Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Irish Reminiscences and a Giveaway!



I have been very fortunate to have visited Ireland many times through the years. I made the photo collage above from some of my many photos of the trips I made to the republic of Ireland. Long time readers will know I am half Irish, third generation, on my father's side. I also have a sister-in-law that was born in Ireland, and she is the only one from her family that has lived in the US for most of her life.  I have traveled to most of the counties in the Republic of Ireland and have many fond memories of the people, scenery, food and drink and awe inspiring places i visited there. (All photos and photo collages in this post will enlarge fro easier viewing by clicking on them)




I have also visited Northern Ireland a couple of times and again, the beautiful scenery and warm hearted people I met there will always be a cherished memory.

I blogged about some of my more recent trips and you can see them all under this label: "Ireland" There are many posts, including some about St. Patrick's day in America and some Irish recipes, so you'd have to keep scrolling through many pages!




One particular post is about my visit to Saint Patrick's grave in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland. He is the reason we celebrate this holiday as he is the patron saint of Ireland and of the 31 million plus people of Irish descent living in the United States!




Another post I'd like to highlight is the one I wrote about the very haunting and beautiful Irish Hunger Memorial in Manhattan, in New York City.  The Irish Hunger Memorial garden is a monument to those who perished during the "An Gorta Mór" (Gaelic for "The Great Hunger" as it was called in Ireland), and is also a symbol to highlight areas of the world affected by hunger today. This memorial is significant to me as my great grandfather and great grandmother both immigrated to the United States during the famine years in Ireland, along with millions more that left Ireland and settled in other countries during this great diaspora.




Every Saint Patrick's Day I treat my family to the American Irish tradition of Corned Beef and Cabbage boiled dinner. Natives in Ireland used ham or a thick bacon called "rasher" in their boiled dinners, but the Irish that immigrated to New York found corned beef more readily available and more affordable at the time, and substituted that. I sometimes also make a Shepard's Pie and I always make Irish Soda Bread to accompany the meal. Last year I made a gluten free version as well as my traditional recipe.



Of course a Saint Patrick's Day celebration would not be complete without an Irish tea!  I've collected a few cherished pieces of Belleek China during my visits to Ireland, and this is the time they come out of my china cabinet to see some use, and my decorative Irish blessings are displayed year round in my home as a tribute to my Irish heritage.


Now for the give away! I would like to gift one reader of my blog with this Tea Party idea book by Tracy Stern. It has twenty different themed tea party ideas inside along with recipes and ideas for invitations, decor table settings and favor.


To win this book all you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite things to do on Saint Patrick's Day!

If you become a follower on my blog, facebook page, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter I would be very appreciative! Come back and leave another comment to tell me what you have joined and I'll give you an extra entry for each.

I will announce the winner on March 18th, 2015! Please make sure I have a way to reach you by e-mail if you do not have a blog. Good luck, and Happy Saint Patrick's Day!





I'm linking this post to Cuisine Kathleen's Annual St Patrick's Day Blog Crawl! I love to join in on this celebration every year. Click on the link to see many wonderful Saint Patrick Day posts. 
I'm also linking to Pink Saturday, Blue Monday. Mosaic Monday, Our World Tuesday,You're Gonna Love It Tuesday, Treasure Box Tuesday.

Thank you to all the blog hosts!


Bookmark and Share Pin It

64 comments:

The French Hutch said...

Hi Pat, I enjoyed seeing your photos of Ireland and Northern Ireland. I've only been to Ireland and would love to return someday to see NI. I will have to go visit the memorial in NY too! What a great traditional meal you made, enjoyed by all I'm sure.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Terri Steffes said...

Visiting from Kathleen's! I was so interested in your travels to Ireland. I hadn't heard of the garden in NY so that was fascinating. I drooled over your meal! Now I am craving it! So nice to visit you, I think we might have a mutual friend, Vee. I have seen your name before!

Rattlebridge Farm said...

Oh, that meal looks delicious! Your photos are beautiful and make me long for Ireland.

From the Kitchen said...

Around here, St. Patrick's Day is quite an event. The Chicago River gets dyed green and it seems that every sizable suburb has a parade--including ours. I'm getting anxious to a slice of Irish soda bread myself.

