Oh St. Patrick’s Day, I have many fond memories of this day that I barely remember if you know what I mean.
Now that I’m a grownup and have a family and have friends who have kids and have friends who don’t have kids, I need to be a little more creative in how the St. Paddy’s Day festivities play out.
Looking at the history of this day, St. Patrick is celebrated for the arrival of the Christian Community and in general the day itself celebrates the heritage and culture of Ireland.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be christian or Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. You can simply celebrate what St. Patrick stood for; like, community, growth, love and joy.
St. Patrick’s day is also known as St. Patrick’s Feast Day. Traditionally, on this day the restrictions of food and alcohol are lifted during Lent, a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter in the Christian Community.
So I ask you, what better way to bring together a group of people you love to be around than to feast at a good ol’ fashioned Irish inspired potluck!
In this article we’ll talk about St. Patrick’s Day potluck ideas and fun ways to celebrate.
Tips For Hosting A Potluck
This is a potluck and I think we can all agree that potlucks are more of a casual event.
Some of us have more control issues than others so it may be hard to hear this but you really need to let go of that inner control freak. This gathering is meant to be light and airy and above all fun!
So here are some tips that may help with the flow of this lucky Irish feast:
Essentially you’re asking others to supply food for your party. It’s just polite to allow full creative control for the person making their dish.
You can have control over the categories of food you want to serve – that’s something, right?
To ensure you don’t end up with 5 of the same lucky charm casseroles send out a sign-up sheet for your guest. You can easily create a spreadsheet on google drive that everyone can access. Just create categories such as Appetizers, Dips and Hors d’Oeuvres, Salads, Vegetables, Main Dishes, Desserts etc. Then let your guest fill in the rest!
2. Dietary Restrictions
This is one that I am guilty of and have learned my lesson on. Times are changing and today it’s very different from the 80s up bringing some of us had. Without any judgment, people are very cautious about their diets now more than ever and with that comes a cautious choice on what they will put in their bodies.
So it’s important to ask your guests about their dietary restrictions and it’s your duty to let the other guest know so they can consider this when choosing their recipes.
That being said, unless it’s a severe allergy it’s OK to let guest decide what they want to bring. Just because someone chooses not to eat pork doesn’t mean we have to eliminate it from the menu. The person who chooses their restriction has the choice to eat what’s served or not.
3. Labels And Food Categories
With a small potluck you can simply put all the food on one table.
For a larger potluck, you may find it easier to divide the food up on different tables and spaces. For example, you can have a table for main dishes and table for starters or a table for all vegetarian dishes in one section and meat dishes in another section or all hot dishes in one section and cold in another.
Be sure to give your guest a label and pen so they can include the name of their dish and any necessary information like ‘contains nuts’ or ‘dairy-free’. You can set out labels & pens so that it’s visible and for your guest to do this when they arrive.
4. Stock Up
Definitely make sure you have enough plates, cutlery, napkins and cups.
To help with the flow of traffic, set up a spot for plates and napkins and use trays or jars for holding utensils. If you are purchasing disposable items, do your best to choose durable and slightly higher quality.
There is no shame in asking people to bring their own serving utensils; like large spoons, pie servers, knives—whatever is appropriate for their dishes. Try to have extras though, just in case someone forgets.
You’ll want to stock up on drinks as well. Create an area for drinks. You can include a large ice chest, cups, plus wine and beer openers.
5. Hosting At A Venue
If you are hosting outside of your home. Make sure you visit the venue to check out the space and ask important questions so that you’re not surprised on the day of the event. Ask about running water, electricity, bathrooms, garbage cans, tables, and seating. Think about where the food will go. Will you need a cooler? Will you need garbage bags? How will you keep food warm?
Whether you’re hosting or attending here are some St. Patrick’s Day potluck recipes you’ll love.
- Corn Beef And Cabbage – A classic Irish dish.
- Irish Soda Scones – These are so yummy! You may end up using this recipe for other occasions aside from St. Paddy’s Day.
- Traditional Irish Beef And Guinness Stew – What’s St. Patrick’s Day without an Irish stew?
- Corn Beef And Cabbage Pizza – Pizza is a family favourite at our house so this is just a fun way to include it!
- Colcannon Shepherd’s Pie – A nice way to bring two traditional dishes together.
Are you on dessert duty?
- Cocoa-Nutty Lime Tart – This looks really pretty and is equally delicious.
- Rainbow Cupcakes – These are adorable. If you have a crafty and creative spirit this recipe is for you.
- Irish Coffee Sundaes – As most of you know from our last article (you can find another St. Paddy’s Day suggestion there as well) – we love ice cream and I also love coffee. So it’s only natural for me to suggest this recipe.
This part is not for baby leprechauns – Adult leprechauns only.
- Ginger & Mint Lime Floats – I love this refreshing drink. When you’re doing this in bulk, add the scoop of sherbet just before you serve.
- Irish Flag – Love this one! This is perfect for any St. Patrick’s gathering. It takes some technique so if you need a tutorial the link provided has a video you can follow.
- Jemeson Jello Shots – Jello Shots are just fun and perfect for this occasion.
Are You Wearing Green?
One very obvious tradition on St. Patrick’s Day is to wear green or a three leaf clover.
There are quite a few reasons as to why we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. Since I am focusing more on hosting a potluck and offering fun ideas, I’m choosing to keep this article lighthearted and not so heavy. The story behind St. Patrick is very interesting and you can find out more at Wikipedia.com.
If you are lucky enough to host such an event, you may be wondering what, if any activities and games should you include.
If you’re going to do anything at all, my recommendation is to offer something green for your guests to put on. I’m sure it’s hard to believe but you may have guests who will show up without any sign of green – not even their undies. Plus, it’s not polite to pinch your guest so it’s best to be prepared!
Here are some green suggestions to help get your guests in the mood:
Green Beads You can easily find green beads at the Dollar Store or Birthday in a box. They’re like Mardi Gras beads. Greet your guest at the door with a necklace and perhaps a signature drink and you’ll instantly create a fun energy for your gathering.
Green Hats And Accessories Again the Dollar Store and most costume stores carry stuff like this. You can either have enough for each guest or have a variety of items to use for photos. You can create a fun backdrop and make a photo booth. One quick and easy backdrop is taking a green tinsel door curtain and hang it on the wall – then cover the top edge with green and white balloons in large, medium and small sizes.
A Variety Of Pins The only thing to consider is that some guest may not want to poke a hole in their clothing. So, you need to think about the type of people you are inviting.
A Wish Bracelet I adore this!
Entertaining Little Leprechauns
If you have kids joining in on the fun it might be a good idea to add simple activities especially if you need an ice breaker for shy kids.
Here are a couple of ideas to keep the little leprechauns entertained.
Pot Of Gold:
For this game, you’ll need a few Leprechaun pots or overturned leprechaun hats – you can find at the dollar store or party store. Place them on the floor and then draw a line a few feet away from the pots.
Have players stand behind the line and attempt to toss gold coins into the pots. Score a point for each time a player gets one in. Use chocolate gold coins if available to you. If you can find different colored coins this will help each player know which coin is theirs.
Set up a craft table with a bunch of green beads in different shapes and sizes with string or pipe cleaners and have little ones make necklaces.
Wishing You All The Luck Of The Irish!
Now that you have a head start on your St. Patrick’s Day Potluck I wish you much luck and joy on such a happy-go-lucky day.
Remember, we love hearing from you so please leave a comment below and let us know how your green feast turned out. Or let us know if you need any more ideas or have any questions.
Cheers to a very Happy St Patrick’s Day!