Friday, March 15, 2013

A BIT OF THE CELTIC GREEN



IRISH COFFEE

Ingredients
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee 
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 jigger Irish whiskey
Heavy cream, slightly whipped 
Directions fill mug with hot water to preheat it, then empty. 
Pour piping hot coffee into warmed glass until it is about 3/4 full.
Add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved.Blend in 
Irish whiskey. Top with a collar of the whipped heavy cream by
pouring gently over back of spoon. Serve hot.


My family isn't really Irish, perse, (although we do have Irish in the background) nor we even Catholic. We’re Celtic.

But everyone is Irish on St. Paddy’s day, right?
 
Celtic is the term for the Scot, Irish, and Welsh. They’re the Celts. They were the fierce warriors, the bards, the artisans, and the song masters. They worked hard and played hard and still do, for the most part. Music? Oh my word, the Celts can make some fine music.

In my family, we have a tradition of coming together for St. Paddy’s. My brother Rob is the host and has been for many years. He loves to throw a good party. He spends months planning the decorations—and trust me, there’s enough green to make the trees weep in envy. His house and property sits nestled in the hills surround by trees, just on the border of town. The heart of the town is only minutes away. Rob has a pool house and bar area for the party. It’s where we gather many times during the year for cookouts, swimming parties, New Years, or just visiting. You can sit on the wide porch or pop inside to the fully stocked bar and play a game or two of darts or, if you prefer, go up the steps leading to the decks surrounding the pool. He has a speaker system hidden in the vines and trellises near the roof outside and lots of pillows, small bistro tables and comfy chairs to sit.

Some prep work
St. Paddy’s is a family party filled with food, laughter, plenty to drink (but no green beer-shudder), dancing and singing. We rock the joint. The party usually begins in the afternoon and finishes up in the wee hours with all the little ones sleeping, jumbled up like puppies, in mounds of blankets in the corner.

My Mom
I laughingly say I come from a litter of nine. I get the raised brow from my mom when I say it. None of her children have produced such an abundance of children, but between us there is always a huge crowd of kids running around. In the afternoon there are games for all. 

There are horseshoes, darts, and soccer, impromptu caber tosses, a bit of shot put between the boys. You can see arm wrestling between young and old. Or just sitting around and telling tales. Our parties span the ages from upper seventies to infants. Neighbors know there is a party at Rob’s on St. Paddy’s—you can’t miss the music and laughter. Many stop in, some stay to eat, play and dance or join in the singing, others just visit a bit enjoying the food and merriment and go home. 

While my brother and his partner lay out a feast, we all bring food. Just family alone can number over fifty people. The tables groan. It’s a huge banquet spread out before us all. Food is brought out all through the day. Dancing is always present and that includes a flock of little ones either in a group or with the grownups. Late afternoon and early evening brings the bonfire and singing and calls out to different ones to share a tune. Tis a beautiful thing to watch and be a part of.

We may not be in the old country, either Scotland or Ireland, but it’s our country, and we make our own traditions and they’re very dear to us all.

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28 comments:

Talli Roland said...

Happy almost St Pat's day! That little treat looks delicious; I might have to whip one up!

Mark Koopmans said...

Bloody well said, girl :)

OMGosh, your brother Rob sounds like a dude I need to meet... actually your FAMILY sounds awesome... *love* the traditions of having fun and fellowship :)

Rock on with your bad selves :)

PS.. Thank you for NOT adding anything green to the beer or the Oirish Coffee :)

Kat Sheridan said...

Oh, what a lovely party that sounds like! And I've seen restaurants with fewer bistro tables than that! And I'm going to have to try that recipe. It looks wonderful. And Happy St. Pat's to ya!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

We don't do anything for St. Patrick's Day. However, a friend of mine was born that day (and last year she and her husband were married on that day) so I did make them a green basket of goodies to celebrate everything on Sunday.

Karen Walker said...

I love St. Patrick's Day, although I was born Jewish, I love Celtic mythology and have studied it. My son was also born on St. Patty's Day, so it has a different special meaning for me. Enjoy!
Karen

~Sia McKye~ said...

Tally, it's really easy and yes, it's good!

