Of all the holidays we celebrate, St. Patrick's Day is the one we probably know the least about. We honor Saint Patrick, who wasn't even Irish.
We wear green.
We go to church.
We watch a parade.
We go to a pub (or two or three).
We eat corned beef and cabbage or hash.
We eat and drink way more than we should.
This year, be prepared with a few facts about St. Patrick's Day:
- St. Patrick’s Day began as a religious holiday to honor St. Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century.
- Patrick was born in 385 AD in Britain. At age 16, he was captured and sold into slavery to a sheep farmer in Ireland. He escaped when he was 22 and spent the next 12 years in a monastery in England. Then he returned to Ireland as a Christian evangelist. He died at Saul on March 17, 461 and is buried at Downpatrick.
- Saint Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the holy trinity to the pagan Irish, and the wearing and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the day.
- We'll have Irish Soda Bread. Irish soda bread gets its name and distinctive character from the use of baking soda rather than yeast as a leavening agent. Traditionally made with soft wheat or whole wheat flour and bran, we make it with a combination of rye and soft wheat flours, and add caraway seeds and raisins.
- We'll have shamrock shortbread cookies to represent the holy trinity, and because they taste great and are green!
- We'll have corned beef sandwiches. Sorry, no cabbage or hash (the smell of cabbage cooking is not a *bakery* smell. The meat will be on our homemade sourdough rye bread.
- We'll have Guinness and Chocolate gelato, for a little taste of the pub crawl. And pistachio gelato, for another something green.
- At 1:30, we'll celebrate the Cookie Throwdown! -- our cookie decorating contest. The theme is "Gone Fishing" and most of the cookies will be green.
By the end of the day, your taste buds will thank you, and you'll still be able to walk and speak clearly.