Posts Tagged ‘Saint Patrick’s Day’

English: Irish dinner

Irish dinner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ha, ha, ha, I bet you thought I meant I was going to recycle more, use rags instead of paper towels, refuse to buy strawberries in March because in order to arrive here, they left a HUGE carbon footprint.  Sorry to disappoint my readers and dash their expectations that I might be looking at the world with a more global view to saving the earth for the next generation – oh no that’s not what I meant at all!!

This sunny but cold Sunday, the day before St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I would attempt, yes attempt to make my first Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner.  My husband is not sure why I’m thinking of doing this and now 3 days later, after I’ve bought the corned beef, the cabbage and the potatoes and carrots, I’m thinking the same thing!  If we were in NYC we might go out for our annual Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner as we have for the past umpteen years but we are not in NYC.  Actually we will be back in time to catch some of the world’s best and longest St. Patrick’s Day parade. However Monday holds a sacred place in my heart.  Everyone who knows me, knows that Monday night is Mah Jongg night and since there isn’t a Colleen in the group, no one other than me seemed to think St. Patrick’s Day deserved any special consideration.  Well that settled that.  No Irish supper for Peter and I on Monday!

I did consider taking advantage of the considerable Irish-American population at the Jersey Shore and thought we might dine tonight at Clancy’s Tavern,  The thought of enjoying a meal served and cleaned-up by someone else as well as the camaraderie of fellow diners and congenial drinkers certainly held its allure. BUT then I remembered how crazy Clancy’s can be; noisy, boisterous, and so loud, it’s hard to talk to your dinner partner!  It’s really more bar than restaurant, Irish to its core so I started thinking that probably a good portion of the population might take advantage of an extended St. Patrick’s Day celebration by starting early in the weekend, only to continue right through to Monday night!  AND then I remembered that on Sunday night a couple of my favorite TV shows are on, not to mention one of those rare occasions when I am in total control of the remote.  How could I think of missing The Amazing Race, 60 Minutes and especially The Good Wife.  I could DVR the shows but then I wouldn’t have the time to watch them because they would be on the TV in NJ and I’ll be heading back to NYC.  

So now that I’ve settled that in my mind, I took my crockpot out and am hoping the corned beef will cook to its fall-apart texture this afternoon while I’m out and about.  The packaging said to bring it to a boil and then cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours and add the vegetable an hour before meat is done. That flies in the face of most of the recipes I’ve read so I’m thinking 4 hours in the crockpot with the potatoes, carrots and onion on the bottom, topped with the corned beef will do the trick. I do hope it gets to bubbling point and then about an hour before I’ll toss in the cabbage.  carrots.  I happened to be on the phone with my cousin, Marian this morning, and she too was attempting a first time Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner.  However, she called her niece who writes a cooking blog and was told to put it in the slow cooker for 8 hours AND she put the cabbage, carrots and potatoes in with the meat right from the get go!  I advised her to at least remove the cabbage otherwise I think she would end up with cellulose and mashed potatoes.  We’ll compare notes later this evening, probably during the commercials!

Uh oh, I just took a good look at the photo I put in this post and see that the little red potatoes should have been left whole; I halved and even quartered some – I guess I will be the one with mashed potatoes!  Oh well, ERIN GO BRAUGH


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It’s a grand day to be Irish for sure…however, if you live in New York City like I do, then even if you’re not Irish, it’s grand day after all.  The sun is shining, the City is full of green-clad, shamrock-adorned folks.  Kids are wearing Irish cable knit sweaters and green deely-boppers on their heads. Kilts in every tartan you can imagine, politicians sporting green carnation boutineers and tams.  The air has been filled all day with the wailing mournful sound of the bagpipes.

We went to the parade early today and took Finley with us.  She enjoyed hanging onto the barricade at curbside and watched as bagpipers, horn-blowers and drummers marched by.  The flags were flying, the bands marching, majorettes twirling and thousands of people walking up Fifth Avenue following the famous green center line.

It was the perfect day for a parade, not too hot, not too cold and not raining  as it has in some past years.  However, I knew it was only a matter of time before I would hear the familiar “I have to pee”.  If you’ve been to a parade with a child, you know it’s inevitable and if you’re on Fifth Avenue in the middle of Manhattan, you know it’s impossible!

