Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mmm, Guilt... It's What's For Dinner

Morning Readers,

     It’s still frozen…the corned beef, that is. A peek into my freezer, a brief exchange of words, and my potential dinner has re-assured me that it will not be available this evening. “Sorry”, it said. “Although you planned to have me for dinner daaaays ago, you forgot to thaw me out. Tough shamrocks.” Damn… I didn’t really need a crock-pot dweller letting me know I failed the whole “meal planning” thing, again. But, I have. And unfortunately, that means I’m also dropping the “I’m going to drench my kids in tradition” ball, as well. Someone pass me a Guinness so that I may wash the stench failure away.

     Back in yesteryear, when John Stamos was Uncle Jesse, and being the Pink Power Ranger seemed like a viable career option, a typical St. Patrick's Day found me wandering downstairs to breakfast, the televised parade, and full day's worth of culinary delights. Delights which had been carefully planned and executed by my saintly mother; a feast day, in our house, never to be forgotten or left uncelebrated.
     Breakfast brought family grace, said together, and a huge plate of hot scones, slathered in butter. After which, all ten of us were carefully reminded what the meaning of St. Patrick's Day actually was:

"Children, this is a special day to commemorate a very great saint. He brought the faith to Ireland, turned the shamrock into a symbol for the Trinity and managed to kick all the snakes out. When you're older, try to remember this and not drown it out at the bars. Got it? Faith, Shamrocks, Trinity, Snakes."

     Check, check and check. I'll never forget. And as much as I took the lesson to heart, it didn't stop me from craving the wonderful dinner I knew was headed my way. Come dinner time, in true Irish/American style, my mother ( after cooking all day and praying fervently to St. Brigid for the strength not to kill one of us) would set out my favorite dinner of the year: Corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, rolls, and the ever-present, ever-unpopular soda bread. Poor soda bread. Rather than eat it, I think most of us envision using it as a door-stop.
     After everything was said and done, there was cake and the rosary. And what do I have to offer my kids this year? A big ol' frozen corned beef that looks like it'd be happier down at the local morgue, than anywhere near my oven. There's always next year, though. In the meantime, I'll crack open my Guinness, and pray that I can salvage some respectable dinner off of Grandma, later.

Happy St. Patrick's Day Readers!