Like many Irish Americans, I feel a deep sense of cohesiveness on the festive day of the Wearing of the Green. The Irish began marching in New York City while fighting with the British in the U.S. Revolutionary War, to reconnect with their Irish roots. Other parades in years and decades after were held in Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and now are spread through out the entire United States creating bonds of solidarity in Irish communities.
It’s ironic then isn’t it that St. Patrick wasn’t even an Irishman. Factual information about his life and times are vague, although it is known he was born in Britain around A.D. 390 into a Romano-British family, with both his father and grandfather Deacons in a Christian Church. He was kidnapped at the age of 16 by Irish raiders, sent overseas to tend sheep in the chilly mountainous countryside of Ireland where he remained for seven years. Folklore suggests he had dreams and heard voices that told him to escape his captivity, which he then did, found passage on a ship and returned home to Britain.
Patrick was ordained as a Priest and guided by voices, he returned to Ireland and spent the remainder of his years traveling the isle and converting the Irish to Christianity. His life was not an easy one, he was beaten by thugs, harassed by Irish royalty and admonished by British superiors. There are many myths surrounding the Priest who would eventually become a Saint. On any given day 5.5 million pints of Guinness are consumed around the world and on the anniversary of his death over 13 million pints are raised in his honor.
Let’s begin with my favorite toast as we raise a glass ~ “May you be half an hour in Heaven, Before the Devil knows you’re dead.”
This is a delectable recipe that I cannot resist sharing. The name itself conjures up stirrings of my Irish roots. The ingredients list is basic with items that are more than likely already in your larder or pantry.
Chocolate Guinness Cake with Irish Cream Caramel Sauce
- all-purpose flour
- unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
- teaspoons baking soda
- kosher salt
- unsalted butter, softened
- dark brown sugar
- vanilla extreact
- Guinness or other stout beer
- Lightly sweetened whipped cream
For Caramel Sauce
- Irish whisky such as Jameson or Bushmills
- heavy cream
- unsalted butter
Follow the link to the recipe here