Mar 17, 2008

seeing green

Okay, who let loose the frolicsome leprechaun? Really, I can't think of another reason why it would have snowed in Mexico on Saint Patrick's Day.

Green kitchen

Needless to say, the outside environment was not so generous in its showing of green. I had to look elsewhere. I found a bit of the sought-after green in my kitchen, in the form of a reusable grocery bag ...

Irish Soda Bread

... whose contents, with the help of that same impish leprechaun, eventually morphed into some delectable Irish soda bread (recipe here.)

So let's talk Irish, shall we? I have not a nip of Irish blood in my veins, but I've been hankering to be Irish for a long while now.

It all started when I was 18 and I got into Notre Dame. For four years, I could officially claim to be Irish without anyone raising their eyebrows. Suspiciously soon after my Irish-ness expired when I graduated from ND, I married a Mr. Patrick McElwee. Some might claim that the shotgun wedding was simply my way of hanging on to my Irish (better) half for good. I took his last name largely for the Irish mystique. Oh, yes ... we did consider hyphenating or coming up with an alternative name, but we figured that Anderson-McElwee or Andlewee just didn't work. So wee McElwees we shall be, the whole lot of us.

Patrick is as genuinely Irish as they get. He looks the part. His father was barely born in the US, and I was fortunate to have known his late grandmother, who always sang "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" in her dementia. No joke! Here's a little video that Patrick and his siblings put together last year, soon after her passing:

Patrick has many more Irish stories, old and new. Consider this one - he is a proud descendant of Michael McElwee and Nial Shiels, The Fanad Patriots, who gained their fame by killing their abusive English landlord.

In Patrick's formative years, he had his two elderly Irish great uncles living with his family. He's also visited Ireland on several occasions, during which he 1.) was on a bus with cousins while everyone started raucously chanting "IRA! IRA!" 2.) his great aunt, when asked for directions by British soldiers, gave them directions to march straight into the river, unbeknownst to them, of course.

I could go on about this whole Irish business, but let it suffice to say that I am proud of my adopted heritage, and yes, in case you were wondering ...

we do dance the jig.


Rebekka said...

How funny, it snowed here, too, in spite of the crocuses having been up for weeks - and you'd think we had nothing but snow in Denmark but it was actually the first real snowstorm this winter.

christine said...

See, I'm Irish but I am in love love love with Mexico! Grass is always greener, eh? I just found your blog (I actually found a picture of your Emmeline apron and followed it to here)-- and it's one of my new favorites! Great projects, great photos.

Tutta la Storia said...

Just stumbled on your site and love it! I want to start sewing again and am looking for good, basic, beginner sewing machine suggestions. (I am terrified of the whole bobbin bit). Any thoughts? Oh, and do you mind if I link to your blog from mine?

Anonymous said...

Hi, -- I don't have a blog, but I do enjoy reading yours. I lost track of your blog in a computer upgrade and have just now reconnected with it. I'm writing because I see the book, "The Little Mailman of Bayberry Lane." That book is a favorite of mine from when I was little. I still have it. I read it to our now grown son when he was little. So, seeing the picture of it here brings back lots of wonderful memories. And thanks for your creative inspiration.
Karen from Indiana

Bethany Hissong said...

Happy St. Patrick's Day (late) Meg!!! My son thinks he's a leprechaun because his birthday is in two days and his middle name is Quinn, after the Irish Quinn side of my family tree!!! So I have a wee bit too! Patrick's background is really interesting!!

molly said...

Your last sentence about doing the jig made this lurker laugh! We gave it a whirl this weekend at a St.Pat's day party we hosted. Our one year old shows lots of promise. Happy belated St. Paddy's Day!

Berlinswhimsy said...

What a great story! I think you should just consider yourself Irish now. ;-) Did you like the bread? I will have to send you the little story that goes along with the recipe--it's funny.

Snippety Gibbet said...

Thanks so much for sharing that. It's made me all teary.

AnnieB said...

Hi, interesting post! I am the full 100% Irish and just did a little radio interview for St Patrick's day which I have linked to on my site...made me laugh as I totally forgot it was Patrick's day until half way through Monday (so maybe I should be docked some % for that!)

I also have a little giveaway going there at the moment...hope you can stop by

lassothemoon said...

Snow! How fun for you! Of course, up here in Indiana, we are pretty tired of it and ready for spring. My daughter said, "When will it be warmer, mom? What's the DEAL?!"

Anonymous said...

not to be picky but ummm i'm not sure if you understand what shotgun wedding means...

Phoebe said...

what a lovely song on the video! what is it called please?

Anonymous said...