George Francis Burns, the  author’s father.

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...

Horses on the island of Inismore.

Sláinte! The Irish and their Horses

Irish horses are much more than the stuff of legend ℘℘℘ It is spring. The foals are being born. In their gawky, long-legged honor, I give you the saga of the Irish and their horses. It is a history that stretches across centuries. It is a tale of friendships and working partners. It is a romance born of the land, nurtured by necessity and fastened by ancient bonds. It is one of the oldest...

Shamrock on an Irish Defense Forces U.N. beret.

Sláinte! The Little Clover

Slainte columnist Edythe Preet explores the story behind Ireland’s national symbol. ℘℘℘ Telling anyone with even just one drop of Irish blood there’s no such thing as a shamrock would be akin to announcing at Mass that the Pope isn’t Catholic. But it’s true. Before you cry “Blasphemy!” let me explain. The word “shamrock” is an anglicized form of the Irish term seamir og,...

Dublin's Christchurch Cathedral at Christmas. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

Sláinte! The Joyous Season

Ireland’s ancient Christmas traditions and the magic of Newgrange.  ℘℘℘ The winter holidays are a time to gather with family and friends, to share abundance, to feast, to reflect on joyful memories, and to hope the future will be peaceful and prosperous for all. It seems someone is slicing a fruitcake or pouring a glass of holiday cheer wherever one goes. Bombarded as we are by Madison...

A fairy ring, also known as fairy  circle. Since ancient times, naturally occurring rings of mushrooms were taken as a sign of  otherworldly presences.

Sláinte! The Magic of Mushrooms

From fairy rings to the perfect Thanksgiving side dish, mushrooms have fascinated people since antiquity.  ℘℘℘ Alert! Savvy insider grocery tip I’ve kept secret for several decades ahead! One crisp November afternoon while shopping for my Thanksgiving feast ingredients, I was selecting perfect mushrooms one by one from an overflowing display for my yummy wild rice side dish. I was so...