Happy St. Patrick’s Day! While I did the bulk of my celebrating yesterday, I wanted to bring you all a brief post on the day itself and a weekly recipe for Scalloped Potatoes.
St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity into Ireland. The shamrock has become a major symbol of Saint Patrick and Saint Patrick’s Day because it is said that he used the 3-leaved shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated around the world with parades and parties, wearing the color green, drinking (sometimes large) amounts of alcohol, feasting, and religious observances. One thing I hadn’t known is that blue was the original color for Saint Patrick’s Day, but after the shift to green, the celebration of the day took off.
Yesterday, my friend Lora and I ran a 5K at the US National Whitewater Center in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. During the race, green powder was dumped or thrown on the runners at various points. At the end, most of the left side of my face was green, as was my clothing. Following the run, our husbands and another couple joined us for a day of sitting in the sun, listening to live music by Tim Reynolds, and drinking beer, which included the Whitewater Center turning the water green at 1pm (and, luckily for us, the facility has showers, so we were able to remove MOST of the green powder).
For the weekly recipe, I wanted to share a Scalloped Potatoes dish. As we’ve established, my Irish and German roots have predisposed me to a love of potatoes, and it doesn’t get much lovelier than potatoes in a creamy cheese sauce. I took this recipe from Good Maine Food, which is quite literally an encyclopedia on traditional Maine cooking. I modified it slightly to add cheese and jazz it up a bit.
3 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
I added about a 1/4 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese and a 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan, because I like my scalloped potatoes cheesy.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and slice potatoes, 1/4 inch thick. Cover with cold water and boil for 10 minutes. Drain, and put a layer of potatoes in the bottom of a buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, dot with butter, and (if you like the cheese factor), sprinkle some Cheddar, Parmesan, or cheese of your preference in as well.
Repeat layers, and add enough milk so it appears through the top layer. I finished this off with another round of Parmesan cheese. Bake in preheated oven for one hour or until potatoes are soft. Serves 6.