Happy St. Patrick’s Day

leprechaun

No corned beef and cabbage tonight for me because Shawn is in Baltimore at his clan’s annual bash, so we are having it tomorrow when gets back. What are you all up to tonight? I personally hate this holiday as much as July 4th and NYE because it is rookie night and I’ve just had one too many idiots puke green beer on me. The worst was the year that I had a horrible ear infection and couldn’t wait until the morning and had to go to the hospital on St. Patrick’s Day at about 10 o’clock at night, and the waiting room looked like the drunk tank in Boston, with green vomit coating green lips staining green clothing while people elevated broken limbs and just reeking of the cheap sweet smell of booze. All I wanted to do was take an ice pick to my ear and die, and it took like 6 hours to get out of there because of all the drunken injuries.






45 replies
  1. 1
    kindness says:

    We did the corned beef & cabbage last night so we indulge a friend. He won’t cook it just for himself and so we sent him home with some. I actually like the stuff so it isn’t a problem for me. Just gotta have some good horseradish & decent dark mustard.

  2. 2
    raven says:

    This is right up there with Cinco de Mayo not Cinco de Miracle Whip.

  3. 3
    chopper says:

    The worst was the year that I had a horrible ear infection and couldn’t wait until the morning and had to go to the hospital on St. Patrick’s Day at about 10 o’clock at night, and the waiting room looked like the drunk tank in Boston, with green vomit coating green lips staining green clothing while people elevated broken limbs and just reeking of the cheap sweet smell of booze. All I wanted to do was take an ice pick to my ear and die, and it took like 6 hours to get out of there because of all the drunken injuries.

    west virginia sounds wonderful!

  4. 4
    mdblanche says:

    Again, a folk ballad from a man as Irish as corned beef and cabbage: Tom Lehrer

  5. 5
    Annamal says:

    I think our local supermarket might have taken things a little too far…green raspberry buns I can get behind but green french bread just does *not* work

  6. 6
    Citizen_X says:

    @chopper: Isn’t that what West Virginia is like all the time?

  7. 7
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Annamal:

    Someone this morning tried to talk me into having green grits for breakfast.

  8. 8
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @raven: You win!! That made me spray (only water, though) all over my iPad.

  9. 9
    Sly says:

    I can’t fucking stand Corned Beef and Cabbage. My mother used to boil it in Guinness, which is an egregious waste of two perfectly good pints of Guinness, and I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I couldn’t stand the stuff until I was in my late twenties.

    It’s food that people ate because the English took all the wheat, the potatoes were covered in fungus, and it was a cheap way to keep meat from rotting. Only the Scots have less appetizing cuisine, which I suspect developed through a series of increasingly adventurous games of “I Dare You To Eat This.”

  10. 10
    ruemara says:

    I just handed off a care package of corned beef and cabbage stuffed bread plus some stout donuts to the UPS lady and I’m delivering the rest to my friends. Holidays are where I take joy in spoiling my buds with food, so I never met a holiday I didn’t like. The bread is getting 2 thumbs up all around. Even my Japanese friend enjoyed it.

  11. 11
    Steeplejack says:

    Dunno why, but I’ve always disliked St. Patrick’s Day (and Cinco de Mayo), even in my younger “go out and drink” days. It always seemed like a kind of fake holiday excuse just to drink for the sake of drinking, with people being aggressively enthusiastic about it in an equally fake way. I probably would have felt differently if I lived in a large city with a legitimately large Irish-American population. But now, like every American holiday, it has been so commercialized that it’s ridiculous.

    I do like New Year’s Eve. But that’s probably because for years I was usually the host and didn’t have to worry about getting home afterwards.

    ETA: Also, no actual holiday time off associated with St. Patrick’s Day, so there’s a high likelihood that if you go out and get ’faced on St. Paddy’s you’ll have to show up at work the next day or call in sick.

  12. 12
    BGinCHI says:

    I think the fact that St. Patrick was captured by Irish pirates when he was 16 goes totally under utilized on this holiday.

    Why aren’t slavery and piracy given their due in this story?

    Oh, right, wear green and beer specials.

  13. 13
    IowaOldLady says:

    I scrolled down past the pic without noticing who made the post and as soon as I read the ER stuff, I thought, Oh it’s Cole. And I was right! That is scary.

