Irish Wedding Traditions

Wedding Veils
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Long ago a bride would be veiled to hide her away from evil spirits and from fairies who would steal her for her fine dress. A veil was also thought to represent purity and chastity.

Irish Old Shoe
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It was considered bad luck to get married in a pair of new shoes for they would entice the Irish fairies to steal the bridal couple and take them to the magical land of Tir na n’Og.

Irish Five Pence
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The Irish Five Pence was given to the bride on her wedding day so she could wear it in her shoe as a symbol of good luck and many blessings. Today many brids will do the same by placing a five pence in the bride’s flowers.

Shillelagh

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A shillelagh is a cudgel or club that’s usually made of blackthorn wood with a leather wrist strap affixed to a handle. The name “Shillelagh” possibly originated from the village of Shillelagh in County Wicklow, which at one time was surrounded by extensive oak forests. The shillelagh was the weapon used in Bataireacht, which is traditional Irish stick fighting prevalent in the 19th century. Shillelaghs are commonly confused with traditional blackthorn walking sticks as they are produced from the same wood. The blackthorn tree is sense with dark brown to black bark. Stiff branches cover spiny thorns and grows up to ten feet in height. Blackthorn wood is lightweight, but very sturdy. Irish folklore says that blackthorn hedges are a favorite home to fairy-folk.

Irish Cabbage Rolls

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Ingredients:

– 1 Medium Head Cabbage

-1-1/2 Cups Chopped Onion, Divided

– 1 Tablespoon Butter

– 2 Cans Stewed Tomatoes (14-1/2 ounces each)

– 4 Garlic Cloves, Minced

– 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

– 1-1/2 Teaspoons Salt, Divided

– 1 Cup Cooked Rice

– 1/4 Cup Ketchup

-2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

– 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper

– 1 Pound Lean Ground Beef (99%)

– 1/4 Pound Bulk Sausage

– 1/2 Cup V8 Juice, Optional

 

In an oven, cook cabbage in boiling water for 10 minutes or until outer leaves are tender.  Drain.  Rinse in cold water.  Drain.  Remove 8 large outer leaves.  Set aside.  Refrigerate remaining cabbage for another use.  Sautee one cup of onions in butter in a large saucepan until tender.  Add tomatoes, garlic, brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the rice, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, pepper, and remaining onions and salt.  Crumble sausage and beef over mixture and mix well.  Remove thick vein from cabbage leaves.  Place about a 1/2 cup of the meat mixture on each cabbage leaf.  Fold in the sides.  Starting at an unfolded edge, roll up leaf to completely enclose filling.  Place in skillet seam side down.  Top with the sauce.  Cover and cook over medium-low heat for an hour.  Add V8 juice if desired.  Reduce heat to low.  Cook for 20 minutes longer or until the rolls are heated through and a thermometer comes out at 160 degrees.

Blarney Stone Bars

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Ingredients:
– 1/2 Cup Butter, Softened
– 3/4 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
– 2 Eggs
– 1 Tablespoon Milk
– 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
– 3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
– 3/4 Cup Quick-Cooking Oats
– 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
– 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
– 3/4 Cup English Toffee Bits
– 1/3 Cup Chopped Pecans
– Green Food Coloring
– 3/4 Cup Vanilla Frosting

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until they are light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add them to the creamed mixture. Fold in the toffee bits and pecans. Spread the mixture into a 9-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350 for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the bars on a wire rack. Add food coloring to the frosting and spread over the bars. Cut into a diamond shape and enjoy!