Best,
Bonnie

happywonderer.com said...

Loved all your reminiscing and the collages are great. The food really looks delicious and comforting!

Liz@ Infuse With Liz said...

Oh how fortunate you are to have visited Ireland not once but many times! I've never seen the grave site before- that's interesting and I didn't know about how the tradition of corned beef got started here in the States! Thank you for sharing that! Your traditional dinner looks great! I'd love to own some Belleek china. I enjoyed your post!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, Ireland is a beautiful place and has been on my bucket list of places to go for some time.. Thanks for sharing your stories and images.. The meal looks delicious.. Enjoy the rest of your week!

bj said...

O, what a perfect post...your photos and info are wonderful. If I could choose a place to go, it would be Ireland.

Marigene said...

Beautiful photos...love the ones with cows and sheep against the green hills.
Your corned beef dinner looks delicious!
Enjoy the rest of the week, Pat.

Sarah said...

We've never traveled to Ireland, but I've always wanted to see this beautiful country. Thanks for sharing all your travel photos, and a Happy St. Patrick's Day to you and the family.
I would so enjoy a copy of this book. I love a tea party! Thanks for the chance, Pat.

Pondside said...

Ireland is certainly a place I'd love to visit. My father's grandmother was Irish in a family that was overwhelmingly Scottish - there's a little Irish in all of us, they say!
I would love to enter your draw. One of my favourite things to do on St Patrick's Day is to make a Boiled Dinner, like my mother always made. She served it with homemade Chow Chow and it smells and tastes like a bit of Irish heaven!

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

Pat, Your photos are amazing, as always! I recognize some sites but others are new to me. I have not been to Northern Ireland but the next time we go over I hope to make it up there. That is so interesting about the corned beef. So many traditions came about due to necessity, didn't they? We don't have one routine for March 17th. It seems that the kids were often on break that day, and once we were even in Dublin! The parade was certainly unusual--nothing like NYC. I enjoyed your post so much. Linda

Nellie said...

Pat, we share Irish heritage, though yours is greater than mine. I would love to travel to Ireland someday, though I doubt it will ever happen. I've been told that my great-great grandparents immigrated from Ireland. Through the years, I've thought to remember my Irish heritage, especially on St. Patrick's Day. Corned beef, colcannon, and Irish soda bread are regularly on the menu! Three years ago, one of our daughters married on March 17, and Irish soda bread (baked by her twin sister) and Irish cheese were on boards placed on each of the tables for the reception. We actually recently attended a benefit for the Ulster Project in a nearby town! I love to go to a version of an Irish pub in town and enjoy some Irish music.

Loved this post! Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!

xo Nellie

Parsimonious Perfection said...

Great read and fabulous pictures as always, Pat! What beautiful countryside! Very pretty Belleek china! We usually dress in green and have green on the table in some form or another. Thank you for sharing your breadth of knowledge and recipes!

The Tablescaper said...

Pat,

Your post provided the perfect trip to IreLAND.

- Alma, The Tablescaper

Sarah said...

Pat, I'm a follower on both FB and Pinterest. Don't have the others. '-)

The Gathering Place said...

I went to Ireland once, and loved the scenic beauty of it. I would love to visit again! On St. Patrick's Day we love to cook corn beef and cabbage and of course wear something green (to avoid those "pinchers").

Breathtaking said...

Ireland is a beautiful green country, but unfortunately I have never been there.I love your collection of china and the Shamrock motif on the linen.The meal looks good and hearty too.
Best Regards.

Mary said...

Pat, I'm missed your wonderful posts! I've never been to Ireland but as usual I have the benefit of being an armchair traveler with you as my virtual and knowledgeable tour guide! Gorgeous photos in your collage and your Belleek China is beautiful. ♣

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

I would love to dine at your table on Saint Patrick's Day Pat. I really enjoyed your pictures of Ireland too. What an interesting country. Love the photo of the fire engine red door side by side with the blue one.
Sam

thepaintedapron.com said...

Beautiful photos, I really enjoyed visiting Ireland through your camera lens! Thank you for mentioning the hunger struggle too. On St. Patrick's day we will be celebrating my granddaughter's 2nd birthday, we are lucky indeed!
Jenna

ladyfi said...

