My first St. Patrick's Day in Ireland was a tad surprising. It's always been one of my favorite holidays and I was excited to experience it in a country where it actually had true significance. That morning, I pinched Andrew for not wearing green. I was met with an astounded, "Why did you just do that?" Me: "'Cause you're not wearing green." Andrew: "Why should I be wearing green?" Me: "It's St. Patrick's Day!" Andrew: "So?" Me: "So, I pinched you because you weren't wearing green on St. Patrick's Day." Andrew: "You are supposed to wear green on St. Patrick's Day? I've lived in Dublin for five years and I've never heard of that before." Me: (equally astounded) "What do you mean you've never heard of that?" Andrew: "Must be an American thing babe." Me: speechless, but here's what I was thinking: ("He's just not that observant. He's from England so he probably just doesn't know.") But, he was right. They don't wear green, they don't drink green beer, they don't say "top 'o the mornin' to 'ya," there's no pinching, they don't eat corned beef and cabbage, there's no such thing as the Guinness toast, there are no leprechauns, and they refer to the holiday as "Paddy's Day". That's with two "d"s not two "t"s. People go to church, there's a parade, and the day centers around drinking and music - with nary a shamrock in sight.
They don't eat rarebit on Paddy's Day either, but it felt like a very Irish meal to make - at least to an American...
Adapted from http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/
1/3 of a stick of butter
1 tbsp flour
8 oz. mature cheddar
1 tsp English mustard
4 large slices bread , toasted
2 cups cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, cut into small strips
4 eggs, poached
Melt the butter in a small pan,stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Gradually mix in the milk, then slowly add the Guinness until you have a thick sauce. Bubble for a couple of minutes then add in the cheese and stir until melted. Mix in the mustard with a couple of splashes of Worcestershire sauce and season. Spread the mix over the bread then broil until golden and bubbling.
Meanwhile, saute the cabbage and carrots in a little butter until tender. Poach the eggs to desired hardness. Top the rarebit with the vegetables and an egg. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper.