Welcome to our little recap of the Irish and Irish American topics we explored in our community throughout the month of January 2021.
I hope this post will help keep you updated on everything that happened on and around the Irish American Mom blog during January.
I'm calling this rambling post, our virtual cup of tea and a chat, so pour yourself a cuppa and let's have a chat about our little corner of the internet.
Since we cannot travel around Ireland at this time, I've added a little armchair video tour to this post, so that I can bring Ireland to you.
Let's dive in and take a look at January 2021, when we welcomed a new year which brings hope and promise in these troubled times.
Table of Contents
Most Popular Posts for January 2021
Here's a look at the top 3 most popular posts on my blog this month.
First up is an annual favorite, where I share a collection of blessings and sayings from Ireland to help us ring in the New Year.
Next is the Irish flu shot, one of the all time most read posts on my blog. There are plenty of Irish hot whiskeys or hot toddies being stirred up during these cold winter months.
And rounding up the top three this month is my recipe for homemade chicken tenders, or goujons as we say in Ireland.
This may not be a traditional Irish recipe, but I think its popularity proves that many people are cooking at home during these times when we cannot frequent restaurants like we normally do.
I think parents searching for this recipe may be trying to recreate a restaurant like meal for their little ones at home, and what do kids these days crave, only chicken nuggets or tenders.
New Blog Posts
New posts this month featured a wide variety of recipes and ramblings from Ireland and beyond.
These recipes have roots in Ireland, and some boast an American or Italian twist.
Here are links to all of January's newly published blog posts.
I hope you enjoy exploring your Irish heritage through this month's recipes and ramblings. I feel completely blessed to be able to share these stories and dishes with you.
Thanks for Rating My Recipes
A big, big thank you to everyone who added a rating to my recipes this month. I really appreciate you taking the time to add a review.
To do so, you simply click the number of stars you would like to award a recipe, before leaving a comment at the bottom of a post.
Apparently it's very important to Google that recipes receive ratings. I'm always relieved to see a few stars floating my way and awarded to my recipes.
Those ratings keep Google happy, both good and bad. When a recipe is rated I don't receive warnings from Google about what I'm doing wrong on the technical side of my blog.
I really appreciate all my recipe raters out there.
We had one lucky winner of the Donegal cookbook this month. Congratulations to Sue on winning this wonderful recipe collection, full of traditional Irish recipes.
At the time of publishing this post, I'm still trying to connect with Sue M to let her know about her win. If you read this Sue, please email me at email@example.com to organize mailing of your prize. My emails seem to be bouncing and I am getting undelivered messages back.
Sometimes my emails go to spam folders or bounce. Please don't forget to check back on any giveaway for which you enter. I'll always add the names of winners at the end of my giveaway posts and if you don't get my email, please do follow up by contacting me.
We're also still waiting on one calendar winner from December 2020. If Molly reads this please do get in touch.
There's still time to enter for a chance to win the Saint Brigid's Cross Blessing Print. That draw will take place on February 1st, 2021.
Comments That Made Me Smile
Now this is the part of blogging that really makes me smile. I LOVE your comments.
They are a joy to read. They brighten my day, and make this whole blogging business worthwhile.
Here are a few favorites from so many of this month's blog post comments. Please do keep on commenting and sharing the stories of your connections with Ireland and your love of all things Irish.
On Irish Travels:
Betty entered our giveaway celebrating Saint Brigid by saying:
"What a lovely post, thank you so much. My grandfather who came from Ireland died when my mother was 6 years old, so we know little about our heritage. On vacation, when travelling was easy, I went to Galway to learn what I could. I love going off season, and walking through churches and graveyards, wandering in and out of the little shops. I have attempted to learn the language, and will get back to it next year when I retire. I will definitely now be sure to honor St Brigid on her feast day every year."
What stood out for me here is how Betty travels in Ireland. She goes off season when there are less tourists crowding popular tourist attractions. She gets off the beaten track, seeking out Ireland's hidden gems - those out-of-the-way secret places just waiting to be discovered all over Ireland. I think we are all longing to visit our favorite haunts in Ireland once again, when it will be safe to do so, once again.
On Growing Up In An Irish Family in Kentucky
Jennifer is a fellow Kentuckian, although I suppose I'm not a native, just a blow-in. Here's how she shared her family story.
