Posts Tagged ‘St. Patrick’s Day’

Strange times indeed.

Since last Thursday (12th March) our country has changed.  The government announced measures to contain the now infamous #CoronaVirus by asking us all to restrict our movements.  Large gatherings were banned and sporting events cancelled.

At times it is almost unbelievable.  You look out at a beautiful Spring morning where the place looks so glorious, and yet there is so much sickness about.



We’ve all developed a whole new language with phrases like ‘social distancing’ in there at the top of the pile.

My poor aunt (in her 80s) found this particularly perplexing.  What are you supposed to do at a funeral, she asked?  Not sure she listened when I told her she will have to stop going to funerals!

By Sunday (15th) more changes were introduced.  There had been videos circulating of crazy people out partying in pubs on Saturday night, so the government once again had to intervene and insist the pubs close.  For the first time in the history of this little country there have been no St. Patrick Day parades.  However, that did not stop the fun.  Check these people having private parades!

We are lucky here.  We have freezers full of food.  Although it is that time of year when the garden has very few fresh vegetables, but we will manage.

The past weekend was spent dealing with guest cancellations.  When we had thought we would have a busy April and May, that is now all gone.  We still have a booking for June.  When/if this blows over will people start to travel again?  Who knows.

Five days into this new ‘normal’, where it has mostly been listening to the radio and watching news programmes.

I feel I am going to have to start putting more ‘structure’ on the days as this drags on.  We could be in this for quite a bit of time.  While I have been trying to put variety into the day… doing indoor jobs, baking, cleaning, nipping to the garden when the weather permits ….I still feel as if I am floundering a bit.  I think I need to find a specific project to tackle… just need to identify one!!!

For the time being stay safe and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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So you know we had the competition recently for a ‘bacon’ recipe to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  Well we had a winner – Paul Hurst who it turns out lives just 10 miles away from us!

We had a number of entries all of which sound so delicious and we will be trying them all out and sharing them with you…. I am especially looking forward to trying the Bourbon Old Fashioned with a bacon infusion!!!!

Poor Barry, our chef judge, from Harte’s Bar & Grill in Kildare had a challenge to choose a winner!  Thank you Barry for taking on the job.

And of course thank you to all who sent in their recipes.

So here is Paul’s recipe for Bacon & Cabbage Soup which he has adapted from Clodagh McKenna’s recipe.  I made a batch for our lunch today…. you should consider making a batch to have before, or after, any parade you might be attending…. it is delicious and warming! 🙂

Paul did say he adjusts the recipe to taste and by eye!  I had to do the same!  This recipe is a slight variation on Paul’s.

Bacon & Cabbage Soup

Bacon & Cabbage Soup


  • 5 streaky bacon slices, diced
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of Oregano
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 gloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 lt of homemade chicken stock
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Salt & Black Pepper.
  • 2 cups (about half a head) of Savoy cabbage, diced


Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan, add the bacon, onion, potato and garlic.  Cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes.

Add your stock, tomatoes and oregano and bring to the boil.

Simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes until potatoes have cooked.

Then add your cabbage and simmer for a further 5 – 10 minutes depending on how tender you like your cabbage.

Season to taste.

Irish Bacon & Cabbage Soup

Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day

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2013 is certainly flying by!  It is only 3 weeks to St. Patrick’s Day.

St. Patrick in Lorrha!

St. Patrick in Lorrha!

So to celebrate we thought we’d have a bit of a competition….

Do you have a favourite bacon recipe?

Or do you have a bacon recipe that you can give a St. Patrick’s Day twist to?

Are you willing to share your recipe?

We’d love to have your recipes.  We will share them on our website/blog.

We will have an independent professional chef choose his favourite…. and yes, there will be a prize – a box of pork/bacon – for the winning recipe.

