Inspired by Ireland

Surely I’m at least a small percent Irish. After all, the freckles and auburn highlights have to come from somewhere. But I’m of Anabaptist faith, and typically we are largely of Swiss and German descent. One of these years, I’d like to do the DNA test to see what my ancestry really looks like. Until then, I shall continue to believe in my heart that I’m a little Irish. Regardless of my true heritage, I do love St. Patrick’s Day.

Not that I’m into the drinking and the leprechauns and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. That’s not what St. Patrick’s Day is really about for me. I don’t drink, and I don’t believe in leprechauns. I’m into the culture and the music and the food and the real story of St. Patrick. And Arby’s green Mint Chocolate shakes. 

First things- if you want a quick lesson on St. Patrick, that is also fun to watch (even for adults), I highly recommend the Veggietales version. I’m not a devoted Veggietales fan or anything, but I find this to be quite amusing.    

Seriously though, this story is a reminder that God can change the history of a country with one obedient person. It’s also a reminder that God can use the negative experiences in our past to write our histories in an amazing, redemptive way. St. Patrick, I am certain, did not dream of being made a slave. You probably didn’t want the loss, or the absent parent, or the broken heart, or the mental confusion and torment. These experiences do not define you, though, unless you let them. I confess I’m letting some of my experiences define me. But they don’t have to. What incredible story might God be wanting to write with your messy past, and with mine? He did it with St. Patrick; He can do it with you and me.

Now, for some more lighthearted content: This is Irish Soda Bread. The members of this household liked it, so I’ll probably end up making it again. It’s a good kind of bread to make when you’re short on time, because it can be mixed up and baked right away.

Then, we have this beautiful Irish Cottage Pie I made at work. Also a success, but certainly not a quick meal if you’re chopping vegetables and making mashed potatoes from scratch. The bottom of the pie is a mixture of ground beef, carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms, and tomato paste. You then cover that with mashed potatoes mixed with cheese. By the way, here’s a secret I learned from my mother about mashed potatoes: use cream cheese and garlic powder in them. Honestly, it makes the best mashed potatoes ever!

And this is Irish Apple Cake. It’s supposed to be served with a custard sauce, which I was going to make, but I ran out of kitchen energy today. Maybe later…

I have a mini fashion show for you in these next couple of photos. I really wanted an Irish-inspired outfit this spring, but I wasn’t wanting to spend a fortune. Gabe’s to the rescue! Obviously, I know very little of traditional Irish attire, but this is my attempt. Note: I love the sleeves on this dress!

Ironically, I didn’t wear a green dress on March 17th. White and green socks were the extent of my greenness then. But that’s okay. St. Patrick’s Day has been more of a season for me this year rather than a day. And I don’t consider it to be completely over yet.

There are still things I want to do before March ends. I ordered a kids’ book with the story from the library, and I haven’t taken time to read it yet (Once I do, I will try to share some thoughts on my new Instagram account: treasurethepages ). I also picked up an adult book about Ireland, which is quite a bit more intimidating. Someday, I want to read the writings of St. Patrick himself, but that may have to wait until next year. Pretty sure I haven’t listened to enough Irish music, and there’s Irish cheese in the fridge that I bought at Aldi, which we haven’t opened. So, if you missed March 17th, there’s still time! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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