My mother, Sheila, was from a seaside harbor town in County Dublin, Ireland, called Dun Laoghaire (pronounced Done Leary). After her father died she left Ireland and went to London, England to find work to help support her family and survived a world war. In due course she traveled to America where she met my father, Bill; became an American citizen and had me.
America was her home, but Ireland was where she came from and every year on St. Patrick’s Day we celebrated that fact. It was fun! We would go to church; we would have lamb stew or corned beef and cabbage or potato soup; soda bread and scones warm from the oven slathered with butter or clotted cream and jam and always lots and lots of hot tea poured from a china teapot into delicate china cups on saucers laced with milk and sugar. Mommy would sing, I would dance (yes, I am a medal-winning Irish step-dancer), family and friends would join in with their own songs and stories and my Pop – well, he would preside over all the festivities and try and look like as if it was all a big fuss about nothing, but his eyes – his bright blue eyes would be smiling. And you know that saying “when Irish eyes are smiling …”
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to one and all!
P.S. Need an easy recipe for Irish soda bread? Check out one of our family recipes: http://boothbaybb.com/blog/page5/