As I’ve been reading and researching my own family Irish ancestry and heritage, it was a lot of fun this week to find some Irish recipes for the Home Matters Linky Party #174 , some of which seem to be authentic, traditional Irish dishes and others that are modern versions of recipes that incorporate some traditional Irish colors and flavors. I found lots of great St. Patrick’s Day ideas on my journey through Irish history and traditions! #StPatricksDayIdeas #HomeMattersParty
When I traveled to Northern Ireland several years ago (see my post HERE), I remember discovering a wide variety of foods that I had not ever heard of before. Which might seem strange since I know that my maternal grandfather was a Dailey . . . but since my mother grew up during the Great Depression, I think she just learned to cook whatever was available and she didn’t put much thought into traditions. Which is one of the reasons that I have always tried to establish traditions for my children. I think it is important, but some generations simply didn’t have the time, energy, or resources to be particular about what they were feeding their children. That was my mama!
So I was fascinated while visiting families in Belfast, Northern Ireland to encounter my first cup of tea with milk (poured into the cup before pouring in the tea) which was brewed by the pot and not by the cup as we often do here in this country. I loved the Soda Bread and scones with currants, of course with another cup of tea in the afternoon, and sandwiches made from buttered bread and cucumber. I will never forget walking into downtown Belfast during a rather tumultuous time in modern Irish history and watching the British soldiers on every corner and the armored tanks cruising up and down the city streets. As a young, naive American, I had no idea what was happening when I pulled my camera out of my tote bag, stepped off the curb into the street, and snapped a photo of one of those armored tanks. With the guns pointing out from narrow slits around the top.
I just knew that I would probably never get another chance in my lifetime to visit this beautiful country and I wanted as many photos as I could possibly get during my short stay. So I was taken by surprise when within just a couple of minutes, two police men arrived and stood very close to me, one on either side. “Hello!” I said, totally clueless. After a brief conversation in which they asked me where I was from and what I was doing in Belfast and the name of the family where I was visiting, they apparently realized that I was just an innocent, albeit ignorant, young woman visiting from America. I didn’t realize until later, when I told the family where I was staying, that I could have been arrested and taken off to an Irish jail without any immediate recourse. I certainly didn’t understand about international affairs at that time in my life!
And it wasn’t until later that day, as we wandered through as little book shop that I came across images of the violence and carnage that has been part of life for people in Ireland for centuries. But now I know just a little bit of the history, and I am honored to know that my ancestors, at least some of them, came from the beautiful Emerald Isle. And whether or not any of them ever met a Leprechaun, or whether they were Catholics or Protestants, I have no way of knowing at this distance of time and across the ocean, but I do know that to this day I love a cup of tea in the afternoon, of course with just a drop of milk and sugar, and one of our favorite family recipes is Shepherd’s Pie. Of course on St. Patrick’s Day we always have corned beef and cabbage, with potatoes, carrots, and onions. Which we all love, so I don’t know what we usually only have it on that one special day.
I am learning more about The Troubles, and the Irish Potato Famine, and many of the hardships that my ancestors encountered here in America – the way that the Irish people were outcasts from society, the poverty, the hardships, and the struggles to succeed in life. And I know that my own Grandfather Dailey built a little diner in southwest Michigan, working hard through the years of the Great Depression, along with my grandma, to provide for my mama and her sister. I know that the poverty and daily challenges that they all survived is the reason my mama was as rough and unhappy as she was, and for that I can forgive her because I am beginning to understand that she lived with a broken heart through years of toil and deprivation. I am grateful for that heritage.
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Transitioning From Winter to Spring Decor from Anita @ Cedar Hill Farmhouse
Instant Pot Easter Recipes from Tania @ Run to Radiance
Free St. Patrick’s Day Embroidery Design from Kristi @ I Should Be Mopping the Floor
Rock Candy Rainbow Donuts from Mariah @ Giggles Galore
Spring Decoration for Front Door PLUS Flower Arranging Tips from Rachel @ Adventures of a DIY Mom
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