Get your family into the spirit of the holiday by serving them a traditional Irish meal.
- If you buy Guinness, get the cans with the nitrogen dispensers rather than the bottles. They have a more traditional taste. Take the beer out of your refrigerator about half an hour before serving to achieve Irish room temperature.
- If children are going to be present, you may want to go with Irish stew. Kids tend to balk at anything with the word "cabbage" in it, no matter how good it is.
- Set the table with simple dishes, a cut-lace tablecloth and fresh flowers in a crystal vase.
- Buy several pints of Guinness for the adults and serve it at Irish room temperature (which is colder than ours about 60 degrees). Serve Harp Lager for those who do not like stout.
- Serve a hearty main dish such as corned beef and cabbage with horseradish sauce, or a warming dish such as Irish stew.
- Choose a side dish such as colcannon (a winter vegetable casserole) or black pudding, and don't forget to make some Irish soda bread to round out the meal.
- Brew a pot of Irish breakfast tea after dinner and serve a glazed Irish tea cake for dessert. You can make the tea cake a day or two beforehand and keep it wrapped in foil.
- Play Irish tunes. Consider a CD of traditional Irish music, or create a lighter mood with Irish pub songs playing in the background.