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    The Celtic Ranch — St. Patrick's Day

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    Good Saint Patrick

    Good Saint Patrick
    Only those who are in the closest intimacy with objects venture to treat them familiarly, and the Irish find it easy to joke, without disrespect, of that which is dearest to them. However, only an Irish-American could ever have conceived the ideas of Saint Patrick as an editor of Prayboy magazine.  - Henry D Spalding

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    Corned Beef and Cabbage

    Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional St. Patrick's day meal in the United States, most commonly it is served with Colcannon, or another type of potato. What a lovely Irish dish! Except that it isn't Irish at all, but is American in origin. First, corned beef is a salt-cured meat, so named because it uses large pieces (or corns) of salt. There's not a bit of corn to be seen. Besides being used in corned beef and cabbage, it is used in many dishes including corned beef hash, sandwiches, and Montreal smoked meat. The salt acts as a preservative for the meat, and gives it a pinkish color, even when cooked. Now, the origins may trace back to the Irish, who used bacon in traditional dishes, and may have substituted the corned beef as a less expensive alternative. Cabbage may have been a substitute for potatoes, as they were more expensive and cabbage offered a hearty alternative. When cooked with the beef, it became the spicy delicacy we serve today. Potatoes are a traditionally Irish dish, served at almost every meal, so for Americans or Irish immigrants to add this was a natural step. Corned beef and cabbage recipes call for an addition of carrots to add extra flavor and nutrition to the dish. How do you cook a good corned beef and cabbage? It really is easy, crock pots, and roasting pans are the most commonly used methods, and the addition of the cabbage is made about halfway through the cooking process, giving the cabbage time to soak up the flavors of the meat without getting unappealingly soggy. Potatoes can be added when the meat starts, or cooked separately and combined with butter and the cooked cabbage from the meat to make Colcannon. We also found some great recipes on allrecipes.com We love buying our corned beef from a local company, Boyles Corned Beef, which can be found in grocery stores locally and nationally. They have the best advice on cooking this particular delicacy. "Low and slow is the best way to prepare cured or "corned" meat-an hour per pound is the general rule of thumb." So whether you're cooking for St. Patrick's Day, or for an every day hearty meal, remember that while this is an Irish inspired dish, it's origins are as American as apple pie. Corned beef and cabbage Boyles Kansas City Corned Beef

    St. Patrick's Day In Ireland

    The biggest St. Patrick's day celebrations in the world take place, naturally, in Ireland. Throughout the country there are festivals to celebrate the beloved Saint Patrick. In many areas of Ireland, there are street markets, parades, music, and other entertainment. Sure, the pub is a great place to be, but there's so much more! In Limerick, there is a parade which features national puppeteers, dance groups, celebrities and more. 80,000 people are expected to line the streets of Limerick to watch a parade featuring 4,000 participants. There is an international band championship, which actually takes place for several days during the St. Patrick celebration. Other festivities include horse races, free drinks at local restaurants, and much, much more! County Cork's celebration of St. Patrick includes a parade, festival market, and circus performers as well as a parade. Like most of Ireland, their festival takes place over several days. Derry-Londonderry has an Irish Language Week, with events throughout the city. County Wexford's parade is considered the oldest in Ireland. Dingle starts their celebration at 6am, the Dingle Fife and Drum Band kicks it off playing throughout the streets. In Northern Ireland, County Armaugh has a huge celebration of St. Patrick, including a carnival procession, special dinners, and lectures about the historical significance of the saint. Of course there's Dublin, international city, home of Guinness, Trinity College, and a huge St. Patrick festival! Of course there's a parade, music shows, shopping, and Guinness (an estimated 7.5 million pints consumed on St. Patrick's Day).  This year’s parade theme, Imagine If, has been inspired by the imagination of the youth of Ireland as they look to the future .....the next 100 years. See the making of the 2016 Festival Parade right here. These festivals last for several days, sometimes even a week. More than just parades and beer, they're festivals celebrating St. Patrick and his spiritual and cultural contribution to Ireland. Should you make it to one of these, all we can say is: Slánte!

    Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland

    St. Patrick's Day is more than just a celebration of all things Irish, it's the celebration of the spirit of the Irish people, embodied in a single man. St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Patrick was taken prisoner around the age of 16 by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family’s estate. They brought  him to Ireland and sold him into slavery where he spent six years as a shepherd, and during which time he learned the Irish language, and prayed, becoming immersed in his Christian spirituality where he found solace. He had two visions, one which told him to return to his home, the second told him the boat was ready. He walked 200 miles to the coast, boarded the ship and returned to his native land. After he returned home he traveled to Gaul and joined the priesthood, studying under St. Germanus, he was consecrated as a bishop, and sent to Ireland. He was sent to succeed St Palladius, who had not had much success converting the Irish, but Patrick had a dream of the voices of the Irish , entreating him to return. His depth of faith enabled him to return to the land of his enslavement where he worked diligently to convert the Irish to Christianity. It took much work, because the Irish were unwilling to convert, and had trouble relating to the "new" religion. Patrick kept his faith, and through his teachings of Christ on the cross, and by using the three leaves of the native shamrock plant to explain the Holy Trinity he was able to convert much of the country and earned the nickname " enlightener of Ireland" Patrick's great love of the Irish, despite his slavery at their hands early in his life enabled him to save them, this noble cause is why we celebrate him and he has become a symbol of Ireland representing not just the religious faith of the Irish, but also the perseverance of the Irish people against seemingly great odds. His humility in his mission is widely known, and the following quote attributed to him. “I owe it to God’s grace that through me so many people should be born again to Him.” Perseverance, grace, humility. It doesn't get more Irish than that.

    Patty's Day or Paddy's Day? What's the Deal?

    We're going to broach a huge controversy. Patty's Day or Paddy's Day? Patty's Day makes more sense as a diminutive in the English spelling of Patrick, if you're Irish, however, that's a no go. Why? St. Patrick's name in Irish is Naomh (Saint) Pádraig (Patrick), the modern Irish typically use Patrick, but to be grammatically correct when shortening Patrick's Day use Paddy's Day. If you must, although shortening it is also frowned upon. Ultimately, the most correct greeting is "Happy St. Patrick's Day!" Want to impress your friends with your knowledge on St. Patrick's Day? Besides correctly spelling the abbreviation, use this Irish Gaelic greeting: Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit! (Happy St. Patrick's Day to You!) pronounce it  lah leh PAH-drig SUN-uh gwitch!  While we're at it, here are some Paddy's Day dos and don'ts:

    1. St. Paddy's Day-correct St. Patty's Day makes you look like a gobshite (idiot)
    2. Learn some authentic slang, this will help you talk to your friends when they get bolloxed (very drunk).
    3. Slang for drunk: bolloxed, fluthered, gee-eyed, hammered, langers or langered, locked, motherless, mouldy (also means rotten), ossified, paralytic, plastered, polluted, shlossed, stocious, twisted (thank you to irishabroad.com for the slang)
    4. Don't drink green beer (do we need to explain?)
    5. Wear green sparingly Paddy's Day St. Patrick's Day Green!
    6. Be respectful, this is a holiday meant to celebrate a revered spiritual leader of the Irish people, the patron saint of Ireland. Getting drunk and acting the git (a horrible person) is insulting to a noble people.
    Most of all, have fun! There are parades, parties, music, and church services celebrating this great man, enjoy them whatever your heritage. Remember, on St. Paddy's Day, everyone is Irish!

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