A family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day

A few years ago, we started a new St. Patrick’s Day tradition.  We host family – cousins, Gramma, aunts, and uncles – for corned beef, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and fun.

Food is a big piece of this holiday celebration for us.  There is no question that corned beef, cabbage, carrots, and potatoes will be served, but the exact recipe and a few extras get changed up a bit each year.  Last year, we added a traditional brown bread to our menu on the recommendation from a new friend from Ireland.  It’s a new St. Patrick’s Day staple that has replaced our Irish soda bread.  This year, we tried a new corned beef recipe from my new favorite America’s Test Kitchen crock pot cookbook.  It was great and super easy.  The only complaint was that the cabbage wasn’t as good as it wasn’t cooked with the corned beef.  It lacked a bit of flavor.  A great addition to the table was a green jello mold with marshmallows.  The kiddos loved it!

The house was filled with music, conversation, and laughing.  Colin loves spending time with his cousins, so there was pure excitement when they arrived to play.  Aunt Susan brought fun hats, shamrock necklaces, light-up rings, bracelets, and stickers to make the day a bit more festive.  The boys had fun with the bling.  Colin loves being read to.  (He occasionally will sit down and flip through a book on his own, too!)  He took advantage of all the extra people that  could read to him.  He brought books to Gramma and older cousin Xavier to read to him throughout the day.  The night ended with all the cousins singing, dancing, and playing instruments to the Pharrell Williams song “Happy”.

Now that the corned beef holiday has passed, we’ll store the recipes again until next year and we’ll anxiously await the arrival of spring and Easter.

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Colin’s all decked out in his Irish garb

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Handsome cousins

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Taking a break with Gramma

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Dinner time!

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Dancing with Alastair