Growing up in a dominant Italian household, with pasta served every god damned night, I never bonded with my Irish side. My Father had died when I was 4, so I never got to know him or his side of the family. It was only when I got older did I begin to embrace my Irish side — especially on St. Paddy’s Day — a day designated for everyone to embrace the Irish culture. It might bemuse you to learn that I regale myself in all of the traditional accouterments — a full blown leprechaun trotting around in green garb, with dastardly designs at becoming as drunk as humanly possible.
Over the years, I’ve had many memorable St. Paddy’s days, none of which included the fag parade. Typically, upon waking up, I toss the corned beef in a pot brimming with water, beer, and mustard seeds. After several hours of boiling the bastard, I always open up another beer (maybe 2) and pour it into the pot. Spending my time wisely, I drink a half dozen beers in record time — write a bunch of shit on the internet, trade a few stocks, then I peel a bunch of potatoes and dice up some cabbage.
Making sure the beef is progressing according to schedule, I open the pot and poke at it — as if I know what the hell I’m doing. Then I simply drop all of the potatoes and cabbage into the pot, cover it, and then forget it ever existed for the next two hours or so.
Dinner is well on its way.
My house is usually filled with guests, all wanting to eat boiled food and drink lots of strong beer, so we make more than one pot of corned beef. Sometimes I crock pot one — or as my good friend likes to say, when pretending to be a world class chef, ‘slow cook’ it.
Soon enough, the company begins to pile in — most clad in green garments or off-white cable knit sweaters — looking like old seamen just back from a month at sea. “How was the catch?”, I ask them. “Pretty good lad — now get me a fargin’ beer, would ya?”
We’re playing the songs from the old country, naturally. Here are a few crowd pleasers.
After we’ve been properly inebriated, the fatty meat, potatoes, and cabbage are served, liberally. People usually bring their own corned beef — so there’s plenty to go around. The music is blasting and the beers are being consumed at an industrial rate. Not before long, whiskey and single barrelled scotch are being passed around like bubble gum in a little league baseball dugout. The men venture outside to smoke a pipe or cigar, any sort of tobacco, and the rest of the night becomes a slow motion blur — intermingled between laughter, comical moments, and juvenile foolishness.
Alas, by the end of the night, we’re all Irish — outraged, mind you, by the treatment of ‘our people’ by those fucking Brits.
We wait one year hence and then do it all over again.
Happy St. Paddy’s Day.
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