St. Patrick’s Day mystery supper


Celebrations, Food / Monday, March 2nd, 2020

Happy March, everyone! I am the Boss for the first time in ages, so I can tell it’s going to be a really good month.

One of our family traditions is a special dinner on St. Patrick’s Day. No, we are not from the land of Erin, nor yet Catholic. But when I was a teenager, I was crazy about everything Irish – and when I got older, I gained respect for the Mr. Patrick person behind the Saint day – and this time of year, I am in passionate search of the color green – and in short, I do not mind a chance for a party.

Our family always loves dinnertime together. We light a candle, and sit in a circle with plates and silverware and ice water. This tiny ritual is familiar and delightful – something my children don’t like to miss when they are away from home for one reason or another.

Sometimes, we do special dinners – goblets and china on our anniversary, birthday feasts, themed dinners, or daffy suppers where we all pick place settings for another family member (wild things like muffin-tin plates, egg-cup drinking glasses, soup-ladle spoons, and tongs for forks).

Occasionally, I create mystery suppers. Two years ago, I crafted a Saint Patrick’s Day mystery supper for my family, and I plan to recreate it this year, with some tweaks. Hopefully they’ve forgotten most of the clues…

In addition to a quirky menu, and having to pick your food from a list of strangely-named options, in three courses! no less – my kids love the candles, and the green, and the games, and getting to eat with their FINGERS, if they’re lucky. That’s because the utensils are part of the menu, and all items ordered with one course must be consumed or returned before the next.

This clothespin leprechaun dude is worn clipped to someone’s clothes. When that person forgets himself and says a taboo word (we picked “I”), the leprechaun passes to the person who caught the mistake. Then she gets to wear him, til she forgets the rule. Kinda hard to talk without saying I went, I saw, I did, I want.

Our menu this year is as follows:

1. Shamrock Shake……………………………..Salad in a jar, shaken with dressing

2. Four-Leaf Clover……………………………..Shamrock-shaped individual pizzas

3. Over the Rainbow……………………………Fruit kabob in all colors

4. Digging for Gold………………………………Spoon

5. Leprechaun Bait………………………………Sweet & salty snack mix (recipe here, I’ll adapt to please us)

6. St. Patrick’s Sword…………………………..Knife

7. Top o’ the Mornin’………………………….Devilled eggs, with bacon bits on top

8. Irish Sea…………………………………………Mint milkshake

9. Kiss Me, I’m Irish…………………………….Hershey kiss

10. No Famine Here……………………………Potato chips

11. Clean the Byre………………………………Fork

12. Pot of Gold……………………………………Golden jello cup, with a cloud of whipped cream and a rainbow (recipe here; needless to say we are making ours virgin)

That means the main entrée will ideally include pizza, salad, chips, jello, and devilled eggs. Sweet endings will be leprechaun bait, a candy kiss, and a fruit kabob. Drinks are water (provided on the table) and a milkshake.

(I found out recently that wooden coffee stirrers make wonderful kabob sticks, safer and more kid-friendly. I never seem to have kabob sticks on hand. My brother-the-nurse has scared me about their misuses in the hands of children. But I see from these pictures that two years ago, when I was out of them again, I used some kind of green twigs from my flowerbed. So that was kinda weird.)

Ideally, the food would be messier and not so finger-friendly, just to provide optimal opportunity for etiquette-breaking. I might change my mind and make shamrock-shaped individual meatloaf “four leaf clovers,” and scalloped potatoes for “no famine here.” But some of the older ones among us like to enjoy ourselves without so much sloppy finger drama. Anyway, it’s not as easy as you think to eat salad from a jar with a knife. Or your hands.

I miss this boy and his crazy faces.

The pizzas are super fun to make. I used refrigerator biscuits because this meal is already enough fuss, but homemade dough would take it up a notch.

The mint milkshakes are simply vanilla ice cream, milk, mint extract, and a drop of color.

Green color crayons of all shades, miscellaneous green game pieces, and printable coloring pages or word searches provide festive activities while we’re waiting for the next course.

This is Jenny trying to look like Regan. She was never a very good pizza eater. Chocolate, yes. And there’s a blanket hung behind her, to block the kitchen from view.

Awwww. It doesn’t seem that long since we last hosted this mystery supper, but look how small and precious my kids are!!

My menu printable is here, if you’d like it.

Well. Erin go Bragh, I guess!

13 Replies to “St. Patrick’s Day mystery supper”

    1. What a beautiful idea! Yes, this is what I do… starting now. 😁

      I’m sorry to say that I usually keep serving till the family is done, and then eat my dinner properly with all my utensils and utilities. Hehee.

  1. Would you consider creating more specific tags, like Easter, Valentines, or even Holidays, so people like me could more easily find posts on that topic from past years? This genre is one of my favorites from your blog, and I return here when I need ideas for upcoming celebrations. Thank-you for being open and vulnerable in sharing your family traditions (and the theology surrounding them).

    1. A good idea. Thank you, I will work toward that. Tags are kinda hit and miss for me – sometimes I can think of important ones and sometimes not. Good call.

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