St. Patrick’s Day: 5 Things You Need To Know

clurichaun_green_small

Photo credit: Daniel Duende

1. How to Tell the Difference Between a Leprechaun and a Clurichaun.

Everyone’s heard of leprechauns. They’re the wee folk that make shoes and guard pots of gold at the end of rainbows. They wear green, grant wishes, and are associated with luck. But what about clurichauns? Ever heard of them? (Truth be known, I hadn’t).

Apparently, leprechauns have a dark side. If leprechauns are Dr. Jekyll, then clurichauns are Mr. Hyde. As with the legendary literary figure, there’s some controversy regarding whether clurichauns and leprechauns are one and the same or two different creatures.

Cryptid Creatures calls clurichauns the leprechaun’s “Cousin of the Night” and says “They are usually pleasantly inebriated and may be seen riding on the backs of sheep or the family dog, as they careen away from their latest drinking spot.” Mystic Investigations said in its Paranormal Activity Watch that Clurichauns “look like drunken demons with a sinister smile on their face.” Whereas Mystical Myth says Clurichauns are “impeccably dressed and well-groomed.” Kitty the Dreamer says clurichauns prefer to wear red instead of green and they protect wine cellars instead of pots of gold.

About.com has some cute ideas for your kids on how to make a leprechaun trap, but for adults, trapping a clurichaun may be the way to go. Just put out a little wine. According to InfoBarrel (How to Tell a Leprechaun from a Clurichaun), clurichauns will drink anything, but “leprechauns never drink anything but beer.”

2. How to Tell the Difference Between Wood Sorrel and Clover.

Like leprechauns, the shamrock is another symbol associated with Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day. Shamrocks are three leaf clovers. Legend says that St. Patrick used the shamrock to teach about the Christian Holy Trinity.

The only real qualification for being a shamrock is that the plant be green and have three leaves. According to gardener David Beaulieu, there are actually four different types of plants that could qualify as a shamrock:  the lesser trefoil, black medick, white clover, and red clover. But there’s another plant that’s often mistaken for shamrock: Oxalis corniculata, or wood sorrel, which is a weed known as “false shamrock.”

The easiest way to tell a true shamrock clover from wood sorrel is that wood sorrel has heart-shaped leaves and clover does not. Clover leaves are oval. Click here for great pics comparing the two.

3. How to Make (Easy & Tasty) Corned Beef & Cabbage.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb. flat cut corned beef brisket
  • Package of baby carrots
  • Package of small red baby potatoes
  • Head of cabbage

Cover the beef brisket with water, bring it to a boil and simmer it for approx. 2 hours (until tender). After about an hour and a half, add carrots and the small red potatoes whole. Simmer until almost done (when vegetables are also tender). Cut the cabbage into eight pieces. Put the cabbage on top of everything else in the pot and cook it for another 15 minutes. Slice meat across the grain. Serve with rye bread, mustard, and the white cream sauce below (not traditionally Irish, but my favorite).

White cream sauce:

  • Stick of butter
  • 2-3 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups milk
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • salt & pepper

Melt butter. Turn the flame off and stir in flour, slowly, until smooth. Pour milk in slowly, maintaining smooth consistency. Add seasonings to taste, bring to boil, turn down to simmer, and cook until it thickens.

4. How to Make Green Beer.

Of all the things I’m listing, this one’s the most difficult. Are you ready?

Add green food dye. Seriously? Yep, that’s it. (But I’m betting most of you knew that already). You know what the hardest part for me is? Making sure I’ve got green food coloring by March. My kids love to mix it with water and then use it to “draw” in the snow. So by March, I’m usually out, and if I don’t remember to buy it before St. Pat’s — well, it’s boring ole yellow beer for me. :-)

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5. A Few Irish Toasts.

There are so many, it’s impossible to collect them all. Here’s a few friendship toasts from Beer100.com (“Your Place For All Things Beer”):

There are good ships,
and there are wood ships,
The ships that sail the sea.
But the best ships, are friendships,
And may they always be.

May neighbors respect you,
Trouble neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And heaven accept you.

Here’s to the land of the shamrock so green,
Here’s to each lad and his darlin colleen,
Here’s to the ones we love dearest and most.
May God bless old Ireland, that’s this Irishman’s toast!

(And this Irish woman’s toast! ;-))

How about you? Are you Irish? Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? What are your plans? Have you had corned beef and cabbage? Do you even like it?!? WHATEVER YOUR PLANS ARE FOR THIS WEEKEND, HAVE FUN!

About Jill Archer

Jill Archer is the author of the Noon Onyx series, genre-bending fantasy novels including DARK LIGHT OF DAY, FIERY EDGE OF STEEL, and WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE. View all posts by Jill Archer

3 responses to “St. Patrick’s Day: 5 Things You Need To Know

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