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St. Patrick's Day Pot Luck

 

Today's Snack: Take leftover corned beef, heat, and serve with cheese inside sliced mini-buns. Offer mustard and horseradish to put on top. You can make it a meal, or suggest ideas to your guests if you have the pot luck party described today, with a green salad (naturally, for this holiday celebrating the "wearin' of the green"), steamed cabbage, and a dessert buffet with green Jell-O cubes, pear slices, bananas and cubes of angel-food cake.

 

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The celebrations in Ireland on St. Patrick's Day have one theme in common: FUN! So let's have a St. Patrick's Day party. Let's have it be a "pot luck." That's a term from the olden days when everybody would come to a party and add some kind of food to a big pot, then everybody would get a portion.

 

Here in the United States, we've changed that a little so that everybody who comes to a pot luck party brings their own dish of food to share. They don't dump it all into the same pot! But you still never know exactly what everybody's going to bring. And if you have a lot of "luck," which is the second major theme of St. Patrick's Day besides fun, then you'll get great food, and have a nice party!

 

You can have this party for your friends, or maybe your family would enjoy hosting it for several other families you know, or for a church group and so on.

 

Ask everybody to bring something to eat to the party. If they can come up with something green that's good to eat, so much the better. You might want to have one main dish and one dessert ready, just in case, such as the mini-corned beef sandwiches and "green" dessert buffet described above.

 

For plates, use St. Patrick's Day paper plates, cups and napkins.

 

For decorations, try this: buy all brand-new terra cotta pots and saucers, and one or two brand-new tomato cages, at the hardware store. Nobody will actually eat from them; they will hold the dishes that hold the food, and look cute doing it! Use them to hold dishes of food for this party, wash them, and then re-pot all your plants and patio flowers in them this summer.

 

Cover your buffet table with a plastic trash bags, and then a white or other neutral-colored tablecloth. Turn a tomato cage or two upside down on your buffet table and place small, medium and large clay saucers inside the rings of metal for high, medium and low serving heights. You can put doilies on them if you wish - Irish lace suits the theme. And you can use crystal or glass bowls and serving pieces - Irish crystal is another good fit.

 

Now fill each saucer with a bowl or dish holding the foods people bring to the party: fresh veggies, chips and dips, cookies, fruit and other finger foods. Be creative: cut off the tops of green peppers, core out the seeds, and fill with corned-beef hash with crackers for spreading.

 

You can put a plant pot upside down and put another saucer on top of it for another elevated surface for pizza, sandwiches, or meat and cheese trays.

 

Galvanized tin buckets, usually used for gathering flowers, make great ice buckets and canned beverage servers to carry out the Irish garden theme.

 

You could use a brand-new stepladder to hold paper plates, napkins and baskets of plastic dinnerware, for example.

 

Have lots and lots of candles in varying heights and widths, grouped together in terra cotta saucers.

 

They call Ireland "the Emerald Isle" since it's so green. So, to decorate your party, try this: a big nursery should already have wheat grass, ivy and moss available to purchase. Or you can use your own houseplants, or borrow some. You can order greenery such as lemon leaves and ivy from a florist, too. Place the greens in and around your buffet table, from floor to as high off the table as you safely can.

 

Using your iPod or visiting a music store, you should be able to come up with Irish background music. Erin Go Bragh - and have a great time!

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.AfterSchoolTreats.com Holidays & Seasons 15 2008

 

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