“May the luck of the Irish enfold you. May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.”

The sky is beginning to have spots of blue, and I can see a bit of sunlight. It will be warm, as high as 50°, but the ever-present wind, blowing the highest pine branches left and right then back again, makes it feel colder. I have white lights to hang on the deck rail so that will be my fresh air for the day.

When I was a kid, we always had St. Patrick’s Day off from school because that was the name of my parish, my church and school. Mostly I did Saturday sorts of thing like riding my bike or walking uptown to the library. I wore green in honor of the day. My mother didn’t make corned beef and cabbage as she knew we’d grimace and groan about all the vegetables. Cabbage smelled bad. The only parts of the meal we would have eaten were the meat and potatoes. That all changed when we were older.

My father loved a boiled dinner, a traditional New England name for corned beef and cabbage, any time of year. I remember the giant pot on the stove, and my father filling his dish more than once from the pot. When I was there one St. Patrick’s Day with my dog Shauna, my first boxer, my father gave her a plate filled with everything but the cabbage and onions. She ate on the floor, and he sat in his usual spot on the couch. They both had ice cream for dessert. One St. Patrick’s Day, my father hunted in the pot for the potatoes. He found none, at least none left. They had disintegrated. My father’s disappointment was so keen I could see it in face and in the way he walked back to the living room. My mother didn’t know what to say. Comfort would only have come from potatoes.

When I marched with St. Patrick’s Shamrocks, a drill team or rather the drill team, we marched in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in South Boston a few times. I remember one really cold day. I also remember some spectators trying to join us in the march. They had been imbibing in some local establishments. They kindly offered us a wee taste before they were shooed away.

Today I will celebrate St.Patrick’s Day by wearing green and dining on corned beef and cabbage. It will have potatoes, and I will not share with the dogs.

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6 Comments on ““May the luck of the Irish enfold you. May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    When Irish immigrants arrived on the east coast they discovered corned beef which was sold in their Jewish neighbor’s’ delicatessens. In Ireland they never ate corned beef because the cows were shipped to England for their meat and they were left to ate pork if any meats. They were kept very poor by their a British masters.

    St. Patrick’s Day is the anniversary of my father’s passing 21 years ago. It’s fitting that he died on St. Patrick’s day because in his later years he became a home cook and a home baker. One of the dishes he enjoyed cooking and eating was corned beef and cabbage. He would prepare it several times a year or whenever he found it marked down in the grocery store.

    Last night we had some severe thunderstorms come through the area ahead of the cold front. Several roofs were ripped off businesses along with baseball sized hail in some places. We had no damage only a lot of wind. It’s partly cloudy today with gusty wind and a predicted high temperature of only 55°.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      I found a history of corned beef and Ireland and Jewish corned beef and the Irish from Smithsonian magazine. I was surprised at the dates listed.

      My father died thirty years ago on the 15th of March. He never prepared corned beef and cabbage, but he certainly enjoyed eating it.

      I’m glad you had no damage from the hail. It can do in a roof easily.

      We almost made it to 50° today!!

      • Bob Says:

        Thanks for that terrific article. I don’t own anything the color green to wear today. We passed on corned beef and cabbage tonight for a pizza. My better half bought the corned beef and cabbage but didn’t have the energy to prepare it today.

      • katry Says:

        You are quite welcome. I too was amazed by that article.

        I didn’t go out so I didn’t wear my green, but I did wear it yesterday for my uke concert.

        My friends in New Hampshire got 31″ of snow and ost electricity for two days. When it came on, it caused a surge which destroyed kitchen appliances so they had to make do with Reubens. That might be a great idea for using the ground beef.

  2. Birgit Says:

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
    (I didn’t know that it’s today until I read your post, it’s still not really popular here.)

    • katry Says:

      Thanks, Birgit!
      The celebration was huge today. There were parades, and most restaurants offered corned beef and cabbage. I didn’t go out, but I bet there was a sea of green.

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