Today, I will celebrate my inner Irish by honoring my paternal great grandmother, Bridget Kilkenny. She grew up on a sheep farm in a thatched roof home, with a dirt floor, in Mayo county, Ireland. I can’t imagine what it was like to leave home, not yet 20, and venture to the United States alone. Like so many others, she managed to build a life for herself and start a family. She was so full of joy, always laughing at herself, cracking jokes, and singing Irish jingles. Exactly the kind of ruddy, adoring, Irish woman you’re imagining.
“An Irish woman is one who feels deeply and loves fiercely. An Irish woman can be at times soft but mostly powerful. She is both practical and spiritual.”
Historically, the Fitz-Maurice’s are from Lixnaw, a village in North County Kerry, Ireland and a branch of the famous “Geraldines” (i.e. Fitzgeralds). They were once the Earls of County Kerry in Lixnaw, and known for their intelligence and strong character, but also their hot tempers (cliche, I know) and inflexible dispositions. They were strong soldiers and best known for resisting English invaders. It feels empowering to honor this legacy today!
“Here’s to a long life and a merry one. A quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold pint and another one!”
So how do you enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, even if you’re not Irish??
- Indulge: have some cake with green frosting and share a cold one (or many)
- Commemorate: share a family story, look up your heritage, phone a loved one
- Laugh: sing a song, smile excessively, and send kindness out into the world
“You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your father was”
Want to make your own Shamrock Shake?? Here’s what I used. P.S. we don’t do this the skinny way but at least you won’t have all the high fructose corn syrup!
- 4 cups of vanilla ice cream
- 3/4 cup whole milk (adjust for thickness)
- 1/4 tsp mint extract
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 (or so) drops green food coloring
- whipped cream
Using an immersion blender, blend ice cream, milk, extract(s) and food coloring until smooth. You can change the proportions of milk and ice cream to achieve your desired consistency. Pour into a mason jar (I got this green tinted one from Target. They also had a cute one with the straw shown in the $1 section, but it may be seasonal), top with whipped cream and a shamrock!
“May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far.”
with grace and salt (and whiskey and gold)