Mar 1, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Party

by Ellen Wilson

Host a party for the best holiday of the year.

Although not an official holiday, the St. Patrick season is nestled in March between Christmas and, well, Thanksgiving.  With our biggest holidays months away, a festive St. Patty's party is the cure for the mid-winter blues.

Since I feel quite serious about this holiday, I will first outline the basics of how you can, or should, celebrate and then suggest a few detailed, themed parties.

First on the list is green.  If you're just serving snacks and drinks, make sure to at least dye half of them green, if not all.  And although Dr. Seuss' birthday is on March 2nd, I'm sure he won't mind if you make green eggs and ham on the 17th as well.

While traditional d├ęcor calls for shamrocks, leprechauns, rainbows and green crepe paper, stay classy with a few floral arrangements.  You can either use naturally green plants or try our Kitchen Craft for Coloring Flowers to make green carnations, daisies or roses.
For a dinner party, your Irish menu should consist of some of the following:
  • Corned beef and cabbage
  • Irish stew
  • Irish soda bread
  • Colcannon (potatoes mashed with cabbage and leeks)
  • Shepherd's pie
There are other great Irish dishes, but those are the classics.  If you want an all green party, food coloring is the answer. Here are suggestions for snack food that is either naturally or artificially green:
  • Guacamole and chips
  • Green M&M's
  • Cupcakes, cake or cookies, either dyed green or with green icing
  • Jell-O squares or shamrocks
  • Green veggie dip with bell peppers, broccoli, and celery
Those are just a few options, but remember that almost any dessert or snack you can think of can probably either be made green or you can find a St. Patrick's Day green version.
St. Patrick's Day Theme Parties:

At the End of the Rainbow: This is the most labor-intensive party plan, but if you need to entertain children, this is a no-fail solution.  Using cheap metal or plastic buckets, use gold spray paint to make a pot'o'gold for each child.  Pack each bucket with lunch and chocolate coins for dessert. If it's a nice day, a nature walk is your activity.  Make sure to plant some evidence that some leprechauns have been in the area.  For rainy days, play "Pin the Hat on the Leprechaun," "Hot Potato," or make a St. Patrick's Day craft.

Kiss me, I'm Irish: For a laidback evening, give everyone 15 minutes to come up with their own original limerick (if you don't remember, a limerick has stanzas of five lines each.  The rhyme scheme is strict: AABBA). After everyone reads theirs outloud, award the winner with a prize of your choice.  Then relax and pop in an Irish film, such as Finian's Rainbow or Waking Ned Devine. 

Lucky you, lucky me: The premise is that everyone has to bring some article that brings him/her luck.  Items you're sure to see are shamrocks, horseshoes, dirty socks, and maybe a rabbit foot or too. Other than those, it should be interesting to see what item your neighbor always takes to the testing center. Award the winner with a wishbone or other lucky object.

Go Green: Be environmentally friendly.  Have recycle bins and don't use Styrofoam, paper plates, or plastic silverware.

Feel free to mix and match! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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