Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with the one you love can turn an average blustery March day into an evening of lilting romance. It’s today that we honor the saint who drove the snakes out of Ireland when we dye our rivers green. The spirit of the day celebrates a people who are famous for their gift of gab, love of family, sense of humor and sexy accents. And, oh, we do love Irish men! Think Allen Leech aka Downton Abbey’s Tom Branson, Liam Neeson, and Pierce Brosnan.
If you’re enough lucky to be Irish…you’re lucky enough! If you’re lucky enough to be dating someone who is Irish, so much the better. After you’ve enjoyed your local St Patrick’s Day parade, bring the romance home with these ideas.
Treat your loved one to a pot of gold by picking up a small pot after work and filling it with golden chocolate coins. You can find chocolate coins at most dollar stores. Tuck in a love note penned in green ink that says “Do mo ghrá geal” (For my dear/bright love) or “Do mo chéadsearc” (For my true love) or, most romantic of all, “Do stór mo chroí” (For the treasure of my heart). Sure, and that’s a sweet start to the evening.
Before you arrive at the door, chew on a four-leaf clover. In some areas of Ireland, there’s an Irish love ritual that says if a woman eats a four-leaf clover while thinking about a man, he will fall in love with her.
Have just one celebratory drink before you head out to your favorite Irish pub to throw some darts and dance a jig. Make your own green beer by adding blue food coloring to a light beer. Or go the traditional route with Irish coffee. Into one cup of hot coffee, add one tablespoon of brown sugar and stir until dissolved before adding 1 ½ ounces Irish whiskey. Top with whipped cream poured over the back of a spoon.
Did you think to bring home soda bread and colcannon from the deli? If not, together the two of you can whip up a steamy Irish stew, corn beef brisket with cabbage, or a tender chicken or lean lamb. Serve with potatoes, carrots, onion, mushrooms. End the dinner with Irish desserts such as an apple tart served warm with sweet custard. Or top Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Guinness Cake with cream cheese frosting tinted green.
If you find yourself running out of Irish stories with which to regale your loved one, fall back on some of the Irish proverbs and sayings you can find here. Or you can try quoting the Irish poet John Boyle O’Reilly:
The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.
But I send you a cream-white rosebud
With a flush on its petal tips;
For the love that is purest and sweetest
Has a kiss of desire on the lips.