Mark, thank you. Uh, no. Green beer is awful and not a'tall inviting to drink. The Irish coffee, many times, doesn't get that lovely *collar* of cream either. Many of us drink it black or with a touch of cream.

I do have an awesome family and we've always made our own traditions. :-)

~Sia McKye~ said...

Kat, that's only one area with tables. Usually there are tables set up around the corner by the pool and additional tables and chairs set up on terraced decks by the house. There is a rock fire pit with it's own large octagon deck and seating.

What can I say? My brother loves decking and his partner is very good with design. You should see the yard in the summer. It's amazing.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Aww, that sweet Diane! It will mean a lot to her. I love when people use imagination when giving gifts. Makes the gifts all the sweeter. :-)

Karen, nice gift to have for St Paddy's.

David P. King said...

What a great story, and it's good to meet you! I'm a weird mix of Welch and Irish, don't know how my ancestors missed the Scots. :)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Oh! My eyes are green with envy! That sounds like so much fun. Love the music, btw.

And I have four kids...in this day and age, people look at me like I have a litter. God bless your mom. That's a lot of life to create!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, I feel like I should throw a party or something.

Johanna Garth said...

That looks delicious. Your family knows how to do St. Paddy's day right!!

M. J. Joachim said...

Eat, drink and be merry! The best way to celebrate St. Paddy's Day! Cheers!

Liza said...

Your music (which I always love) it a marvelous accompaniment to this post. This is a party I'd love to attend. Enjoy!

meradeth said...

That sounds like a great way to spend the holiday! Hope you all have an awesome time!

Heather M. Gardner said...

That sounds like a great time! Makes me want to plan a party!
Thanks for sharing.
Heather

Jo said...

Hubby's youngest was born on St. Paddy's and so was her husband, both the same year. Unusual.

Sounds like a great party wish I could join in.

My only problem with the Irish Coffee is the sugar, I have drunk many Irish Coffees in my time, but NEVER with sugar.

Happy St. Patrick's to ya.

~Sia McKye~ said...

David,you do know that many of the Scots of old sent their children to Ireland for schooling? So, who knows? there may be a wee bit of Scot in the mix, lol!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Elizbeth-it's a small litter. I happen to think 4 is a the perfect size. If the body had cooperated with me, I had planned on 4. :-)

Johanna, My brother Rob know how to throw a party, period. Our family does get together a lot though.

MJ- there's always plenty of fun, food and drink at our parties.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Liza, I'm glad you enjoy the music. It's a fun party.

Meradeth--it will be fun.

Heather--parties are fun, so long as I don't have to do it, lol! We take turns with Thanksgiving and that's quite an undertaking.

Melissa said...

Wow, 9 kids! I caught my limit at 3. LOL Great post!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Jo-it doesn't have to have either cream or sugar. To be married to someone who shared, not only your birth date, but the same year? Wow. That is unusual.

Melissa, thank you, glad you enjoyed it. No way would I want 9 kids. As oldest daughter, I was the proverbial mother's helper and second mom. I determined long ago not to have more than 4.

Suz said...

What a happy family tradition. The last 10 years or so, my hubby and I go to my son-in-law's fire dept. corned beef and cabbage dinner. Share the meal with my daughter, son-in-law and grandson. Best o' times. Thanks for sharing.

Carol Kilgore said...

AWESOME, Sia!

Our family isn't as large as yours, but we have a St. Paddy's birthday. Last night the celebration was at our house, and a fine celebration it was, too :)

Jo said...

Oooh yes, gotta have cream. In the old days it was always just thick cream (thicker than one gets over here) poured slowly over the back of a spoon so it all pooled at the top of the coffee. Deelicious.

JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

Leigh Covington said...

Ha! Excellent story! And I'm going to have to whip me up some Irish coffee! Yum!

Melissa Bradley said...

I'm very late to this post, but I LOVED it!! You have really amazing family and I hope that you all had a hugely wonderful time this year. :)

Scarlett said...

Just LOVE it, Sia!

Your family's gathering sounds incredibly warm, fun and inviting! I can see a mother's eyes roll at the mention of 'a litter of nine'!! And I can picture your beautiful smiling face as you say it!

Fantastic!
Happy St. Paddy's To You and Your family!