By: Paige Edwards
St. Patrick’s Day is a traditional Irish American holiday, which often consists of family gatherings, beer, and very good food. The food made on this day in March is usually Irish, which means corned beef and cabbage, Shepherd’s pie, and many other delicious Irish inspired meals. The Squire interviewed Mrs. Alexander, Eisenhower’s Home Economics teacher, about tips on how to cook some of these meals and about her favorite St. Patrick’s Day Traditions.
We first asked what her favorite Irish dish was, and she replied with Shepherd’s pie. Shepherd’s pie is a very hearty dish that is usually baked in a cast-iron skillet. It has a meat stew bottom layer, usually made with lamb. Alexander commented that she uses beef because it is cheaper, and more people prefer beef. After the hearty stew layer, you next would add mashed potatoes. She shared that the mashed potatoes make or break the dish, so make sure they are not lumpy and that they are very moist before being baked. Then you pop that into the oven, and you have Shepherd’s pie.
When it comes to corned beef and cabbage, Alexander explained that she does not like that meal and does not usually make it, but she did share some tips. She said that going to a good deli with quality meats, such as Bells Meat and Poultry in Kane, PA, will make it taste so much better… She also shared her favorite way to cook cabbage, “Usually, I butter the cabbage and throw it in a pan with bacon…it makes it taste really yummy.”
St. Patrick’s Day usually falls on a day during the week, and this year it is on a Wednesday. Alexander shared that she usually does not make Irish inspired meals if it is during the week because “It is too hard when we have school, and my kids’ sports, and everything going on. A lot of times I will make a meal the weekend after or before.” When St. Patrick’s Day falls on a weekend, Alexander usually has plans. She shared that she is Scotch-Irish, and she celebrates her heritage by going to a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Pittsburgh, PA with a friend from college. Unfortunately, this parade is cancelled this year due to COVID-19.
St. Patrick’s Day is usually a holiday that is overlooked. The staff here at The Squire would like to wish you a happy St. Patrick’s Day and encourage you to do something on this Wednesday, March 17, whether it is baking Irish foods or just spending time with your family. During this crazy time, we are sure everyone needs to have some fun.