Monday, March 21, 2011

St. Paddy's Day fun

I know St. Patrick's Day has come and gone...but here are some photos of the carrying ons that occured at our house, as we celebrated all things green...

Firstly, the kids set out an elaborate trap to try and catch a involved a shoe box balancing precariously on the laundry basket, some green beads, and some gold coins strategically placed at the bottom of a black pot that was covered in shrink wrap, except for a tiny hole in the middle. The idea was for the Leprechaun to jump into the pot to retrieve the gold coins and then be trapped by the shrink wrap and fallen shoe box...
Unfortunately, the Leprechaun who visited our house during the stealth of night, was able to retrieve the gold, and escape, but he did leave some green gum and candy behind, which pleased the kids immensely, and the kids were delighted to discover that he left behind a green felt boot at the bottom of the pot!  This led to much discussion about the mystery life of the Leprechauns!

The Leprechaun also left behind a little coloring-in book which had interesting facts about St. Patrick's Day, a map of Ireland, Leprechaun jokes, mazes, word search puzzles etc.  I figured that this would be a good way for the kids to learn a bit about Ireland. 
(To make this, I printed off some free printables I found online at and familyfun and kaboose, and made a little booklet by stapling the pages together and then "binding" the book by gluing on a strip of green card stock.)

We made rainbow cupcakes...

For lunch we had Leprechaun sandwiches (inspired by familyfun magazine) accompanied by green jello, green grapes, green fruit roll and tic tacs...

For dinner, I wanted to make a traditional Irish meal to make the day more meaningful and somewhat educational. I was going to make a lamb stew, but wasn't sure where I would find lamb, and I didn't think that corned beef and cabbage would be a we ended up going with Shepherd's pie, which I think is more English than Irish... but the kids loved it because I made individual pots and the kids will eat pretty much anything if it is served in an individual serving sized pot.  I tried to cut a spinach leaf into a shamrock shape for a garnish, but my shamrock shape cutting skills clearly leave a lot to be desired. 

I also made Irish Soda bread, which was a huge hit.  I probably shouldn't have added the raisins, since the bread was being served with dinner, but the raisins actually went surprisingly well with the meal. 

For dessert, we had Irish Apple Cake, which was also a hit, although when I told an Irish friend that I had made an Irish Apple Cake for dessert, she said she had never heard of not too sure how authentic the dessert was, but it was well received and we served it with mint chocolate chip ice-cream (because its green!).

The kids got to drink green cool-aid (lemonade cool-aid with green coloring)...the Leprechauns had cheekily turned our water jug in the fridge into green cool-aid.

We also wore green hats and the boys wore orange beards (found here) and we made some orange pigtails for our little lass.

All in all we had a fun day filled with all things green and I must say, for someone who is very challenged in the cooking department, I did have fun researching and making some traditional Irish fare.  Hope you had a wonderful St. Paddy's Day and may the luck of the Irish stay with you all year long :)

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