Friday, March 15, 2013



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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