On V-Day 2004, I wore all black in solidarity, a statement of my disdain for a loved-up marketing ploy of a day. Also, I was single and in high school and just beginning to get the feel for rebelling against the world. Cue the dramatic trumpets.
That same day, I was also asked to prom with a dozen-roses-and-a-singing-choir-disruptingly-traipsing-into-honors-English-to-sing-me-a-valegram. Well, call me sorta kinda not that nice, but I said yes, and then I said no. OOOPSSie, THE SAME CAN BE SAID FOR WHEN WILLIAM PROPOSED.
That wasn’t the only year I did something quite mean on Valentine’s Day. In 2008, I pretended to fall asleep watching a movie with my date, and in 2009, I was chased out of class by a turfgrass dude I had never met. Upon being asked for a date, I simply replied, “No thank you”. Needless to say the guy huffed off in the other direction shortly thereafter and we never talked again. My girls gave me HELL for that response.
Somehow, thankfully, William knew of my disdain long before our first Valentine’s together and he did the sweetest, kindest, most-Rebecca-way-to-valentine. He bought me yogurt, an apple, and a teeny leather journal for list making. This guy gets me.
Since then, we’ve reverted back to not-celebrating mode and jump straight into all things green and my most favorite holiday of all. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE St. Patrick’s Day because it involves celebrating orange-haired fair-skinned people who eat cabbage and have a gift for malarkey. ;)
I’ve significantly upped my meat and potato intake these last few weeks in preparation, and though I’ve mostly strayed from my floury-potato-three-different-ways-in-a-meal-and-a-big-hunk-of-meat roots, the country knows how to make simple fare taste delicious. When sourced as locally and as fresh as possible, those ingredients don’t need much fancying-up. William loves this time of year because meat, potato, and Ireland. His favorites.
Below is a list of the Irish-inspired meals we’ve been enjoying and another of recipes I’ve shared on this site in the past. I use recipes more as a guide so we’ve been enjoying variations on the links. A few hints if you’d like to go all traditional for a Paddy’s Day feast: Darina Allen‘s Forgotten Skills of Cooking is my favorite cookbook of all time. I use it more as a DIY guide and get creative from there. Donal Skehan is seriously the most fun Irish guy to follow on YouTube and his books and recipes are great for what my girlfriends dub healthy man food. For beautiful photos, accurate history, and recipes contained in a coffee table cookbook, The Country Cooking of Ireland is a real treasure.
Celeriac, Mushroom, and Beef Stew from Ard Bia
Ballymaloe Chickpea and White Bean Stew
Roast Beef with Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Carrots and Savoy Cabbage with Caraway
Irish-inspired Recipes I’ve shared in the past: (some are not gluten and dairy-free, though most can be adapted)
And for a touch of green: Spring Green Fennel Millet Cakes
I simply can’t wait to Savoy-Savoy-Potato! How will you celebrate?