The New Year is just around the corner, and much is happening in the month of January for the Irish community. Many of the Wilmington Irish families belong to the New Castle County Irish Society (NCCIS) and the Delaware Irish Culture Club. Both organizations hold various dinners, ceilis, teas and other dance parties.
January 8th – Roast Pork Dinner on Sunday afternoon from 3:00 to 6:00 P.M. Dinners are $8.00 for adults; children age 12 and under are $6.00. To reserve your dinner, call Dot King at 302-994-0073 or Phyllis Pini at 302-354-1356. You can also purchase dinner tickets at the Pub on Wednesday nights.
January 15th – A New year’s Ceili will be held on Sunday afternoon from 2:00 to 6:00 P.M. What better way is there to warm your body and spirits on a winter day than an afternoon of dancing and friendship? Admission: $12.00 for members and $13.00 for non-members. Live music by Pancho, Kevin and Jimmy will be featured. Snacks and desserts are welcome. A cash bar will be available. For information contact Bud Burke at 302-478-4568 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For directions to our Irish Center visit our web site: www.nccirishsociety.org.
Wednesdays throughout the year, the NCCIS Pub is open for refreshments and socializing. Ceili-Set dance classes are taught on Wednesday evenings. Ceili dance lessons begin at 7pm and the Set dancing class begins at 8:30pm. Price is $6 for each class. For more information contact Bud Burke at email@example.com or Mary Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Irish January traditions followed by many of the Wilmington families starts with the sixth of January or Epiphany. This is the twelfth day of Christmas and was once known as “Women’s Christmas” since food served on this day – tea and cakes – were preferred by women. Two favorites are the Irish Apple Cake and the Gingerbread Tea Cake. Also, the men of the house did the cooking and cleaning, allowing the women a day of rest after their hard work over the holiday season. When the family congregated in the evening, the candles were lit, and the order in which they burned out was regarded as an indication of the order in which the persons represented by them would pass away. On January 7, the following Epiphany, the Christmas decorations would be taken down and stored away. The holly and ivy were usually burned.
Irish Apple Cake
1 lb flour
4 oz sugar
4 oz butter
1 lb diced cooking apples
2 eggs, beaten
Pinch of salt
Sugar to sprinkle on top
Preheat oven to 400F.
Cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs. Mix in the flour, salt and the diced cooking apples. Pour mix into an 8 inch cake tin and sprinkle the top with sugar.
Place on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake the 40 minutes. Then cover cake with foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Serves 8.
“May you have a song in your heart,
A smile on your lips,
And nothing but joy at your fingertips.”