and pepper, and mace. Combine very well, turn out into a deep serving dish and heath through thoroughly in the oven, covering with foil to prevent browning, if necessary.

Make a well in the centre of the mixture before serving and pour in the melted butter. Serves 4-6.

Irish Blessings
I always close out my annual Holiday of Coolness post with this gem...

May those who love us, love us.
And for those who don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He can not turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles,
So we may know them by their limping.

Happy Holiday of Coolness, everyone!
(And, in case you're curious, here are links to the HofC posts from 201320122011 & 2010)


Terry W. Ervin II said...

Funny blessing :)

The Thrifty Gypsy said...

Love it! There's a wee bit of Irish in me, and I hope one day to visit Ireland myself! Thanks for sharing the pictures!

Leslie said...

Happy Birthday, Sarah! I loved your book - Hope Springs. I cried and was sad to reach the end. In the spirit of the book and to honor my Irish heritage, I made Irish soda bread. It was somewhat edible, though I imagine Katie's was much better. Hope you are doing well.

Donna K. Weaver said...

So fun and hope your birthday was wonderful. Walking around the ruins in Ireland--some that were abandoned BEFORE Columbus discovered America--give a old new sense of old, doesn't it?

russandkatie said...

Happy Birthday! I am almost done with Hope Springs and just like Longing for Home I LOVE it!!!


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