Upsidedown Paddy’s day tricolour salad

Irish flag Aussie salad

Well it’s that time of year again, when the entire world commandeers my nationality and dyes everything green. Lá Fhéile Pádraig!

Paddy’s day as an expat is a strange experience to say the least, although I’d say it would be worse for Irish people living in the States. It’s such a big deal, a day that everyone knows about, but no one is really sure what’s it for. According to the rest of the world St Patrick was some drunk bloke who wore oversized green top hats and said thirty-three and a third a lot.

This year I’m OK with it though, people can think what they want to as long as it makes them happy. And if they get a bit of craic out of it, sure all the better.

Leprechauns and mangos

The Fella thinks I’m an absolute disgrace to my country for posting this picture, he thinks I deserve to get my passport taken off me because of it. But I say, if the world wants leprechauns, why not give them leprechauns?

You can all blather on about corned beef (baffling and disgusting in equal measures), leprechauns (just plain lame) and pots of gold (I don’t know if any of you folks heard, but Ireland is currently owned by the IMF) as much as you like and I won’t bat an eyelid. But, I would really like to remind everyone that there are actually two other colours in the Irish flag. Yes folks, believe it or not there is some orange and white in there too! I know right? It just blows your mind.

I made this salad as an homage to the oft-forgotten tricolour, where mango represents the orange and macadamia the white. An Australian take on my national flag if you were, as mangos and macadamia nuts are a little harder to come by in county Louth.

I will be celebrating Paddy’s day in Sydney CBD with The Fella and his family and I’ve no doubt there won’t be a tractor or a bunch of shamrocks in sight, but it will be fun none the less. And I hope you have the craic too, wherever you are in the world and however you choose to celebrate; but I do ask this: as you’re tucking into your green beer, do save a thought for the tricolour, sure it’s a grand wee flag!

Upsidedown Paddy’s day tricolour salad – spinach, mango and macadamia

Tri colour salad

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Traditional St. Patrick’s Day Dinner

This week the Irish Times asked readers to tweet their definition of Irishness, #beingirishmeans, the results were, to be fair, hilarious. My personal favourite of the published ones was: #beingirishmeans emigrating and suddenly developing an overblown grá for Guinness, hurling, the Irish language, U2 and Catholicism. While I can most definitely leave the Guinness and Catholicism behind, I do think this is probably true for many emigrates living away from the ‘oul sod.

There’s been a lot of stuff about “Irishness” in the media this week, which isn’t surprising given the week that’s in it. Most of it I find feckin’ hilarious. Like the amount of recipes for “traditional” corned beef and cabbage that have been coming up on my RSS feed.

Seriously folks, corned beef and cabbage?!! Where did people ever get this idea we eat corned beef? First off, it’s bacon and cabbage. Second off, who even has dinner on Paddy’s day?

When you’re a child, Paddy’s day is all about standing in the cold watching tractors drive by in the parade. As you get older, the pubs have more call than the tractors, and as the call of the pubs gets louder, the likelihood of dinner gets smaller. Endless shared packets of Tayto washed down by pints have all the nutrition you need, right? Of course they do.

I’m sure as you get older again you have to bring your own children to watch tractors in the cold, thus completing the circle of life. And I hope once I get to that stage in life, I’ll have sense enough to make a proper sustaining meal. But until then; Tayto it is……..

For me #beingirishmeans having Tayto for dins on Paddy’s Day.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh.