2.23.2012

st. patricks day dinner.


At the beginning of last year, Gabe and I decided that St. Patty's Day was a "thing" for us, what with the whole falling-in-love-in-Ireland situation. Granted, he was in Iraq at the time, but it was my job to start the tradition of cooking a St. Patty's Feast every year.

I don't cook...ever. Just imagine the fear that swept though my body when I realized I'd invited nine people over for a dinner party.

But, I crammed those nine people into my 300 square foot apartment, all sitting around an 8ft folding table that just baaaarely fit in my itty bitty living room when laid from corner to corner. Thankfully, all my guests were family friends I'd know since birth or youth...so none were allowed to judge my cooking or my matchbox sized apartment.

(A little bit of frantic preparations.)

I kept the table decor pretty simple, a layer of burlap covered by a layer of green seersucker...quite obviously not ironed. You know, cause the Irish aren't fussy...or 'cause I was busy cooking an enormous slab of meat and wrinkles weren't top o' my list.

Three packages of mossy green rocks from the Dollar Store, mixed with a handful of gold coins and a few pillar candles made for an ultra easy $10 centerpiece. I snagged a handful of gold flatware and tied linen napkins with a paper doily and twine. Each place was set with a Guinness (just to get things started...) and a perfectly green Perrier.

The menu consisted of some real simple Irish favorites:

Mustard and Maple Glazed Corned Beef
Potatoes, Cabbage and Carrots
Irish Soda Bread
Colcannon
Peas
Irish Apple Cake

Irish Chocolate Cheesecake

Most of these recipes were dug out of out of a real, live Irish cookbook and while they frightened me at first I got the hang pretty quickly. Obviously Guinness and Irish coffee were drank like water. The corned beef is still being raved about, which blows my mind since I began with following a recipe but quickly diverged and added whatever I wanted.


Irish tunes were flowing and people stayed long after the sun went down...just gabbing and laughing. It was boiling hot in my apartment, we all reeked of corned beef and cabbage, but it was such a good time.

This year I was on the fence...whether to throw a larger party, or just invite my parents and sister over. But, I'm winding down to my last month or two here in Wisconsin and big bash was the only way to go! Big bash it is. And I can't wait.


Perhaps it's the Guinness, but there's something about Irish food and the Irish spirit that's absolutely contagious and I look forward to celebrating March 17th every year.

Do you do anything to celebrate St. Patty's Day?

17 comments:

  1. what a great st. patty's day post! I think it's great that you find such great centerpiece "ingredients" from places like the dollar store! they turn out just wonderful! the food sounds delicious too!

    I love celebrating St. patty's day, this year I'm working, but I hope to finish early and celebrate =)

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  2. yuummm
    that centerpiece is awesome!!

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  3. love the centerpiece, you are so crazy talented!

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  4. I celebrate my birthday!

    Love that centerpiece!

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  5. the centerpiece is fabulous! my sister & her husband always host st. patrick's day dinner & it's a blast!

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  6. how fun! i really don't think i have ever really wanted to celebrate St. Patty's day but there is something fun about all that green that may turn me onto it!! =)

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  7. bethany! i could kiss you! this is amazing!! i've never seen someone put some much CLASSY effort into st.patrick's day!
    i am over the moon to be spending this st.patrick's day in ireland, with my dad, brothers, and a trillion extended members of the family. it's one of the biggest things i get to cross off my bucket list!

    http://scribblesbya.blogspot.com/

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  8. How fun! I love having people over to our house for dinner, and it's even better when you have a reason to decorate! : ) Everything looked beautiful!

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  9. Where did you get your silverware? Love it!

    Nichole

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  10. holy hell I love corn beef. My SIL makes amazing corn beef and cabbage every year.

    Sadly, I am the worst Irish descendant ever. Once upon a time St. Patty's day was an excuse to get bombed at a bar. This year... I'm staying in. Mostly because Hunter won't be my DD. prick.

    LB

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  11. I love the details of your St. Patrick's Day spread; the moss, the gold coins, it's splendid!

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  12. First of all, LB calling Hunter a prick may have just made my night. Who calls their baby a prick?!?! Hahahaa

    Anyway, this is gorg. I wish that anyone I knew celebrated St. Paddy's day like this instead of lined up for a port a potty at a run of the mill irish festival. I'd rather be sweaty, drunk and full of meat in your apartment. Holding the prettiest gold flatware.. My next mission is to find some...cheap.

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  13. Good job sweets! And what a sweet set up! Love.

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  14. That looks awesome! Have you ever considered becoming a party/wedding/events planner? I think you'd be fabulous at it!

    We don't really celebrate St Patrick's Day down here. Well, the big drinkers do ... any old excuse, right? :)

    x Jasmine

    PS. I think it's a super cute 'thing' for you and Gabe to have considering your history. Love it!

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  15. I've been frantically cooking (okay, mostly my bf with the cooking), baking and writing up a storm this past week to get in plenty of articles for my freelance writing job focused on food and restaurants.

    Sadly, my friends are all spread about and a big ol' St. Paddy's party isn't in the cards this year. And so my coworkers get a ton of my leftovers since if I allowed all these tasty treats in my apartment to be eaten by just the two of us, I wouldn't be able to fit through the door!

    Anyway, I wasn't sure if you were looking for any new recipes to try this year. So I thought I'd share a few of the ones I've made so far. If I lived closer, I would totally crash err...beg to be invited to your party. Your tablescapes are the cutest!! (Oh, and I'd bring baked goods.)

    Here's a link to this weekend's adventure into baking with Irish alcohol. Success! And there are a few other links in there as well.

    http://www.examiner.com/food-in-philadelphia/st-patrick-s-day-recipe-chocolate-stout-and-whiskey-cupcakes-with-irish-cream

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  16. Love your flatware. Pray tell, where did you find it?

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