My goodness, I just looked up and it’s March! I’ve been on deadline, time has obviously gotten away from me, and now it’s almost St. Patrick’s Day. This is my little Belleek cottage and a shillelagh:
In my twenties, living and working in New York City, I never managed to see the annual parade on Fifth Avenue. Yet I do have, in part, an Irish heritage and I’ve always liked the holiday. So, one St. Patrick’s Day evening then, my friend Marie and I set out to, um, celebrate.
A while later, in honor of the occasion, Marie decided we needed to find a loaf of Irish soda bread. I’d never had any and was only lukewarm about the idea. However, a sense of adventure prevailed and, full of good cheer, we set out to scour Manhattan for a likely bakery that was still open.
Marie’s Irish heritage showed in her dark hair and blue eyes. She had a tall, slim model’s figure—and in fact, was the house model for a small fashion brand in midtown. Marie had a definite sense of style but not much money (none of us did in our “salad days,” but, hey, we didn’t care. We were living in New York!). For work, she bought a Dior white silk blouse and black skirt that must have cost the earth. It was better, she claimed, to own one terrific ensemble than a dozen lesser pieces. The original Investment Dressing, I guess. And she always did look like a million bucks.
That night we finally found some Irish soda bread somewhere, but by then that wasn’t even the point. We had such fun during the search that I’ve never forgotten that night. Here's a recipe:
Right now I’m all in for St. Patrick’s Day again—maybe some cupcakes this year with green frosting? And I’ll certainly remember to say, “Thanks for the memory, Marie.” For her, and for you all, this is a traditional Irish blessing:
About that deadline I mentioned: I just turned in the third book of my Kansas Cowboys series! The first, The Reluctant Rancher, is available now; and the second book, Last Chance Cowboy, will come out in May. Wait until you see that cover!! I’m in love with it or, rather, the cowboy modeled after Scott Eastwood.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day (in advance)! Do you celebrate? And if so, how?