  14. 14
    celticdragonchick says:

    I personally hate this holiday as much as July 4th and NYE because it is rookie night and I’ve just had one too many idiots puke green beer on me.

    heh! One of the best St Pats me and my spouse had was 2003 in Savannah. We had all the free beer and food we wanted since we played traditional Irish music on harp and tin whistle, and the Daughters of Ireland invited us up on their float for the parade. Later, we went to Kevin Barry’s on River Street (along with everybody else) and an Irish navy warship was in port. So…Kevin Barry’s was mobbed by Irish sailors, US navy sailors from Jacksonville, the NYPD, the FDNY and a bunch of drunk cops from New Jersey as well. I was holding up one cop from New Jersey on my shoulder who was telling me stories and cursing like hell, then he would look around guiltily to see if the department chaplain had heard him. The Irish navy guys were in the main room where the live entertainment was and they were asking my spouse if everyone here was from North Ireland because we were all singing rebel songs. She had to tell them that this was definitely an IRA leaning bar, but that NO, we were not all from the northern six counties.

    We finally got seated in the main room at a table with a mid level oil company exec who put us on his tab for Guinness for the day. No shit. We tried to buy a round for him and he would just smile and told us he could afford it.

    That was one fucking great day. We never had to buy a single thing to eat or drink and we had a blast.

  15. 15
    Origuy says:

    Going to a party at a hotel in Palo Alto. A friend plays fiddle and hammer dulcimer in a ceili band that will be there. There will be all kinds of Irish food, not just corned beef and cabbage. Not a fan of it. I think I can be sure that the beer will be brown, not green.

  16. 16
    Citizen_X says:

    @Steeplejack: Not a big fan of St. Paddy’s Day in most places, but for you and Cole, I highly recommend taking it in in St. John’s, Newfoundland. 1) It lasts about a week; 2) everybody’s Irish, even if they’re not; and 3) there are no amateur drinkers. Oh yeah, and there’s even more music than is usual there, which doesn’t even seem possible.

    I feel hungover just thinking about it.

  17. 17
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Sly: Nah, nobody back on Th’ Olde Sod was eating beef, however hard-preserved. Corned beef & cabbage is Irish-American, because the Irish servant ‘girls’ escaping the Famine worked for well-to-do German-American Jews in NYC who taught them how to cook it, and it was ‘classier’ than colcannon or boxty.

  18. 18
    Keith G says:

    Had corned beef & cabbage at work (my day off but an issue brought me in) at the boss’s annual SPD spread. My Mum’s dad was 100% Irish – though his people were non-catholics from County Cork who split the old country in the 1840’s. So this day was never a big deal, just a time to reflect on our elders long departed. To that end, Mum would wear a bit of green and in the evening pour a bit of whisky out to toast the many generations of grandparent – shanty Irish all.

    Mum’s gone now, so a bit later, I will raise a pint of Guinness to her with love and appreciation.

  19. 19
    muddy says:

    St. Patrick was a bad man and I won’t celebrate him and his patriarchal Roman ways. So there.

    When my son was 4 he wanted a green birthday cake. It was Ninja Turtle green, both cake and icing. Despite knowing it was the same recipe aside from the food color, I had difficulty eating it. Looked like toxic waste.

  20. 20
    Cacti says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Nah, nobody back on Th’ Olde Sod was eating beef, however hard-preserved. Corned beef & cabbage is Irish-American, because the Irish servant ‘girls’ escaping the Famine worked for well-to-do German-American Jews in NYC who taught them how to cook it, and it was ‘classier’ than colcannon or boxty.

    This, cheap, tough cuts of beef like brisket were readily available to immigrant populations in the major beef producer that is the US of A. In the old country, not so much.

  21. 21
    BGinCHI says:

    @Citizen_X: I have two good friends who teach at Memorial. I’ve always wanted to get up there.

  22. 22
    BGinCHI says:

    @muddy: What did the Romans ever do for us?

    OK, apart from the roads and indoor plumbing….

    Classic.

  23. 23
    Keith G says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    …nobody back on Th’ Olde Sod was eating beef,

    We ne’er ate corned beef either. Wasn’t a SPD thing ’til I came to the South. Up north, generations of our rural Irish ancestors ate what was was called a “boiled dinner” – potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and other things I guess, but usually meatless.

