Let’s Talk with Terry Odell

March 17, 2016

St. Patrick’s Day

by Terry Odell

My week here starts on St. Patrick’s Day. Americans have adopted this holiday, although our country’s traditions aren’t the same as they are in Ireland. One of my daughters now lives in Northern Ireland, and pointed out that corned beef and cabbage are not part of the celebration. Nor is green beer. Instead, they’re likely to eat Irish stew, soda bread, wheaten bread, and colcannon (mashed potatoes with cabbage and ham).

Guinness ClockWhere we live, we do have an Irish pub, and for them, this is their Big Day. In fact, they have a countdown clock that counts the days, hours, and minutes until St. Patrick’s Day (and it’s set to Ireland time so as not to waste a minute.) One last thing – it’s St. Pat’s or St. Paddy’s day. Never St. Patty’s Day. Patty is short for Patricia, while Paddy is short for Patrick.

Have you adopted any traditions that aren’t part of your personal cultural heritage? (Despite my name, I’m not Irish!)

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Posted in Let's Talk, with Terry Odell, zed: Former Authors • Tags: , , , , , , , |  28 Comments


28 thoughts on “Let’s Talk with Terry Odell

  1. We read loads of leprechaun books and the kids have made leprechaun traps to take to school.

  2. Our winter home in Savannah goes all out for St. Paddy’s Day. People tell me it is something I HAVE TO experience at least once. Instead, I avoid the crowds and am heading off to a national wildlife refuge to walk and look at the birds, which I am fairly certain will not be wearing green, unless they always do.

    1. No, you don’t. It used to be a rollicking good time, but now it’s all crowds and noise and drunkenness, with no parking and lots of crime. The Chatham jail will be full tonight. A deputy there told me visitors bring beer money in one pocket and bail money in the other. So yes, avoid it. Nothing to see there.

  3. My family does have Irish roots, and Pagan ones at that (basically my family line, no matter the time or place, runs with uncultured redneck peasants, and we like it that way). So no green beer, but yes to soda bread and Irish stew, which were regularly on my dinner table when I was growing up. And though my family isn’t Jewish, our many Jewish friends have introduced us to some fine food from that culture. And although my husband’s family isn’t Greek, he lived there for several years, and his mother taught me to cook that cuisine. So yes, we have lots of cultural borrowing going on, all of it food-related!

    1. Holidays are always about the food where I come from. I’m wondering if I can find a high-altitude recipe for Hamentaschen for Purim next week.

  4. I am from Ireland but have lived here over 33 years now. We usually go for a pint (or 2) to celebrate the day. However today & from now on is bitter sweet as my brother passed away last St. Patrick’s Day – RIP.

  5. For St Patrick’s Day, we have a shamrock wreath on the front door and shamrocks in the front window. It is a day for lamb chops with Bailey’s Irish Creme. It is a day for the wearing of the green.

  6. Stay at home, try a new Irish beer, corned beef and cabbage, made colcannon for the first time last year, might do that again.

  7. Enjoy watching Darby O’Gill and the Little People… always wear green! Love a good Irish soda bread…

  8. I usually wear green, and try to eat at least one Irish sounding meal (corned beef and cabbage, or irist stew)

  9. I’m in the wear something green category. Luckily, I have fluorescent green sneakers, which I wore out and about today!

  10. I’ve heard in the past from some of my old family members who are no longer with us that I’m one-quarter Irish. But no one in our family or extended family have delved into our Irish history or practice any Irish customs…except for wearing green, beer and corned beef on rye! Oh, and stories of the “Little People.” I did visit Ireland in 1986 for three days and kissed the Blarney Stone upside down in a rainy downpour( which occurs almost daily in the Emerald Isle). Thanks for your post, Terry! jdh2690@gmail.com

    1. Thanks for sharing your traditions. I was in Ireland in 2000 and I also kissed the Blarney Stone, but it was a nice day. No rain. The one rainy day we had was a Sunday so we went to the Jameson distillery where I learned I like good Irish whiskey. 😉

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