I gathered her up and we pushed our way through the crowds to get to a side street.  We were in the East mid-60’s so I figured if we got to Madison, perhaps I would find a restaurant or store where she could use the rest room.  As we were rushing past stores and shops, I was telling Finley, “no, not this one, no we can’t go in there, no bathroom”.   With that inimitable wisdom of a three and a half year old, Finley said, “Why not, every place has a bathroom”. As they say, out of the mouths of babes!  After a two block hike with little Finny repeating her needs to me in a plaintive voice, I spied Bar Italia and walked in and said to the hostess at the door that I needed to take her (Finley) to the bathroom.  She looked at me and smiled and said, “I’m sorry, the rest rooms are only for our customers”.  I was furious!  I looked at her and said in a loud voice, “That’s ridiculous and it’s illegal” and swept past her carrying Finley and walked right through the entire restaurant to the back, asked a bus boy where the ladies room was and carried Finny in.   I noticed someone had left a Dior compact on the vanity so on my way out, for a final coup de grace,  I slapped the compact down on the counter in front of her and muttered, “someone left this in your ladies room” and stormed out.

Boy did that feel good!  By the way, I don’t know whether it’s legal or not to restrict the use of a bathroom in a public restaurant and I certainly understand that  restaurants don’t want derelicts or homeless people coming in to use the facilities;  However, I’m a woman of a certain age carrying a toddler, really what horrible things  might we have done in that bathroom?

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Green Carnation

Wearin' o' the green

T’is the day for the wearing o’ the green so put  on your green carnation, have  a beer, some  Irish Soda bread and talk a bit of blarney and pass along some Irish wit and wisdom.

  1. of a useless fellow: he’s fit to mind mice at a crossroads.
  2. in praise of strong whiskeyIf felt like a torchlight procession going down my throat.
  3. of a clever thiefHe’d steal the sugar out of your punch.
  4. on trying to change a stubborn person’s mind:  You might as well be whistling jigs to a millstone.
  5. of  a woman who made a bad marriage: she burnt her coal and did not warm herself.
  6. of a talkative person:  That man would talk the teeth out of  a saw.
  7. to someone who committed some small fault:  T’is only a stepmother would blame you.
  8. of very bad music: Aw, that’s the tune the old cow died of.
  9. of a coarse, ill-mannered person using poor language:  What would you expect from a pig but a grunt.
  10. of one who overstays their welcome: If that man came for the wedding, he’d still be there for the christening.


Is the ability to tell a man to go to hell so that he anticipates the trip.

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Postcard: "St. Patrick's Day Souvenir&quo...

1912 St. Patrick's Day Souvenir

The twelflth reason to celebrate this year is connected to last week’s when I suggested we should celebrate going on a diet  so we could all eat and drink like it was our last meal.  Today’s suggested reason(s) for a celebration are two-fold; Breaking the Diet – we eat and drink like it’s our first meal in a week!  Silly I know, but if you really need a reason to celebrate this is as good as any.   Personally one of my main dieting issues is that I often fantasize about the meal that I’m going to have once I’m off the diet. And that is exactly how you lose 10 pounds and then gain 10 pounds and the yo-yo merry-go-round continues!

Ahhh, but wait this week is a double-barreled opportunity to enjoy yourself;  celebrate with friends, family, and even with strangers as this holiday brings us all  together in the spirit of Erin Go Braugh.

St.Patrick’s Day – Celebration begins around sunrise in Manhattan –  I swear that’s when I hear the first mournful sounds of a bagpipe.  New York City with its 5 boroughs is heavily populated with Irish residents as well as a lot of wannbe Irish (at least for one day a year).  Many of them converge upon Manhattan to march in one of the nation’s most well-attended and colorful parades.   The parade goes on all day and as it ends in the Upper East Side, that particular neighborhood is replete with New York’s Bravest, New York’s Finest, and New York’s Strongest;  bagpipers and marchers – celebrating Erin in a well-lubricated style.

This is the day of the “wearin o’ the green”; Shamrocks and  Sheleighleigh pins, Irish wool cable-knit sweaters, Tam o’ Shanters (originally a Scottish style cap but not when knit in Irish wool),  Tartans, honorary green sashes and the ubiquitous Kiss Me I’m Irish buttons!

It’s a night for partying hard well into the night and of course indulging in a great meal of Irish Stew or Corned Beef and Cabbage, Shepherd’s or Cottage Pie washed down with a pint or two of Guiness or Harp’s

This year I’m not going to be in the City on St. Patrick’s Day and will miss the glorious parade – I LOVE the bagpipes.  But Faith and Begorrah I’m sure I’ll find an Irish bar where I can raise a mug and toast the motherland and eat some corned beef and cabbage.

2010 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City.

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