  24. 24
    maya says:

    “St Patrick’s Day is a poor excuse every 17th of March to stick a pick in a man’s eardrum.” Chas. Dickens

  25. 25
    SatanicPanic says:

    I refuse to drink on someone’s holiday schedule. That goes for NYE, Mardi Gras (which was what, last week?), Cinco De Mayo (not even the real independence day), Arbor Day or whatever other stupid days they’ve come up with. I drink on my own schedule. Get off my lawn.

  26. 26
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sly:

    It’s food that people ate because the English took all the wheat, the potatoes were covered in fungus, and it was a cheap way to keep meat from rotting.

    As Anne Laurie said, corned beef is specifically American via the recent Irish immigrants’ Jewish neighbors. Back in Ireland, they apparently made the dish with Irish bacon.

    IOW, corned beef and cabbage is exactly as authentically Irish as chow mein is authentically Chinese and pizza is authentically Italian. Sometimes the melting pot is literally a pot.

  27. 27
    Citizen_X says:

    @BGinCHI: Do it. Either at this time of year, when the weather sucks, or late summer into autumn, when it’s “simply grand.”

  28. 28
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    IOW, corned beef and cabbage is exactly as authentically Irish as chow mein is authentically Chinese and pizza is authentically Italian.

    I think you’re giving corned beef and cabbage a bit more credit than it deserves. Pizza may have undergone some changes after coming here, but it has impeccable Italian ancestry. Same thing with chow mein and China. But corned beef and cabbage came from somewhere else and was adopted by the Irish after they came here, which is a very different story.

  29. 29
    muddy says:

    @BGinCHI: Hey, that’s the old Romans! These were the new, religious ones.

  30. 30
    Jacks mom says:

    I love corned beef & cabbage. I don’t always wait for SPD to indulge though. Same with Guinness

  31. 31
    JustRuss says:

    @IowaOldLady: I did the same thing. I can’t decide if I like Cole’s stories about his pets or his pain and suffering the most. Fortunately, we don’t have to choose.

  32. 32
    Schlemizel says:

    I made some amazing Moroccan lamb kabobs on the grill. This was huge for two reasons – it was finally warm enough to grill & it was the first time I have been able to eat real meat since the radiation. After 2 1/2 years I think my saliva has made a come back. It was hard not to cry while eating. I have eaten vegetarian for some days for years but not ever being able to ever have a steak or a nice lamb roast or braised goat has been more painful than I ever would have thought it would be.

    SPD ranks up there with Cinco De Mayo, its a time people can piss all over a culture while pretending to embrace & celebrate it and get faced on bad booze sold at inflate prices because too many people are suckers.

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Sorry, my error — I meant chop suey, not chow mein. Pizza is more equivocal — the dish as we know it (cheese + tomatoes + toppings) was basically invented simultaneously in the US and Italy with a lot of back-and-forth as immigrants traveled to and from the home country, so it’s definitely not purely Italian.

  34. 34
    Schlemizel says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Growing up in the 50’s we had an immigrant Italian family across the street. They offered to make pizza for me one time & I was excited as hell – REAL EYE-TALIAN PIZZA!! What I got was this large hunk of bread with tomato sauce and a large oily salty fish on it. It was most unpleasant although I have grown fond of anchovies since.

  35. 35
    geg6 says:

    @Cacti:

    Yes, yes, yes. We have never had corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day in my family. And we have never done much celebrating of it either. Real Irish never did either. My Irish grandmother always made us her wonderful soda bread to mark the day. And then told us stories about all her family suffered in the Auld Country. She made us scared of our British immigrant paternal grandparents because she never talked about Brits as anything other than horrible, murderous brutes. I never once saw my grandmother speak to my dad’s parents. She HATED the British. It’s a wonder she didn’t disown my mom when she married my dad. But she considered that she won a great battle in the war of the Troubles when my dad converted to Catholicism.

  36. 36
    shelly says:

    Jeez, John. I think you must have an injury story to go with every holiday on the calendar. You’d make a great remake of ‘Holiday Inn.’
    ****************
    Yeah, not a fan of corned beef and boiled cabbage. Made some colcannon with lots of melted butter. Left out the hidden coin cause it’s not Halloween.

