Sunday, March 12, 2023

St. Patrick's Day Celebration 2023

I debated if I should write another blog about our annual St. Patrick's Day celebration this year. We have celebrated for more than 45 years, but I have written a blog about this family celebration for ten years. I either write about the celebration, our resident Leprechaun named Shamus or a new recipe. As you see, I just had to write about it again. Every year it's just a little different. The grandkids were ages 2 to 12 when we discovered a leprechaun lived in our woods. They now range in age from almost 13 to 22. They still play along searching for the elusive Shamus the Leprechaun. This year it appears that Shamus has relocated once again.  It looked like Spring was coming early to Wisconsin, so he left wherever he winters and came back to get ready for summer.  Then the snow started coming. I'm not sure how or when he accomplished it, but he left his spot in the woods with a view of the water.  It is a mystery.  All the kids went outside to look for him, even my daughter’s dog Piper. Suddenly Piper bolted for the old garage/storage shed. There was a hole in the door and Piper went right on in. Investigating further the kids discovered tiny foot prints in the snow.  They lead from a tiny outdoor privy right into the garage.  


Dylan, age 21, lifted the garage door and lo and behold there was the leprechaun house right under the workbench! It looked like he was setting up his homestead under cover this year. Since Wisconsin weather is so unpredictable, it was a perfect choice. This garage is seldom used and was really quite comfortable.  Of course Shamus was no where to be seen, but he had been very busy. He has flower pots, dirt and seeds ready to go. He has a new rug and some new decorations. He even has a hammock ready to be hung on a frame. We aren't sure if he put the hole in the door or something else did it, but being an opportunistic little fella, he took advantage.  I hope he's comfortable.  The door makes a lot of noise when it gets opened but the garage has plenty of hiding places and exit points.  I'm sure he feels quite safe.

This year we had the celebration a week early.  Scheduling with my adult daughters and their adult children is getting hard.  I am just amazed that they all showed up. Everyone is very busy doing all good things.

I won't bore everyone with pictures of corned beef and ribs, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, rutabaga and dinner rolls.  I made the usual fare, but my grandson Ewan made his delicious cake and secret icing. If you haven't seen his famous youtube video from last year, it's a must see. Leprechaun Cake  He helped his mom with an amazing rainbow jello and my other daughter made a colorful salad. I made a dairy free and gluten free desert resembling Dirt Cake without the Gummy worms.  I will put the recipe at the bottom of this blog.


It was another successful day even with a snowstorm the day before.  Many years we are outside in our shirt sleeves for this day.  Maybe it's a blessing because Shamus would have been harder to find without the snow trail. 

A Dairy and Gluten Free Variation on Dirt Cake

A smaller version could be made in a pie pan, but I made it for a 9 x 13 cake pan

2 Pkg. of Gluten Free Mint Oreos (these are gluten free and dairy free)

4 small packages of Chocolate pudding mix  (Use Jello brand or read the label, off brands have dry milk, Jello does not)

7 cups of Homemade Cashew milk*


To make cashew milk take 1 cup of raw cashews and soak them for 2 hours in 2 cups of water.  Then rinse them and add them to a high speed blender with 2 cups of fresh water.  Blend for two minutes.  Then add 2 more cups of water.  Blend for another minute. That's all there is to it. Cashew milk does not need to be  strained. It's ready to use after blending. I have even made Cashew Greek yogurt out of it using dairy free starter. It is made with the very same process as Dairy yogurt. Save a small amount from the batch to use as starter for the next batch. I drain the yogurt when it is finished to make a product resembling Greek yogurt. Cashew yogurt is very expensive in the store. This method saves a lot of money and is delicious.

 *I shouldn't call it Milk. Milk comes from lactating animals.  I am using the term milk for lack of a better word.  Cashew water doesn't sound very appetizing.

Crush 1 1/2 packages of Oreos with the frosting and press into a 9 x 13 pan.  Save some of the crumbs for sprinkling on top. At this point you can choose to bake for 5 minutes or just use as is.  Next mix the chocolate pudding mix with the cold milk and pour onto the crust.  Sprinkle with more crushed crumbs.  Chill for a few hours or overnight. You can serve with whipped topping or without.  I forgot to put it out and no one complained.  It doesn't look great, but it's really good.