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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Get Your Irish Up

No, we don't mean as in starting a fight or getting mad — not at all.

As most folks know, St. Patricks Day is celebrated today. (This date marks the death of Ireland's patron saint.)

Tonight, we'll be enjoying a "traditional" dinner at home with friends — all prepared by Chef Grenville.


He's the Irish half or this relationship, whereas I am the Italian counterpart.

But, the meal he's preparing today — corned beef and cabbage is no more Irish than spaghetti and meatballs is Italian. This "classic" Irish fare is as American as apple pie.

Irish immigrants brought food traditions including soda bread and Irish stew to the U.S. Pork was inexpensive in their homeland and was the preferred meat with Irish bacon, a lean pork loin being the favorite. However, pork was costly for New York Irish families.


Irish workers, who frequented NYC Jewish delis and lunch carts, tasted corned beef. It was cured and cooked similar to Irish bacon and a cheaper alternative to pork. Potatoes were readily available, but cabbage was cheaper and when cooked with the spicy and salty corned beef, became very favorable  This simple, hearty dish soon became a staple of NY Irish families as it was affordable and easy to prepare.

As we enjoy this meal tonight, these are our wishes for you and yours . . . 

May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.


And . . .
May the road rise to meet you; May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face; and rains fall soft upon your field
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

Grenville, Beatrice & Percy (the temporary Irish) Penguin

10 comments:

Emma Springfield said...

A very nice lesson on Irish cuisine. I do love corned beef and cabbage though. My Irish children will be happy to learn that they don't have to eat corned beef and cabbage because not one of them likes it! They will eat potatoes all day long though.

Lynn said...

I have that Gaelic blessing on a plaque in my kitchen - I don't have an Irish bone in my body, but on St. Patrick's Day, we're all Irish, or so I've heard. :)

Erin Go Bragh! I hope you enjoy your lovely dinner.

Did you see the movie "Brooklyn"? It's the story of an Irish immigrant in New York - set in the 1950s. It's beautiful.

Latane Barton said...

A Happy St. Patty's day to you and especially to Grenville as he's the Irishman in your household. But, Italians can celebrate, too, right? Have a good one.

Sandra said...

I did not know any of this.. i have Irish and my Irish does get up and I do mean the fighting kind. but it has mellowed in my old age...my other ancestor is Scot and it gets up to. that said I have never had corned beef and cabbage. i love corned beef out of the can and we had it as a cheap meal once a week growing up, we also ate lots of cabbage since daddy grew it. but never together.. my hubby has no irish but they had corned beef and cabbage a lot to feed a family of 8 in PA... i think people from the North eat it and the deep South did not.

Red said...

Interesting side of Irish food. Happy St. Patrick's day!

William Kendall said...

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Connie said...

I hope you enjoy your corned beef and cabbage! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

diane b said...

A fun post. I haven't had corn beef and cabbage for years. My mum used to cook it even though we're not Irish but English in Australia.

Ginnie said...

I love corned beef and cabbage but never think of it until St. Patty's day ! Thanks for the background info.

gigihawaii said...

My two daughters are part Irish.

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