The nitty-gritty:

  • The recipe must include bacon!
  • If the recipe is not your own, please give credit to the source.
  • Please include a photograph of your dish.
  • By entering the competition you agree to having your recipe shared on our website.
  • Competition is open to all  but unfortunately the prize – a box of pork/bacon – can only be shipped within the island of Ireland, apologies to those overseas.
  • Closing date is midnight on 10th March.
  • Send your entries to margaret(at)oldfarm(dot)ie

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St. Patrick’s Day is almost upon us again!  I know it is a cliche but definitely the older I get these important dates just seem to whiz around. It can’t be a year already? Can it?  🙂

I lived in Dublin for a long number of years and never attended the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

I remember going to the parade as a child living in Limerick.  My memory is of it always being freezing cold and wet, and me wearing a scratchy wool/tweed coat. Fashion queen eh?

Well, here in Redwood, the St. Patrick’s Day parade is a very serious event.  There is mega competition between the two neighbouring villages and the floats!

Our village of Lorrha (with an approximate population of 200 persons – and that’s in the parish, not just the village!) holds its very own parade every year, as does the village of Rathcabbin which is at the other side of us.  So the drama groups, the schools, every club and business has its float.  I counted over 20 floats in last year’s parade!

This year I was approached by the drama group and asked to act as MC on their float – I’d better not reveal the theme yet – I could be extradited for that!  Thankfully I graciously declined, cos next thing I was told that they had wanted me to do the whole MCing thing as Gaeilge (my Irish just ain’t that good)!

St. Patrick leads parade

I will go along to the parade though, as will everyone else in ‘the parish’ and I promise to take lots of photographs!

I haven’t decided on dinner yet for the weekend…. but here’s a suggestion!  My nieces and nephew aren’t too keen on spinach (about the only vegetable they don’t like), so this is how their Mum gets the green vegetable into them.  Ireland Mash!


  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potato (or Carrots)
  • Spinach (or Chard, or Kale)

Quantities will depend on how many you are catering for!

Peel your potatoes, sweet potato or carrot.  Boil your potatoes and carrots (or sweet potato).   Steam your well chopped green vegetable.  Mash your potato and mix your greens through.

Et viola! Ireland Mash!  We had it last weekend with Potato, Sweet Potato and Chard leaves.

Irish Lamb Chops with Ireland Mash

Irish Lamb Chops with Ireland Mash and Mint Sauce


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We’ve just had two beautiful days on the trot here in North Tipperary.  Sunshine and clear blue skys – it would definitely lift the spirits.  Even though it is still quite cold, I have taken the opportunity to get outside.

This morning I got to take some photographs of the snowdrops.  Aren’t they the most delicate of flowers?  You would wonder how such tiny, delicate things can be the first to appear at the coldest time of the year.


Snowdrops 2

Walking around the garden today, everything is starting to bud which is wonderful, but everything is also much later than in previous years.  The crocus are beginning to come on. The yellow ones are in full flower, but the purple ones are only just starting to appear.

As for the daffodils – they are way behind on previous years.  They would normally be in full bloom by St. Patrick’s Day, but I can’t see that happening this year.  The flower heads don’t even seem to be fully formed.

I will keep you posted tho!

How does your garden grow?

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How do you fancy some home-grown and hand-reared pork or bacon for St. Patrick’s Day this year? Doesn’t this look totally tempting?  I will add this recipe, it was so simple and so delicious!

Bacon Hot Pot.... yummy!

We collected and delivered more of our pork last week!  This time around we had a 50/50 split between new customers and repeat orders which is really wonderful. Hopefully we are doing something right!

Sales went so good last week that once again we were left with no pork (just a few chops) for ourselves and I was sooooo looking forward to having some roast pork!!! Instead we settled for griddled pork chops… which were scrumptious!

Truly Scrumptious Pork Chops

Orders are starting to come in already… so we will be sending another pig off to the butcher in order to be able to supply all those traditionalists with some good, old-fashioned pork or bacon to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

As I write this I am looking out the window at the pigs feeding on a big pile of carrots, parsnips and turnips… ready seasoned with root vegetables, eh!

Why not become a fan on our Facebook page and keep in touch with our delivery/order schedule?

What’s your favourite pork or bacon dish for St. Patrick’s Day?

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