The festivities may look a little different this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get into the spirit of the day. Join us for a look at some great ways to celebrate in 2021 and a tempting recipe for tea brack.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
The annual celebration of the patron saint of Ireland normally involves lively parades, gathering for music at a traditional cèilidh, food (such as Irish soda bread and tea brack) and drink (not just Guinness!)…all best experienced while wearing green from head to toe. More unusual tributes include the 59-year tradition of dyeing the Chicago River shamrock green and, for some, making a point to forgo alcohol.
TV producer William Spencer Reilly began Sober St. Patrick’s Day® as a movement to promote an alternative atmosphere for those who want to celebrate the holiday away from the negative image of public intoxication.
To reclaim the true spirit of St. Patrick’s Day by changing the perception and experience from an occasion for binge drinking and other misuse of alcohol to a celebration of the richness of Irish culture and the legacy of St. Patrick.Read more.
That doesn’t mean the celebrations can’t involve a drink or a great party, but Reilly doesn’t want people to view the holiday as only an excuse to get drunk or for binge drinking to detract from the celebration of Irish culture — especially during a time when we are all encouraged to stay safe and stay home. There is still time to register online for the free Virtual SSPD Party.
This isn’t the only celebration embracing life online. As in-person gatherings are sadly off the table this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate with others virtually! The St. Patrick’s Festival can be accessed globally via SPF TV (a dedicated TV channel) with more than 100 events to showcase the talent of artists, performers, makers and dreamers from across Ireland. Why not follow a walking tour to retrace the footsteps of Oscar Wilde where he grew up in Dublin, try a willow-weaving and Aran knitting workshop and watch the virtual parade — there is something for everyone!
Irish Tea Brack Recipe
Tea brack is basically a rich fruit cake so the beauty of this simple recipe is that you can mix it up with any dried fruits you have in your store cupboard — from currants and cranberries to glace cherries. You won’t need too much sugar, as the fruit is sweet enough, but you can always glaze your tea brack with honey while it’s still warm or poke a few holes in the upper crust to spoon over a little whiskey.
Some argue it gets better with age, so you can leave it wrapped in greaseproof paper for two days before cutting…or you can dive in immediately to eat it warm with a good helping of butter. We won’t judge.
- 300g of dried mixed fruits
- 260g white self-raising flour
- 300ml strong cold tea
- 125g dark brown sugar
- 1 beaten large egg
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- Place the fruit and tea in bowl and leave to soak overnight (or if you can’t wait that long then 4 hours will do).
- When the fruit is soaked, preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment.
- In the bowl of fruit, stir in the beaten egg, sugar and flour. Mix well.
- Pour in the tin and bake for approximately 1 hour or until risen and a skewer comes out clean when pushed into the middle. You can cover it with foil if the top is browning too much.
- Leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then turn onto wire rack.
We hope you get chance to enjoy some traditional Irish fare this St. Patrick’s Day and why not share with us below how you’re choosing to celebrate!?