Sláinte! Calling All Fools, Fairies, and Leprechauns

The history of April Fools’ Day and tricksters of folk mythology.  ℘℘℘ April is full of surprises. When spring sunshine starts warming the earth, night can fall on a brown leafless landscape and day break to green grass and golden flowers splashing the garden with color. A balmy day can suddenly turn cold, gray, and rainy. As the weather capriciously switches from sunshine to storm,...

More

Sláinte! Flipping Over Pancake Tuesday

Once the winter holiday feasting frenzy ends, hundreds of ads bombard us with ways to lose weight. There is certainly a time to count calories, but then there is Fat Tuesday. Dieters beware. The two will never go together any better than oil and water. As the final day before Lent, Fat Tuesday has for almost two-thousand years been cause to consume high-calorie, high-cholesterol rich food. When...

More

Sláinte! The Gentleman Who Pays the Rent

Edythe Preet’s first of a two-part series on the Irish pig. ℘℘℘ Whenever I travel to a place I have visited before, the first thing I do is make a beeline for a foodie treat found only there. In Hawaii, it’s Spam musubi, a sushi-like morsel of seaweed, rice and WWII’s famous canned meat. In Italy, it’s a slice of pepperoni pizza. In China, it’s a fluffy barbecued pork dumpling....

More

Sláinte! All Hail the Humble Spud

Edythe Preet writes about Ireland’s relationship with its signature crop. ℘℘℘ Back in first grade, my “see Spot run” primer told how Dick and Jane grew potatoes in their backyard and roasted them in an autumn leaf bonfire. If those kids can do that, I thought, so can I. Mom supplied a few spuds that had begun to sprout “eyes,” and we buried them in a skimpy strip of dirt edging...

More

Sláinte! My Own Personal Seanachie

Edythe Preet writes about her father’s love of literature and storytelling.  ℘℘℘ June always finds me thinking about my Father more than usual. It’s Father’s Day month, his birthday was the third, and strawberries, his favorite fruit, are in season. Naturally, his birthday cake was always strawberry shortcake. Dad loved strawberries so much that when he once visited me in Los Angeles...

More