"As a little girl growing up on a Bluegrass farm, there never was a time when I did not know about Brigid. There are always girls in our family named Brigid. The funniest thing is a “tradition” of February first and second birthdays . Lots of family members and ancestors shared this birthday, in this generation, our younger son was born on February second.
My great-grandfathers and Papa Shannon (paternal grandfather) raised sheep and told us stories of how lambs were often born in the snow and cold, the mother’s sheep’s milk being a sign of Brigid’s Day. We had bonfires and checked the ashes in the morning to look for signs that Brigid had stopped by. There were many more stories and traditions too.
This blog is such a joy."
I found this comment to be a joy. I could just picture the little lambs being born around February 1st, being nurtured by their mothers and being blessed by Saint Brigid. Thank you so much for sharing your family story, Jennifer. It's lovely to know our Irish traditions continue in Kentucky.
A Prayer To Saint Brigid
Dominique shared her love of Saint Brigid and a beautiful prayer I had never heard before. Here's what Dominique had to say about our patron saint:
"To me she is such a wonderful saint. Here is another prayer to Saint Brigid. I have been looking for something to bless my home with. Unfortunately, it is true that many only think of St. Patrick, and she is often overlooked, when people are researching. Thank you for bringing her up and sharing a bit about her.
You were a woman of peace.
You brought harmony where there was conflict.
You brought light to the darkness.
You brought hope to the downcast.
May the mantle of your peace cover those who are troubled and anxious,
and may peace be firmly rooted in our hearts and in our world.
Inspire us to act justly and to reverence all God has made.
Brigid you were a voice for the wounded and the weary.
Strengthen what is weak within us.
Calm us into a quietness that heals and listens.
May we grow each day into greater wholeness in mind, body and spirit.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful prayer with us, Dominique. I really appreciate it.
Update On Our Growing Clan
Our Irish clan is growing. I hope you like my Irish traffic picture for this month. I love Irish sheep and lambs, so I'll feature a "traffic photo" every month.
Many thanks to all who signed up and subscribed for email updates. It's a great way to stay in touch and to receive notifications for my ramblings and recipes.
If you would like to join our community, then you can learn about how we celebrate our Irish heritage, and sign up for emails here.
Our Facebook Community continues to grow. We have 6,700 likes and 6,998 followers.
My knowledge of all things Instagram is slowly improving and 870 people are following my recipes and ramblings there.
And I continue to be a Twitter twat, with little understanding of all things tweeting, but still 4,390 people have joined that branch of our clan.
A big shout out to everyone who is following along, as our Irish American Community and blog traffic keeps rising. You are the ones that make this blog a success.
Charity Donation On Behalf Of Irish American Mom's Readers
This month I'm continuing an Irish tradition of giving within the Irish American Mom community. I will make a charitable donation on your behalf whenever possible.
You put up with ads on this site, which unfortunately are a necessary nuisance around this neck of the woods. The cost of running this blog is rising as our viewership grows. The cost of my email subscription service rose from $29 to $79 per month just recently. Advertising revenues keep the lights on around this little corner of the internet, so thanks for tolerating these ads.
Good news is that revenue this month covered costs with a little extra left over.
And so, in honor of Saint Brigid, the most generous of Irish saints, I'm delighted to make a donation of $200 to The Ireland Funds on your behalf.
The Ireland Funds is a global philanthropic network established in 1976 to promote and support peace, culture, education and community development throughout the island of Ireland, and Irish-related causes around the world.
With chapters in 12 countries, The Ireland Funds has raised over $600 million for deserving causes in Ireland and beyond, benefiting more than 3,200 different organizations.
I plan to make charitable giving one of our core purposes and values here in this little community. When I have money left over after paying expenses at the end of the month, I'll make a small donation to charity on behalf of our community.
Let's do some good together. Just read my blog, put up with the ads and hopefully I'll have a little extra to donate each month.
Thank You For Your Support
As always, I really appreciate YOU, the readers of Irish American Mom for stopping by to support my website and joining our discussions about all things Irish and Irish American.
Many thanks for following my recipes and ramblings. Stop by again, in February as we continue our journey towards spring, and of course Saint Patrick's Day.
I've many more ramblings to share, Irish style side dishes to cook, and wonderful crafts for little ones to be inspired by, before we celebrate our patron saint in March. February will be a busy month in our Irish neck of the woods.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade