Monday, March 17, 2008

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day- Houston Style.

We have some family traditions for celebrating St. Patrick's Day.
You see, I have Irish great grandparents (never met them though) and Bernie has some Sullivan blood back in the early 1800's so reason enough to "be Irish" on the day.

I usually decorate with an Irish girl doll and a small leprechaun that I've had for years.
I make Irish Soda Bread and brew a pot of Irish breakfast tea, alll while wearing my Irish green clover apron.

Ahh, 'tis a lovely way to enjoy the day.

This year Laura helped make the bread: that meant, of course, that sprinkles had to added to her loaf just to make things even more festive.
We had gone downtown to a museum on Saturday, and found out that THE St. Patrick day parade was held there while we were busy checking out the Pompeii exhibit. What a shame, especially since we would have had time for both events had we only known.

But....there was to be ANOTHER parade, this on on Sunday afternoon, down on FM1960. FM means "Farm to Market" road, which it was years and years ago. Now it is just a long drive with traffic signals every other block, and road construction to make you go absolutely crazy anytime you have to go on the FM.

Well, anything for a St. Patrick's parade! The one downtown San Diego is a pinching and kissin' and dancing and music fest not to be missed. Maybe this parade would be the same!

Laura and I headed out while Bernie went to yoga class. His knee needs the exercise and we shoo'd him along. We found parking at the very end of the parade route. A man was selling pinapples, mangos and watermelons out of the back of his truck.

Very Irish, don't you think?

Well, how about selling purses out of the trunk of your car then?

Wearing green to these kinds of events is important if you want to get into the spirit of things. This person has his own take on "spirit" and "green"; green skulls never said "Erin go braugh!" to me before, but then again, I must remind myself the importance of intercultural interpretation.

Scottish kilts and cowboy hats is another example of interesting intercultural celebratory attire.

If you are Mexican however, you just go with MEXICAN. Period. Not sure why the flag though. Maybe I should have stopped him and explained how to cross back over the border where his flag would be appropriate. I still don't know what the white things on his belt were. Onions?

The crowd had a high percentage of Hispanics, mostly wearing red, and eager to get anything that might be FREE.

Or at least that's what it seemed like was going on.

Any motion of something being tossed lead to a tidal wave of people scrambling to get a tootsie roll or stand of beads.

Ahhh...the man of the hour: St. Patrick hisself.

The restaurant "Wings and Things" (pictured in the background) has always mystified us. What exactly do you suppose "things" might be?

Laura is dressed in classic California Irish girl togs. She even had sparkly green eyelashes!

Back in San Diego she would have gotten lots of Irish hugs and kisses in that outfit.

I got a round of applause for my outfit when I stepped into the street to see if the parade was coming. I think the parade attendees thought I was a float.

And yes, there really is a town called "TOMBALL" with a fire station nearby.

The wind was really flipping my skirt around. I stood still and still looked like I was dancing a jig.

This woman clearly has no tolerance for anything except Yankee sensibilities. Stars and Stripes forever!

This guy apparently is "black Irish." Check out our gas prices; don't we have the luck here?

The parade was simply weird. Everyone in the parade threw Mardi Gras beads to the crowd.

And not just green beads either. No Irish music either. Rock and roll, Elvis, Regga...everything BUT Irish.
It was very disappointing.
Next year let's go to a parade in San Diego, Boston or Dublin instead.

Back home it was time to start the kitty parade. Laura wrangled an Irish necklace around the neck of our resident orange man. He was not amused.

I flashed my tattoo-for-a-day, and thought of my Irish brother-in-law Joe, he who wears a shamrock tattoo-for-a-lifetime.

Hart really got into the spirit of things, and not only wore the shamrock collar, he also made his eyes glow green! Grey tuxedo wearing cats always have class and are up for any occasion.

He sat under the coffee table and matched his ears up with the wood carving.

Cute kitties.

Tiggie finally decided to just go with it.

They almost has a nice Irish brawl too.

Bernie broke it up.

Our traditional Irish dinner: Corned Beef and cabbage, and Colcannon.
We really missed having Jeff with us for the meal.

Colcannon is mash potatoes, scallions, and cabbage, butter, salt and milk mashed together.
Delicious! Traditionally you hide a coin in it too, the one who gets it gets extra luck.

We've have Irish music playing for the last week...the mantle decorated since March 1st...

Bernie flew out to Arizona early today so we had to do most of our celebration this weekend.

This morning Laura and I took a Zumba class where we did Irish step dancing between salsa numbers. Worked our butts off!

So...what are you doing today?

How are you celebrating?

Think about making some of my Irish soda bread for is so easy and delicious!


3 Tablespoons butter softened.

2 1/2 cups flour

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoons salt

1/3 cup raisin (optional)

3/4 cup buttermilk

Cut the butter into the flour, soda and baking powder, and salt until the mix looks like fine crumbs. Stir in raisins and buttermilk.

Turn mix onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Shape into a round loaf about six inches in diameter. Place on a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Cut an X about 1/4 of the way through the loaf with a floured knife. Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown, 35-45 minutes.

(I've made it with milk curled with lemon juice in a pinch, and also with plain yogurt/milk mix as well.)


Sara said...

As I've said before, I just love your sense of celebration! You sure do know how to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, even if that sorry excuse of a parade was all you got to's more than I've seen!

I'm celebrating by wearing green....woo hoo! You'd never know I've got quite a bit of Irish ancestry from way back when.

I vote for all of us bloggers to go to the Dublin parade in 2009! Wouldn't that be a kick! And we will need to make ourselves some matching shamrock print skirts and wear tall green hats....sounds like lots of fun.

Glorious Hats said...

Why I do believe the orange man cat was winking in that one photo. He sure had you fooled.

Hart is so elegant.

A fun read. Glad you all went. Breakfast tho looked heavenly.

running wildly said...

I'm wearing green....and that's about the extent of it! Although, I am thoroughly enjoying living vicariously through your post and pictures. I particularly LOVE the cat collars. My two fluff balls would have nothing to do with it. Sigh. I have NO ONE to dress up.

Enjoy your day....and hopefully the wind won't blow your clothes right off. Because then, THAT would be a St. Paddy's day to remember!

Vicki said...

As far as that odd parade goes, it seems to me that St. Paddy's day was simply an excuse to have a parade and party - no real theme required. Doc and I used to look at the strangeness that is only Texas and repeat the slogan: "Texas - It's like a whole other country" (and a weird one at that!).

The boys (the furry ones) look very handsome in their green garb, especially Hart. That green really sets off his eyes and accentuates his coat.

My St. Paddy's day was anything but festive. I spent the day dealing with the move. A third move estimator was here this morning, and then I worked on the comparisons this afternoon, emailed it to Doc (at work), and we made the decision and the call. I did laundry and paid bills and began cleaning out my freezer. The meals for the upcoming week will be weird, too - whatever I can find. I refuse to move food! (Our move is next week!)

(Can Spooky come to visit while we're moving? Tiggie and Hart could keep her entertained and out of our hair...)

PhantomMinuet said...

It looks like a very festive time was had by all. :-) I intended to make Irish soda bread this year, but alas, I didn't manage to get it done.

Maybe next year.

Anonymous said...

Good looking Irish cats, and cooperative too. Love you all. momS.

amyletinsky said...

I love taking part in your holiday celebrations! Thanks for sharing the with us! This one was especially colorful. I loved the display with the celtic cross. I should have thought to wear mine yesterday!

I'm drooling over your feast, by the way! Thanks for the recipe!