Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day the Right Way

Being an Irish lass, I've always celebrated St. Patrick's Day.  And in our house, St. Patrick’s Day means two things: Irish potatoes and a viewing of Darby O’Gill and the Little People.

It amazes me how many people I encounter have never heard of or eaten Irish Potatoes, but I am single-handedly trying to make that population extinct.  And no, I don’t count Oh Ryan’s Irish Potatoes that you find in stores every March.  I advise you to not waste your money or taste buds on those things.  I’ve never had one, but I can’t imagine that they even come close to fresh, homemade Irish Potatoes.  There’s really no excuse to not whip up a batch because they are so simple to make.  And you get to get your hands dirty.  What could be better?  

If you are of the camp that doesn’t know what an Irish Potato is, I am very sorry that you have lived your life up until this point without them.  They aren’t made of potatoes, but rather confectioners’ sugar, coconut, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract, and are then rolled in cinnamon.  All you have to do is combine the ingredients, roll a small ball of dough in your hands, and then dredge it the cinnamon.  Fair warning though: once you have on Irish Potato, you will be addicted.  I double the recipe to make 10 dozen to accommodate my family and co-workers.  They most often don’t last past lunchtime. 

For added fun while rolling potatoes, we listen to the Celtic Traditional Pandora station.  A crazy Irish dance party usually ensues, so we get our exercise for the day in as well!

Irish Potato making is reserved for the night before St. Patrick’s Day so the evening of St. Patrick’s Day is free to view Darby O’Gill and the Little People, which has been family tradition since I was a kid.  It has a good mix of silliness, horror, folklore, bar fights, and morals that few movies these days encompass.  Perhaps I saw Darby O’Gill a little too young, as I spent much of my childhood terrified of the banshee, and is probably one of the reasons why I’m still afraid to walk around outdoors at night.  

Darby O’Gill, featuring a young Sean Connery, a not-disguised-as-a-boy Janet Munro, and lots of old man cackling, tells the story of a manor house caretaker who matches wits with leprechauns, all while the town thinks he’s nuts.  Even better, the villain’s name is Pony.  Pony!  Come on, how could you not love this movie?  Trust me, it’s hilarious.  I usually catch it on TV this time of year, but it doesn’t look like it’s in the listings for this week.  Lucky for me I have an awesome husband who got it on DVD last year, so I’m not in a panic trying to find it.  I suggest you add it to your Netflix queue!


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