Growing up I knew what our St. Patrick’s Day tradition was. There would be green everywhere I turned. Green decor, green milk, green biscuits at dinner and of course green clothes. But something that never happened on St. Patrick’s Day was my mother wearing green. Ever.
My mother is half Irish and just so happens to have green eyes. (Being adopted that never was an excuse I could use). She took great pride in trying to keep up Irish traditions even though her mother died when she was 16 and her father just after she enlisted in Vietnam as a nurse. Her source for family traditions was gone so early in her life that she kind of had to improvise and come up with something new to make the holiday fun for the kids.
Every year she would prepare breakfast with as many items she could put green food coloring in. When I would come home from school I could always smell the Corned Beef and Cabbage cooking. Do I like Corned Beef and Cabbage? Not even close, but the taste and smell will always bring me back to my mom. She served it with vinegar, green biscuits many years and sweet iced tea, being that not only was she half Irish, but she was also from the South. There is just something special about the nostalgia that comes from sitting down to a meal you’ve had so many times over.
But there is also something exciting that comes from changing those traditions just a little and making it into something new with your own family. I love to cook to celebrate holidays, like my mom, and always look for something new and fun to try. The best kinds of recipes are the ones the littles can help with because you can talk while you cook, teach them a skill and get a wonderful treat out of it!
One of my favorite places to get recipe ideas is the blog Oh So Delicioso. They have several recipes for St. Patrick’s Day but by my favorite is the Neon Green Punch since I have small children that love the color! Electric green is a head turner and since it’s not too sweet I don’t have to worry about giving a second glass to my kids. Another one of my favorite sites for recipes is Weelicious as well (you can see the natural green recipes here).
I have found that with modern traditions, it’s not necessarily about having the exact same thing each year but that you do something each year so your kids know about the holiday and what fun you can have with it. My kids are all preschool age and younger so the big school parties won’t happen until this coming fall. Until then we have the opportunity to make each holiday unique to us and what we love.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!