Saint Patrick’s Day

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!

St. Patrick’s feast day, in this country, is an optional memorial which means the regular Lenten feria Mass outranks it.  It may or may not be celebrated in Mass. It is always celebrated in our diocese (Harrisburg) because he is our patron.

Is it OK to celebrate today even though it’s Lent? So many of us in this country are of Irish descent that of course we want to celebrate. There’s no “rule” that you can’t celebrate today and I make no judgement on what you do or don’t do so please don’t feel you have to defend yourself.

If you frame your celebrations around the liturgical calendar (as we do), then today is a regular Lenten day. By that I mean we would still typically observe our regular Lenten penances whatever they may be, keeping in mind that they are not obligatory under the pain of sin. In truth we aren’t really “bound” to anything. It’s a Monday so there’s no worry over whether or not you can eat meat, you can. 

As it is the patronal feast of our diocese and the name day of one of my sons, we will celebrate with a special dinner that includes dessert. A real treat as we don’t typically eat dessert during Lent except on Sundays. 

So what’s on the menu?

Corned beef and cabbage using Pioneer Woman’s recipe and an lovely Irish Tea cake (recipe below, courtesy of Mary Ellen Barrett at Tales of the Bonny Blue House).

Oh yes, and Guinness for the adults. ;)

Happy St. Patrick’s day!

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Traditional Irish Tea cake

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9 inch round pan.
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. If the batter is too stiff, a tablespoon or two of milk may be added. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack, then turn out onto a serving plate.

Dust with confectioners’ sugar right before serving.

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