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Growing up, we really never celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in any grand fashion, other than making sure we wore something green to prevent the out of control pinching that would ensue at school otherwise. Even my Irish Great Grandmother, whom we called Papa, never a made a big deal of the day either.

However, she was one to add a bit of flair to every day occasions. She was as superstitious as they come, causing my Grandfather to follow in those same traditions.

We were well-versed on the rules of walking around ladders, making crosses in the air when a black cat crossed our path, and never walking with just one shoe on –  to name just a few.

Short in stature but huge in personality, Papa would draw her great-grandchildren to her like a moth to a flame.

Always sharing a story about her life as a little girl, or about how my Mama would terrorize her little brother Larry when they were toddlers, or about the importance of well-starched overalls to my Great Granddaddy. Many weekends, she’d spend the night with my Grandparents when my sister and I were also spending the night with them.

Jealousy would always set in as soon as I heard the news, because Papa would always get the front bedroom at Grandmother’s house, meaning we would be in the bedroom with the bed that creaked and scared the wits out of you in the middle of the night.

But as soon as I saw Papa and cuddled up beside her, she’d start singing Froggy Went a Courtin’ in an animated way that I’ve never heard since. I can picture her smiling as we’d beg her to sing it again and again just so we could giggle as she made the “um hmm” sound deep in her throat.

So this year for St. Patrick’s Day, I don’t believe I’ll make the traditional corned beef, nor will I drink stout. I think I’ll make roast beef, mashed potatoes, and braised cabbage and practice singing her song.


St. Patrick's Day Menu

Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? What are you having?

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Robyn Stone

Robyn Stone is a wife, mom, blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. Welcome to Add a Pinch where I share thousands of delicious, tested and perfected easy recipes that the whole family will love.

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  1. I think that’s a perfect way to celebrate. 🙂 BTW I’ve never heard of the one shoe superstition before.

    1. Yeah, we had to be careful about the shoe superstition. I have to just look away when I go to a shoe department and people are walking around with just one shoe on.

  2. I love it when you share stories of your childhood, Robyn. Your memories are so sweet, and you paint such a great picture so that I feel like I am actually there with you.

    St. Patrick’s day menu – as much as I am usually on top of celebrations, I usually do not have it together for St. Patrick’s Day. I think that it is because it falls during Spring Break, and I am always just soaking in all of the extra time with my littles. You have inspired me to come up with a fun menu for this year – maybe for all three meals. 🙂

  3. I was going to make Shepherd’s Pie for St. Patrick’s Day dinner, but now I think I’m coming to your house!! Sounds like a wonderful meal, and a lovely tribute to your Papa. Enjoy the day! 🙂

  4. Poor black cats always getting a bad rap. They’re some of the nicest cats.

    Thanks for the recipe shares. I love having holiday themed food to celebrate and St. Patrick’s Day was a menu I hadn’t quite figured out yet. I’ll have to give a couple of these a try!

  5. In Italy we don’t really celebrate some St. Patrick. but anyway i was trying to find out more about and coudnt really find who he was and why to celebrate it. (other than it Saint)