  37. 37
    seaboogie says:

    @raven: I’ve tried to explain this blog before to someone (politics, pets, music, food, gardening, sports, et al) to their great puzzlement. I think that the mayonnaise convo takes it to a whole ‘nother dimension that is beyond explanation. Hope that everyone who is enjoying corned beef today is also able to locate their mustard.

  38. 38
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Pizza as we know it in America is different from what people were eating in Italy when Italians started to emigrate to the US in large numbers, but if you look at that article it’s clear that the part about a baked flatbread with tomato sauce goes back quite a bit further in Italy than in the US. It has undergone some further changes here, but the basic model is still Italian. Even chop suey clearly had Chinese antecedents and was introduced to America by Chinese cooks. But corned beef and cabbage was something that Irish Americans picked up only after coming to the US. It’s almost like crediting American beer brewing to the Mexicans because of Corona.

  39. 39
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    But corned beef and cabbage was something that Irish Americans picked up only after coming to the US.

    And that’s where you’re confused. The only difference between the “real” Irish meat-and-cabbage and the American Irish version is the swapping of Irish bacon/back bacon for corned beef as the meat. Unless you think that swapping beef for pork fundamentally changes the dish so they’re no longer related, we’re still comparing apples to apples.

  40. 40
    gelfling545 says:

    It was on St. Patrick’s day many a year ago that I met the one who would become my ex husband and and it seems that I lost my mind for several years. Thankfully I came to my senses but am still not a fan of the day. Also memories of sleet soaked crepe paper dripping green dye for the local parade (my school was taught by an Irish religious order in a largely Irish neighborhood) tend to make me disinclined to celebrate.

  41. 41
    Roxy says:

    Corn beef and cabbage yuck. Couldn’t stand it when my mom would make it for St. Patrick’s Day and still can’t stand it.

  42. 42
  43. 43

    Well, heck, the Department of Domestic Affairs has reported that we favorably acknowledge all of the aforementioned holidays (NYE, St. Paddy’s, Cinco de Mayo, July 4th, Arbor Day) because it’s a genuine opportunity to eat and drink. NYE excepted, most are warm-weather (or at least warmer weather) events in this latitude.

    Try Derby Day on a Cinco de Mayo. Now that’s just a fucking hoot, man, that’s when worlds collide.

  44. 44
    SpinDoc says:

    Cole. Happy friggen St. Patty’s Day!! Back in the day, I never missed the green Old German at the Bison Inn. I threw away a lot of shirts and jeans after horking green streaks all over them while walking back to the Delt house. If half the people who view this blog truly understood what a magical, yet isolated place the Town of Bethany is, they would flock here just for the experience. I know of no other place where the only general store in town has less than 3000 square feet of space, yet has more groceries, hardware, and general merchandise than a 10,000 square foot corporate retail store. And their prices are reasonable in comparison. Chambers General Store is a place where you can watch Harry or Bob cut and trim a sirloin steak from a side of beef, and grind it in front of you for $4.79/lb. You can’t even get factory pre-packed ground chuck at the local big box grocery store for less than $5.29/lb. You want a 1.5 inch thick ribeye for the grill? They will cut it for you from the loin for $10.99/lb. It is aged at least 30 days, comes from local farms, and is way more tasty than the week old pre-packed garbage from the big box stores. Yes, my friends, you have to come to Bethany if for no other reason than to experience the richness of the local culture. If you’re from the big city, it will blow your mind, and remind you what life is really all about. Cole, you have it good brother. Keep on sharing the Bethany experience with the world.

  45. 45
    RSA says:

    @Schlemizel:

    REAL EYE-TALIAN PIZZA!

    Speaking of pizza, I recently came across Jeff Varasano’s 18,000 word pizza recipe essay, which includes stuff like this:

    I’ve got my oven cranked up to over 800 F… I don’t have a brick oven… So I clipped off the lock using garden shears so I could run it on the cleaning cycle. I pushed a piece of aluminum foil into the door latch (the door light switch) so that electronics don’t think I’ve broken some rule by opening the door when it thinks it’s locked.

    Not to encourage John, but good pizza is good pizza.

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