Ideas For St Patrick's Day
As St Patrick's Day approaches, people everywhere are trying to think of original ideas for St Patrick's Day parties.
We all know to dress in green, to hang green decorations, shamrocks, leprechauns etc
Well now we have to go several steps further. It's time to start thinking of food recipes and cocktail recipes to make our party better than everyone else's.
On St Patrick's Day, the traditional fare in Ireland would be corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. Not very appetising, and certainly not party fare!
What you could do however, is to add Irish potato cakes, known as Boxty, to your breakfast menu. They can also be served as cold snacks with drinks later.
They're very easy to make, and very traditionally Irish.
All you do is mix approximately half a pound of mashed potato (previously prepared) with half a pound of grated raw potato. Add to these half a cup of flour, salt and pepper and mix well. Beat 1 egg until smooth and stir into the mixture. Add a little milk until the mixture will easily drop from the spoon.
A tablespoonful at a time is about the right measure to make one potato cake, or Boxty.
Cook on a griddle or hot frying pan, dropped from the tablespoon directly onto the griddle, and cooked for about three minutes on each side. Served with a fried breakfast, including black pudding as well as the usual components, is known as an Ulster fry.
There is an old saying, or rhyme, that goes:
Boxty on the griddle
Boxty in the pan
Can't make Boxty?
Never win a man
An interesting fact is that St Patrick's Day has been a national holiday in Ireland since 1903, but pubs were always closed on that day!
Only since 1995 has it been promoted as a global holiday, with pubs not only open, but celebrating with parties.
In the USA, however, it has been celebrated since 1737, when St Patrick's Day was the day when the British left Boston finally, leaving the Bostonians to themselves.
Now we've had our Irish breakfast, time to start thinking about preparing party food!
The most important thing in your kitchen today will be green food colouring, for obvious reasons. This can be added quite safely to any food or drink, in fact green beer is an absolute must on St Patrick's Day!
Guinness of course is another must have, and can be added to any of your usual recipes, without changing tastes, but adding an Irish flair.
When making chocolate cakes, either a full cake or cup cakes, take one glass of Guinness and boil it for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until it starts to reduce and thicken. Add a little butter, and continue to cook until it becomes syrupy, then add the chocolate to be melted, (or cocoa powder) and once it's all melted and mixed together, simply add it as normal to your cake mix.
You can also make a Guinness buttercream by the same method, but once the Guineas and butter is syrupy, just let it cool then add it to the butter you're going to use for your buttercream. This can be added to any cake as a filling or topping, wherever you would normally use buttercream.
Green cupcakes are another must idea for St Patrick's day.
Add a little green colouring to both your cake mix and icing or topping. When you have produced your Green cupcakes, add a little coin on top. Chocolate coins are good but of course too large to go on top of a cupcake, usually. Use chocolate buttons covered in gold foil, or make your own little disc shapes of chocolate or candy covered in gold foil. You can use real coins but of course they must be wrapped in cling film. Coins are one of the dirtiest things possible, harbouring all sorts of bacteria from who knows where they've been.
When making a large green cake, large chocolate coins or buttons are ideal as decoration.
Buy a jar of green maraschino cherries. These can be cut into slices, which will give you ring-shapes. Three of these on top of a cupcake or biscuit, will represent Shamrock, with another straighter piece as the stalk.
St Patrick's Day Drinks
Some ideas for St Patrick's Day drinks, apart from green beer, or green 7-Up for kids, are the following:
Creme de Menthe (or peppermint liqueur) is an excellent bright green liqueur, and if you like peppermint, can be used in a variety of cocktails.
One shot Creme de Menthe. 1/2 shot Creme de Cacao, (or cocoa liqueur) and fresh cream, makes a delicious after-dinner drink. Or substitute cream for milk for a longer drink.
1 shot blue bols, (blue curaçao) 1 shot vodka, and orange juice makes a green drink to get the party going!
Simply Peppermint liqueur and 7-Up, sure to get you giggling!
Any clear drinks like gin tonic, vodka tonic etc with a little green colouring, easy!
Make up some different cocktails of your own, anything goes, and if it's not green enough, out comes your green food colouring again!
Along with regular Irish favourites Guinness, Bailey's, and Irish whiskey, you have all you need for a monster success of a party night!
Armed with a few cocktails, everyone is ready for some fun and games.
Don't like the sound of the green cocktails? Learn to make some of the classic cocktails, and impress your friends!
Whatever the occasion, a well planned party will be remembered, so take some advise and make your party a truly memorable one!
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