Ireland has a lot of gorgeous scenery. Nice shots.

Linda Kay said...

We have not made the trip to Ireland, but our friends who went said it was really enjoyable. Have to put it on the bucket list!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Ireland is on the list of places I would like to visit one day! Meanwhile...you do a fine job of taking us on a wee Irish tour right here! Thanks.

Grace said...

what beautiful pictures! Your spread looks wonderful. I love how you make every holiday so special for your family. I am right on the Parade route on Fifth Avenue so at lunch I always run down to see and hear the bagpipes. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures Grace xoox

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

You are truly fortunate to have visited Ireland several times, Pat. I think I remember when you posted the photos of St. Patrick's gravesite! Your traditional dinner looks delicious. Corned beef is a favorite of mine and probably my favorite St. Patrick's Day tradition.

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I loved my trip to Ireland last year and found the people so friendly.
Each year I usually cook the traditional corned beef, cabbage and potatoes in my crock pot with Irish soda bread on the side. I remember your gluten free version and pinned it, in case I need to make it one day.
Please enter me in your draw Pat.

Lorrie said...

My husband has Irish heritage and I'd love to visit that beautiful island one day. The Belleek china is so lovely. Thanks for the giveaway, Pat.

Lady of the Manor said...

You are so lucky to have been to Ireland and we're lucky you shared your trips with us! Loved the collages. Beautiful!

Tyneisha said...

Beautiful pictures!! We are not Irish but in the spirit of the season we dress in green and cook up a little corned beef!

Tyneisha said...

Followed in Instagram under @luvmyminime!

Tyneisha said...

Followed on Pinterest under TyneishaF!

Gracie said...

I want so bad to visit Ireland again, it almost hurts! Thanks for sharing your memories of the Emerald Island once more with us.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

It has been way too many years since this Irish girl was in Ireland…I must plan a return trip. We will be out of town on St. Patrick's day, otherwise I would be preparing corned beef and cabbage.

Daniela said...

My dearest Pat,
you're so lucky to have visisted such an enchanted island .. I wonder how exciting to see St.Patrick grave it was, and what a wonderful memory you're going to bring with you for ever and ever !
Thank you sweet friend for another wonderful post, Happy St.Patrick day to you and your dears and to everyone has Irish roots !
Blessings
Dany

tablescapesbybev.com said...

Your photos are marvelous...thanks for sharing!

Kathleen said...

I think the immigrants would cringe at the cost of corned beef this year! I mean I like it, but not 6 dollars a pound worth, LOL! That was at Costco.
Lovely post, half Irish Pat! My son is only half Irish too, the best half, lol, but his bride is 100%. I know she has never cooked a corned beef or made an Irish Soda bread in her life, but she lived there for 6 months when she was in college. Thanks so much for joining in the St Patrick's Day Crawl, and have a wonderful SP Day! Good Craic!

podso said...

Hi Pat,
I enjoyed this post. Someday we want to go to Ireland. Your photos make me want to go more. I hope you have a Happy St. Patrick's Day and enjoy the cooking. Will you make the GF soda bread again?

Jeanne said...

Hello Pat, I loved your Ireland photos and reading about your wonderful trips to a country I have always wanted to visit. I learned a lot and your photo collages are a great overlook of the country.

My father is half Irish and we always celebrated St. Patrick's Day in our home growing up. Boiled dinner is a must. Your delicious spread on your festive table is awesome. I am going to make soda bread next week with our boiled dinner.

The giveaway is very nice and it would be fun to win. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.
Hugs,
Jeanne

♡♥♬ Carolsue ♡♥♬ said...

My favorite thing to do is make corned beef and cabbage!
Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

Betsy Adams said...

Hello, Just got home from a nice trip to Arkansas to celebrate George's birthday. I will blog about it tomorrow.

Now--it's time to start working in the yard, cleaning up all of the 'junk' from the ice storm. What a mess!!!

Hope you are doing well. Happy St. Patrick's Day on Tuesday to you and the family.. Your meal sounds great. We might have some Shepard's Pie here... YUM.
Hugs,
Betsy

Shira S. said...

