Want to get goofy on St. Patty’s Day without getting drunk? Not sure how to celebrate the holiday that is notorious for pub crawls and parties that always end in blackouts. Celebrating this Irish tradition with a clear head can be pretty easy if you put your mind to it.
You can still throw a great party without any booze. First, you ‘ll need a big ham, either with the bone or boneless, it really doesn’t make much difference. Next, you will need a whole lot of green food coloring and some cream soda (or your favorite clear colored beverage). Last, you will need a sack of potatoes and a large head of cabbage. You’re about to make a new sober tradition out of St. Patrick’s Day!
Start With The Cooking
If there’s one tradition that St. Patty’s Day is known for besides green beer, it’s a delicious pot of cooked ham, cabbage and hearty potatoes. This is the all-encompassing meal that makes the holiday really feel like a time to celebrate with family and friends.
Cooking the meal is pretty simple and we will cover that later. First, you have to get your supplies. Check out your local grocery store and find a large ham that is suitable for whatever size party or dinner that you are planning. Typically, the ham is precooked, so don’t go into your local butcher and ask for a pork shoulder or some other cheap cut of pig. Go with a smoked ham or if you’re feeling fancy get a spiral honey cut ham. Next thing to buy at the grocery store is a sack of potatoes and lastly, don’t forget a large head or two of cabbage.
Cooking everything can really be done quite a few different ways, but I like to keep it simple. Take your big piece of ham and cut it in half if possible or leave it whole. Then stick the ham into a pot and put it on the stove on low-medium. Fill up the pot about a third of the way with water and add some salt and pepper and put a lid on it.
Next, prep your potatoes. Scrub them, wash them and cut them in halves or quarters if you prefer. Keep an eye on your ham, it should be simmering in the water by now. Take another pot out and start boiling your potatoes in water in it. While both pots are cooking, start washing your head of cabbage and cut it into quarters. After about 30 minutes of the ham simmering you can add the cabbage to that pot. Add some more salt and pepper to the ham and cabbage pot and put the lid on it.
When the potatoes are soft enough that you can easily stick a fork in them, then drain the water from the potato pot and add them to ham and cabbage pot. Keep the lid off that pot now cause the main goal is to cook off any leftover water and keep everything hot and simmering. Now you have your main course!
The Green Drink
Sure, you can stay sober and drink whatever beverage you want on St. Patrick’s Day as long as it is alcohol free, but why not make it green? It’s pretty easy to recreate that green liquid tradition with any drink as long as you have green food coloring and a clear or almost clear beverage to add it to. I prefer using a cream soda or seltzer, but I am sure most lemon lime-flavored sodas or even the natural brands of soda that are clear because of their lack of coloring would work fine too. Just remember that you will need to use two-liter bottles, because you are going to add the coloring and want it to really mix before it is poured.
The last thing you will need to plan for a sober St. Patrick’s Day is the actual celebration. Whether you are planning a party or just a get together for dinner with friends and family, your meal will make the celebration memorable. The size of the meal will definitely depend on how many people you are planning to invite, so remember to plan ahead with your dinner and if you have to double or triple it with a few extra hams, then make sure you have a big enough kitchen.
This year you can have a lot of fun celebrating St. Patty’s Day sober and really make it about something special with your friends and family. Don’t forget about the goofy game. If you can throw together a quick costume and have a friend dress up like a Leprechaun, then you will really be guaranteed some laughs. Hiding some fake gold coins around the house and having the Leprechaun lead everyone on a scavenger hunt can make for an easy game that will have everyone looking for that pot of gold.
Saint Patrick’s Day is fun for everyone and not really about getting drunk at all. Take the time to plan a great get together for your friends and family and you will all forget that drinking was even a part of the holiday.