April 2009 Newsletter
Dia Dhuit (Hello)

I hope that your St. Patrick's Day celebrations were filled with lots of happy moments.

Easter is just around the corner and I have chosen some new Irish Easter recipes. There is a wonderful Irish Roast Turkey with Chestnut and Prune Stuffing for your main dish.

How about a delightful Irish Carrot Soup for a start to your dinner? I have found a luscious Irish Dressed Cabbage for your vegetable, and some Irish Accordion Potatoes with Rosemary. I have made a yummy dessert recipe in the form of an Apple and Blackberry Cake, topped with Irish Whiskey Custard.

For the kids, some decorated Easter Sugar Cookies. And, last but not least, I have colored some Easter eggs and decorated them with an Irish theme. I hope you will like these recipes as much as I do. Enjoy!

Colored Easter Eggs
Colored Easter Eggs
Easter Sugar Cookies
Easter Sugar Cookies
Irish Roast Turkey with Chestnut and Prune Stuffing
Irish Roast Turkey with
Chestnut and Prune Stuffing
Irish Carrot Soup
Irish Carrot Soup
Irish Accordion Potatoes
Irish Accordion Potatoes

Irish Dressed Cabbage

Irish Dressed Cabbage

Apple & Blackberry Cake with Irish Whiskey Custard
Apple & Blackberry Cake
with Irish Whiskey Custard

Terry and I have made a decision about when we will take our next trip to Ireland. In the past, we have been there on Terry's birthday and Easter in April, twice on St. Patrick's Day, twice in the summer, and once in November. This time we are going for my birthday on December 18th, will stay through Christmas and ring in 2010 on New Year's Eve.

We are both very excited about the trip and are really looking forward to it. By the time December rolls around, it will have been about two and a half years since our last trip in the summer of 2007. I should have some really good stories to write about as there will be a lot of celebrating being done.

We will spend most of the trip in Mohill, Co. Leitrim, where we can't wait to see all of our old friends and meet the new friends we have made through LittleShamrocks.com. And, of course, we will continue our search for Terry's ancestors. Before we return on January 3rd, we will spend our last two days in Kiltale, Co. Meath, visiting with our friends Mary and Michael Lydon.

Gerry Bohan has submitted his latest issue of The Leitrim Connection. The recession has hit Ireland as well as most of the rest of the world. He gave us some good news in that he was recently elected chairman of the Mohill G.A.A. Bord Na Og, which tends to the youth football levels. He also passed on some news that our friends, Peader Reynolds and his longtime girlfriend, Irene, were recently married. Congratulations!

I received an interesting submission from a woman in Massachusetts who loves knitting Aran style Irish knit sweaters. She asked if LittleShamrocks.com sells a book of the different patterns used and what the specific meanings are. Well, in my research, I came upon some information that I didn't know, so I wrote an article 'The Myth About Irish Knit Sweaters'.

It turns out that a man from Germany named Keiwe invented all sorts of names for these stitches and tried to link them to traditional meanings which were fictitious. Somewhere along the line, someone tried to link the stitch patterns to specific clan patterns, which was also a total fabrication.

After the word spread, the sweaters came to be very highly demanded and the Aran knitters kept very busy and made a lot more income. Even though they knew that there was very little truth to the story, they weren't about to turn away the increase in business.

Mr. Keiwe obviously had a very keen sense for marketing that benefited the Aran knitters. For more information about the true history of Irish knit sweaters, Alice Starmore has written 'Aran Knitting', in which she has deciphered the facts from the fiction. I have also added some Aran style knitting books with instructions for the stitch patterns.

I was happy to receive an e-mail from Patty Wei, the owner of Slipperyware Solutions. She asked if I would be interested in trying some samples of their new products, cookware and bakeware liners. These liners are reusable and eliminate the need to buy non-stick sprays and parchment paper. I made some cookies and used the liners on my baking sheets and the results were fabulous ... no more problems with burning or sticking with this product. I love them!

I received a submission from someone looking for the recipe to make an Irish drink called an 'inkwell'. I couldn't find it anywhere, so If anyone knows, please submit the recipe and I will gladly add it to our drinks page.

In March, our traffic ranking went through the roof. Being the month for St. Patrick's Day, March is always our busiest for traffic. People from all over the world are searching for Irish food and other products to buy, as well as searching for recipes to prepare for their parties.

We have had some very large orders from our affiliate ShinDigz.com, which sells all types of party supplies for any occasion. Our traffic for this March was over 60,000 visitors, for a daily average of 2,300, with nearly 9,000 on St. Patrick's Day alone, which makes us very happy!

Well, that's the news for this month. I will look forward to writing the May newsletter. Until next time ... I hope you all have a Happy and Blessed Easter!


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