Like almost 12% of the American population, I can trace my ancestry to the Emerald Isle. It’s a country that has lush vegetation, except for the blighted potato crop during the Great Famine that caused 1 million Irish to emigrate to America. Green, therefore, is the color most associated with St. Patrick’s Day, when we are all a little Irish.
In my family, which is 50% Irish, we celebrated the color and the heritage throughout the day. My mom would maybe give us socks with green shamrocks for luck, perhaps she’d slip some green food coloring in our milk for lunch, and we always, without fail, had Corned Beef and Cabbage for dinner.
You may want to try to start your day off with this Green Eggs recipe. The kale mixed in with the eggs gives you a healthy take and twist on the green custom.
Kale shows up in the Colcannon as well. It’s a simple, comforting, and very traditional dish that highlights all that I love about Ireland, including butter and potatoes.
The potato is the most familiar food we associate with Ireland. It was the potato, after all, which fed so many before the famine. The Boxty with Bacon and Scallions, a traditional Irish potato cake, takes this seemingly down-to-earth vegetable and elevates it to a symbol of how far we have come. And think of the bacon in it as an homage to the abundance the Irish immigrants found when they arrived here.