How To Do St. Patrick’s Day Right!

Lena Gripp, Assistant Opinion Editor

Last year for spring break, my friends, Sarah Mueller and Esmeralda Pineda, and I took a trip to Kansas City.  Saint Patrick’s Day also happened to fall during spring break!  While I’m only of a little bit of Irish descent, I decided to dive straight into the holiday head-first.  Luckily, Sarah is a Saint Patrick’s Day connoisseur and taught us how to experience the holiday to the fullest.

Must-Have Foods 

Corned beef and cabbage 

Place corned beef in large pot or Dutch oven and cover with water. Add the spice packet that came with the corned beef. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer approximately 50 minutes per pound or until tender. 

Add whole potatoes and carrots, and cook until the vegetables are almost tender. Add cabbage and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove meat and let rest 15 minutes. 

Place vegetables in a bowl and cover. Add as much broth (cooking liquid reserved in the Dutch oven or large pot) as you want. Slice meat across the grain. 


Preheat a large skillet or griddle on medium heat. 

Lightly butter one side of bread slices. Spread non-buttered sides with Thousand Island dressing. On 4 bread slices, layer 1 slice Swiss cheese, 2 slices corned beef, 1/4 cup sauerkraut and second slice of Swiss cheese. Top with remaining bread slices, buttered sides out. 

Grill sandwiches until both sides are golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Serve hot. 

Baby red potatoes  

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Toss potatoes with oil, salt and pepper. Arrange, cut side down, on a large lipped cookie sheet or jellyroll pan. 

Roast until tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes (check after 20 minutes). Transfer to a serving dish. 

Irish soda bread 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet. 

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an ‘X’ into the top of the loaf. 

Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Check for doneness after 30 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.

Green beer 

Green beer is a staple for those beer-drinkers celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day.  You can make green beer by adding green food coloring to any beer you like.  For those who enjoy dark beer, I would recommend Guinnessbecause of its Irish origin.  Guinness is dry spout that is easily accessible in the United States.  But, just a forewarning: Guinness will require a larger amount of food coloring since it is a darker beer. 

Be Prepared 

What to wear:

  • Don’t forget to wear a green outfit, or at least add some green beads or shamrocks!  No matter your age, we all know someone who’s a pincher. 

Be preventative:

  • Make sure to grab some Advil and Pedialyte ahead of the holiday, just in case.  Too much green beer can be just as dangerous as it looks. 

Learn how to river dance:

  • Study up on river dancing before you go to that festival with the green beer.  Otherwise, you could risk your reputation looking sloppy. 

Watch the 2001 Disney Channel Original Movie, The Luck of the Irish 

  • For those born in the late ‘80s to early 2000s, Disney’s The Luck of the Irish has been a holiday tradition.  Last year, Disney Channel’s YouTube channel played a 24-hour loop of the classic film, and the film can also now be found on Disney+.

I haven’t really celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day much in the past, except for putting up a few shamrocks around the house and making leprechaun traps in elementary school, but after celebrating it with my friends last year, I’ve found a new perspective on the holiday.  For those of you who typically don’t celebrate the holiday, I challenge you to branch out and try one of these recipes and/or try some of these holiday traditions!