Thanks for sharing Pat. I've been in love with Ireland since I've known the band Westlife. I hope, one day, someday I'll visit this beautiful country.

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

I'm part Irish too and have always had corned beef and cabbage on the 17th. I even have my house decorated!

Thanks for sharing this interesting blue.

Have a Happy Blue Monday!

Vee said...

That bridge! I remember that bridge and your great courage in getting across it! This was the time of year I found you in 2008 when I wanted to link to a tour of Ireland. Yours was the best, the brightest, the most beautiful. I didn't dare to "talk" with bloggers then so you found me. Bless your heart! Have a fantastic St. Patty's Day. I imagine that all the plans have begun in earnest today. I visited your Pinterest board and got lost for a while. I am going back to get "lost" again.

Miss Jean said...

I have a lovely collection of Irish Belleek as well. I've also just discovered Barry's Irish Tea, straight from Ireland. Thanks for the opportunity to win the book!!

Miss Jean said...

I follow you on FB!

innergybeauty said...

God's wonderful creation. How great thou art.

Poppy said...

Beautiful collages of the magical country of Ireland! I have an elderly neighbour, here in the village, who was born in Belfast, and after living in Crete for the past 11 years, has decided to move back home. I know it's the right decision for him.

Poppy

RC Rabbit (Bunny) said...

Oh your photos are gorgeous, I hope to visit Ireland someday. Until then I celebrate my want to be Irish heritage by making corned beef,cabbage and potatoes all while wearing green and wishing I had my grandmother's red hair.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

How wonderful to travel to Ireland. I've seen so many movies set in Ireland and it really is magical like Poppy said. I like to make a special meal (including bread) for St. Patrick's day! Sweet hugs, Diane

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

Thanks for linking this post to MM Pat.

Donna said...

Fabulous collages of Ireland....I went once and loved it.

Jackie and Joel Smith said...

Beautiful photos to introduce me to all the wonders of Ireland (one place we haven't yet visited). I particularly loved the St. Patrick's gravesite photo.

Joy H said...

Pretty post, love your collages :)
Have a Happy St Pats!
Joy @ Books and Life

LV said...

I have no clue what all I might have. Never thought to ask when someone was here that would know. Your Irish post was excellent.

Joyful said...

Beautiful post!

I've always wanted to go to Ireland but never made it yet.

I do love cabbage, potatoes and corned beef or ham. Do you think I might be part Irish ;-)

On Saint Patrick's Day I used to go to the parade. These days I don't stand so long so now I have to watch on TV.

Sending the luck of the Irish to all the giveaway contestants. Have a wonderful day!

ladyfi said...

Wonderful collages of Ireland!

Fun60 said...

Now I know where your beautiful red hair comes from! Its bacon, cabbage and potatoes for me. Delicious.

La Petite Gallery said...

Oh boy!! does that ever look delish.
So did you ever get to Sligo or Donegal?
I have been 3 times and have such great memories. We drove to the very top of Ireland on the west coast, The mountains and Atlantic were awesome. May a Fairie
leave a pot of gold at your door.

yvonne.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Pat. Were you named for the saint? How lucky that you've gotten to visit Ireland several times. It's a beautiful place, but I've been there only once. My favorite St. Pat's day memory is of going to the parade about seven years ago with my late husband and daughter, who had connections to get us into the breakfast at Gracie Mansion with the mayor (Bloomberg - and lots of other revelers). It brings a smile to my face just writing this.

Sara D.B. said...

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, Pat!
Since it's not celebrated here where I live, my favourite thing to do is to admire all the lovely, green posts written by bloggers living in Ireland, the US or Canada. :)
Thank you for the gorgeous photos!

Linda H said...

Ahhh such wonderful images from one of the most beautiful places on earth. I've been lucky enough to visit Ireland twice, but I sure would like to go again. The last trip was in the early 80's and we were there 3 weeks, circled the entire country by car, except for Northern Ireland. So many great memories are stirred by your photo mosaics. Thank you!!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Lovely pictures and I hope you had a great day. On St Paddy's Day I like to sing along to "The Wearing of the Green."

Rue said...

I still have the four leaf clover that you brought all the way back from Ireland and sent to me, Pat :)

I hope you had a lovely St. Patricks Day!

xo,
rue