Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Patricks Day in N.I.

Saint Patricks Day is sort of funny here.  St. Patrick is the patron saint of the Republic of Ireland, but since Northern Ireland isn't a part of that, we weren't sure how it was going to be celebrated here.  Because of the past troubles we weren't sure either if it was a controversial holiday, or one that was celebrated by everyone.
Apparently it depends on who you are and where you live.  It isn't necessarily controversial, but people who are loyalists, or Protestants don't necessarily celebrate it as vehemently as people who are republican, or Catholic.  In fact, many don't celebrate it at all.  It is a big day/night for the bars here, but I would venture to say it still isn't as big as it is in Chicago, or Boston, or even Peoria.  People don't really get all dressed up in green and no one drinks green beer.  AND they don't eat corned beef and cabbage - EVER.  I many disappointments.
Now it is definitely a different story if you go down into the Republic, like, let's say...Dublin.  I still don't think they drink green beer, but it sounds like there is much more of a big party going on in honor of their Patron Saint.
However, I wasn't going to let any of this stop me from celebrating it with my family.  And luckily it was one of the volunteer's birthday, so we not only got to have a St. Patrick celebration, but we also got to enjoy an entire menu of delicious German food with it. :)  (The volunteer is from Germany by the way.)
Just so you don't think we let the day go by without any sort of festivities, I have documented some of our happenings throughout Saturday....

One of the volunteers dyed our milk green for us.  The boys have never had so much calcium in their lives.  They were so excited about the new drink, I even heard Liam tell Miles, "It tastes like candy!"

We walked into town in the morning because it was so nice, and then we were so taken by the fun atmosphere around the pubs, that we decided to stop and eat lunch at one that was playing music and had an Irish Stew and Guiness special.  Unfortunately since it was an impromptu trip and we hadn't intended on lingering, and because I didn't have any eye makeup on...this is the only picture from our walk. :)
 After naps we decided to make some festive "green" velvet cupcakes. 
 Notice the putrid green color of the batter - not the pretty green that the picture showed.  I couldn't find the green food coloring in the main house so I improvised by mixing yellow and blue.  Unfortunately this is the prettiest the green got (see below).  After baking the cupcakes they turned an even more putrid yellow/brown/green and grossed even me out.

 The recipe I used called for cream cheese frosting, and then mint buttercream on top.  You would think they looked so bad that they'd taste amazing, but don't be fooled - they tasted horrible.
 Then there was playing in the car for awhile.  The boys could seriously sit in there for hours if I would let them.  And of course, no event is complete without Liam's new favorite accessory. 
 Then later that night we went over to the volunteer house to enjoy a nice St. Patricks Day/German Birthday party.  The food was delicious, but the company was even better.  Soon the nights went off and the strobes came out...and it was our cue to be our typical lames selves and leave. :)  Overall it was a lovely day.