St. Patrick’s Day 2017 is going to be really very enticing with dozens of programs planned on the occasion across the US. From St. Patrick’s Day parades to different social and religious programs lined up for the day, you have your hands full.
Irish immigrants would have never even imagined that from famined people, desperately seeking refuge from hunger, they will become one of the more prosperous communities in the largest democracy in the world.
When the Irish immigrants were entering the US, forsaking all their properties at home –that anyhow didn’t cost more than a pittance – they were not just running away from famine and penury. They were also trying to find a refuge from Protestants, who were as big a challenge for them as the famine itself.
A report in the Irish Geneology says, “They were forced to work long hours for minimal pay. Their cheap labour was needed by America’s expanding cities for the construction of canals, roads, bridges, railroads and other infrastructure projects, and also found employment in the mining and quarrying industries…When the economy was strong, Irish immigrants to America were welcomed. But when boom times turned down, as they did in the mid-1850s, social unrest followed and it could be especially difficult for immigrants who were considered to be taking jobs from Americans. Being already low in the pecking order, the Irish suffered great discrimination. ‘No Irish Need Apply’ was a familiar comment in job advertisements”.
Who was St. Patrick?
Many people will find it unbelievable to know that St. Patrick was not even Irish. He was born in about 400 A.D. in Britain and kidnapped by Irish pirates at the age of 16. He was an atheist early in his life. However, he rediscovered his faith while enslaved in Ireland. After 17 years as a slave, St. Patrick escaped Ireland and found his way home, but returned to Ireland as a missionary.
What to drink on St. Patrick’s Day 2017
There is no denying that the Irish stout is the drink of choice on St. Patrick’s Day. Estimates suggest that Americans drink about 600,000 pints of the Dublin-based beer. But on St. Patrick’s Day, about 3 million pints of Guinness are downed, according to Guinness in an email to USA TODAY Network. Planning on drinking a pint on Monday? Tips from Guinness on the perfect pour: Tilt the glass at 45 degrees when pouring until it is three-quarters full, then let the beer settle before filling the glass completely to the top. It is estimated that around 15 million pints of Guinness will be consumed worldwide, during this year’s holiday.
Porter Cake for St Patrick’s Day
It tastes great. Porter is not Guinness, though you could probably switch it into this recipe if you like. Otherwise, seek out a bottle of London porter in your local artisan beer bottle shop. Eat with more beer and cheese.
220g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
220g soft dark brown sugar
120g mixed peel, chopped
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
330ml bottle porter
500g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice
1 Preheat the oven to 170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3. Grease a 20cm cake tin with butter and line the base with baking parchment.
2 Beat the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until pale, fluffy and combined. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, until combined. Stir in the dried fruits, mixed peel and porter.
3 Sift in the flour, baking powder and mixed spice and stir well to combine. Scrape the cake batter into the prepared tin and bake for 11/2 hours or until risen, firm to the touch and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin. Wrap it in greaseproof paper and foil and store in an airtight tin until needed. It should keep quite well for a couple of weeks.
Mini St Patrick’s Day Ombre Cakes
14 tbsp all purpose flour (1 cup minus 2 tbsp)
2/3 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg
2/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lime or lemon zest
3 tbsp milk
yellow, green and blue food coloring, gel or liquid
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 24-cavity mini whoopie pie pan
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In medium bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and lime zest. Whisk in half of the flour mixture, followed by the milk. Whisk in remaining flour mixture and stir just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Divide batter evenly into four small-medium bowls. Leave one portion of batter uncolored. Color one portion very light green (three parts yellow, one part green). Color one portion medium green (three parts green, one part yellow). Color one portion dark green (four parts green, or three parts green and one part blue). You will need less coloring if you are using gel coloring. Whisk each portion until color is completely incorporated.
Divide batter evenly into prepared pan, filling one row of cavities with each color of batter.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until cakes spring back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few small crumbs attached.
Allow cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely