My Family's St. Patrick's Day Traditions

My Family's St. Patrick's Day Traditions

How my family celebrates our Irish culture.
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Being an Irish family means that we always did St. Patrick’s Day right, with traditional Irish foods, movies and the best part: being surrounded by family. Every year, my mom and sister would cook the best Irish staples: Irish soda bread, guinness bread and cheddar cheese scones. My mom also made corned beef and cabbage for my dad and grandma, but I was never a fan.

For the best Irish Soda Bread, follow the recipe of "Home Baking, the artful mix of flower and tradition around the world" by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid.

Ingredients:

3 cups whole wheat flour

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon salt

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 cup oatmeal or rolled oats or another 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) of unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces

2 cups sour milk, or whole milk soured with 1 tablespoon mild vinegar

Directions:

Place a baking stone or unglazed quarry tiles, if you have them, (or baking sheet) on a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a big bowl. Cut in the butter. Pour in the milk and mix well to moisten the flower thoroughly. The batter will be moist and heavy. Use wet hands to pull it together and shape it into a dome about 8 inches in diameter. Transfer the loaf to a flour-dusted peel or the back of a baking sheet dusted with flour. Cut a half inch deep X across the top of the bread, and transfer the bread to the preheated stone or tiles or baking sheet. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes. The bread will look like an overgrown muffin, with a yellow-brown color. To test for done-ness, pinch a bottom edge: It should be firm. Set on a rack to cool. (Like all soda raised baking, this bread is best left for 12 hours or more before slicing). (Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid)

Our tradition is to watch The Quiet Man, while my dad and grandma reminisce about the good old days and John Wayne, and my sister and I comment on how sexist everyone is to Maureen O’Hara. And then my grandma tells us all about how those were just the times, we can’t take it seriously, and "boy how the times have changed for the better." I am starting a new tradition this year to switch the family movie over to Leap Year, an Irish classic, but more modern.

After all the cooking and baking, and the movie, we eat cheddar cheese scones and make classic Irish breakfast tea to end the night. It feels great for our family to come together each year and celebrate our culture and family history. It is a holiday for all of us to take a break from our everyday lives and just spend time with the people we love the most.

Cover Image Credit: google images

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To The Girl Who Always Feels Left Out

Maybe next time...
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To the girl who always feels left out,

Girl, let me just tell you, I know the feeling. It feels as though my whole life, I have been that girl. You know that feeling when you are standing in a group of people and someone comes up and asks everyone to go to lunch in that group... But you?

Or they make it even worse by saying "Oh, I guess you can come too." You guess I can come to?

No, thank you.

At that point, you feel like the only reason you are being invited is that they feel like they have to. Which more than likely is actually the case. What about when you ask your friend to hang out and she can't because she will be doing homework all night? However, an hour later, you see her with your other best friend. Oh okay cool, sorry for bothering you with my friendship.

You know you are the girl who is always left out when you are the designated "photographer" or you have to specifically ask if you can take a picture with them because they are obviously done taking pictures and did not want one with you.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who 'Float' Between Friend Groups

We all know "Hey, will you take this picture of us?" all too well. Am I right, ladies? Oh yeah, it is fine. I hate being in pictures. I definitely hate taking pictures to remember this wonderful time I'm having.

What about when you and your friends discuss doing something later during the week and you ask about it but "It's probably not happening anymore." Then you check and would you look at that, your "friends" are having fun without you.

Shocker.

Oh but don't worry about it, I had things to do anyway. You know, clean the house, work on homework that is due next week, binge-watch The Office for the third time this week. Fun stuff. Oh and better yet when you see your friends are hanging out without you. The next time they see you, they talk about how much fun they had.

Oh yes, please tell me about how much fun you had without me. I totally enjoy hearing about how "I totally missed out" and "I should have come." Well, an invite would have been well appreciated. But maybe next time, right? Wrong.


Yeah, I know what you are thinking, "Wow this girl is being so petty." Well if you are thinking that, then you obviously do not know the feeling. And to think about it, you probably are not the one in the friend group who is being left out. So think about who that person is and make them feel included next time. It would be greatly appreciated. You do not know how much of a difference it could make.

Yes, I know everyone feels left out sometimes, but time after time, it starts to get really old. Then after you have to start inviting yourself to hang out with people, you realize well since they are not inviting me themselves, maybe they don't want me here. And then surprisingly, you stop hanging out with them. Hmmm, I wonder what could've possibly happened.


Yes, I know, most people do not do this on purpose. I am sure I have even done it once or twice without realizing it, and I am truly sorry.

From one left out girl to another,

Good Luck

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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A Poem: My Mother

In honor of Mother's Day, that was on the 12th, here is a poem dedicated to my mother.

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To the only person who can be my mentor, friend, and leader at the same time

To someone who would make me read my own books before bedtime

And puts everything down to make sure there is a smile on my face

To the person that I find impossible to ever replace.


Somehow you are always right even when it seems wrong

And when the worst does happen, how do you still manage to stay so strong?

I'm not only impressed but inspired by you

Knowing that somehow you'll always know me better than I do.


When I'm frustrated and annoy you, you simply try to understand me

Because you have always told me that even when you can't understand, plain acceptance is the key

You have listened to all my laughs, heard me cry, and felt my emotions like they were your own

You are the only reason I am joyous and the security I need to know that I am never alone.


To the only person who has truly taught me how to live

And watched me grow and make mistakes yet still knows how to forgive

Because that's who she is, certainly not like any other

There are many women but none like my own mother.

Happy Mother's Day!

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