All the foods needed to party like a leprechaun

Caroline O'Kane, Staff Writer

Maybe the Irish aren’t known for their extensive menus, but on Saint Patrick’s Day you are sure to find these Irish dishes in traditional households, whether you are dining in Ireland itself or right here in America.

5. Cabbage

Cabbage is slightly sweet yet slightly bitter, and hard to describe other than describing it as cabbage itself. To make Irish cabbage, there is not a secret ingredient, but what makes it so great is to eat it with the other parts of your deliciously prepared Saint Patrick’s Day dinner.

The first thing you will need for this part of the meal is a single cabbage and a pot of salted water. Before the cabbage goes into the water to cook, cut the cabbage into four quarters.

4. Rye Bread

Rye Bread is an essential when it comes to thto a St. Patrick’s Day meal. Whether you choose to have it plain with butter or with corned beef, it tastes delicious and makes for great leftovers throughout the week. From a personal standpoint, I recommend soft seeded rye bread. The caraway seeds give additional flavor to what is often thought of as a rather bland meal.

3. Potatoes

Honestly, what would be an Irish meal without potatoes? There are endless ways to prepare them, but the traditional way to serve them on March 17th each year is to boil them along with the cabbage.

2. Corned Beef

For this part of the meal you will have to be patient, and by patient, I mean waiting almost three hours for this meat to cook. At the store, purchase beef brisket, brown sugar, Irish stout beer (often times Guinness), and peppercorns. Once the meat is in a roasting pan, coat the entire piece of meat with brown sugar for both flavor and sweetness, adding the bottle of stout beer around the edges and lightly on top of the meat along with a handful of black peppercorn. Now the waiting begins. However, in the meantime, a delicious loaf of Irish Soda Bread can be baked.

1. Irish Soda Bread

Last, but certainly not least, a traditional loaf of Irish soda bread is always a crowd pleaser. You will need flour, a pinch of sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, a stick of butter, caraway seeds, raisins, and buttermilk. Once all of these ingredients are combined, knead the dough into a large ball and place on a baking sheet. Finish the bread off with an X for design on the top and bake for 50 minutes or until the bread turns a golden brown. Despite the fact that this is a bread, this dish is made as a dessert served with butter, jam and a cup of tea.

For detailed instructions on how to prepare traditional Irish soda bread look for Kathleen’s Bake Shop of South Hampton cook book. Friends and food critics say it is the best soda bread they’ve ever had.

From personal experience, living in an Irish household with grandparents who came from Ireland, I don’t know what an Irish holiday would be without some music and dancing. Most commonly, Irish music is loud and contains many different instruments, combining into a jolly beat that you cannot help but dance along with.

Remember, you don’t have to be Irish to join in on the fun on Saint Patrick’s Day. The old saying holds true: On Saint Patrick’s Day, everyone’s Irish.