Friday, March 17, 2017

The Wearing of the Green

Thought for the day: It's fine to pretend to be Irish on St. Patrick's day; we pretend to be good on Christmas, don't we?


Yep, today's the day even folks with a last name like Swiderski can celebrate the Irish. Why not? I'm all for wearing a bit o' the green and talking a bit o' blarney, no matter what day of the year it is. As for today... just call me O'Swiderski.

What follows is a St. Patrick's Day post from three years ago. Seeing's as today is St. Patrick's Day AND my usual day to post, I thought it's be a foin idea to run it again. Then I'll have more free time to do the jig or something.

Care to join me... and a one and a two and a...(pant, pant, pant)

Never mind. You dance. I'll watch.







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Thought for the day Never borrow money from a leprechaun. They're always a little short.

[Wikipedia]
Yep, it seems like everybody wants to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day, doesn't it? Doesn't matter a shillelagh what your actual lineage is, either, for 'tis a grand day for dusting off that "Kiss me; I'm Irish" button, and pinning it to your shirt.

Know what's kinda funny about that? (shhhh) St. Patrick... wasn't Irish!








[Wikipedia]


Aye, and that's the truth, it is. St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, wasn't born in Ireland at all... and neither were his ancestors. However, he is credited with introducing Christianity to the Emerald Isle, where he evangelized for thirty years.



[Wikipedia]










He used the shamrock... the three-leaf clover... as a visual prop to teach the concept of the Trinity. We talk about the luck o' the Irish, and associate the shamrock with the Irish, but it's the four-leaf clover that's considered the lucky pick, simply because of its rarity.

[seniorark]


Even though many people use St. Patrick's Day as an excuse to guzzle even more beer than usual these days, from 1903 until 1970, it was a religious holiday in Ireland, and thus...a dry day. No booze. It converted to a national holiday in 1970, and the taps have been flowing freely ever since. (Obviously, the guy in that picture is a purist... his beer isn't green.)

[Wikipedia]


St. Patrick's Day, as celebrated worldwide, is marked with parades, festivals, shamrocks, wearing o' the green, drinking Irish whiskey and green beer, and sometimes... eating corned beef and cabbage. Many buildings of the world use decorative green lighting, and rivers, lakes, and ponds galore are dyed green. Even the fountain in front of the White House glistens emerald.

[Wikipedia]

Heck, what am I saying? The celebration of St. Patrick's Day is even outta this world. Dare ye to doubt me? Check out this picture of astronaut Chris Hadfield in the International Space Station, wearing his spiffy green bow tie while orbiting the planet on St. Patrick's Day, 2013. (Kinda looks like he's doing an Irish dance, too, doesn't it?)


Talking about Irish dances, have you seen this video?




                                                      See? Even chimps wanta be Irish.

[one of my favorite pins]

* Think there's any truth to the theory that the Irish dance was born because there weren't enough urinals in the pub? (Think about it...)

* Know why you should never iron a four-leaf clover? It's never a good idea to press your luck.

*  Know how to tell if an Irishman is having a good time? Easy. He's Dublin over with laughter.


Okay, I'll stop.


Since St. Patrick's Day is already here, it's too late to try this corned beef  recipe this time around, but you might want to give it a whirl next year. It isn't that much work, and I guarantee you, it'll be the best corned beef you ever ate. There are no nitrites in it, so the meat doesn't turn that unnatural red color, but it is gooooooooood.


For the salt and spice mix, you'll need 1 1/3 cups of Kosher (or coarse) salt, 3 T sugar, 1 T cracked peppercorns, 2 t allspice, 2 t thyme, 1 t sage, 1 t paprika, 1 large bay leaf, and 2 large cloves of garlic, minced.
Cut of meat - brisket, chuck, eye round roast, or bottom round, about 4-5 pounds

To Cure- Trim excess fat. Blend salt and spices, and rub the mixture into the meat. Liberally. Place meat into a large plastic bag and toss in the remaining salt/spice mixture. If you'd like, you can add a sliced onion and sliced carrot, too. Squeeze out as much air as you can, and then seal the bag. Put it into a a large bowl, cover it with a plate or pan, and weigh it down. (Put something on top of it that's heavy enough to keep the plate firmly pressed against the meat.) Place in the bottom of your fridge. Turn and knead the bag at least once a day until the curing process is completed. You should cure for at least two weeks, and up to a full month.

After curing: Wash the meat in cold water, and then soak it in a large bowl of cold water for about 24 hours to get rid of excess salt. If you'd like, you can tie it with butcher's twine, but it isn't necessary.

To Cook: Put meat in a large pot, and cover with water. Add an onion stuck with four cloves, a large carrot, and two celery stalks. Bring to a simmer, and skim off the scum for several minutes. (And I mean "scum" in the nicest way ...) Cover, leaving lid askew to allow for circulation, and simmer for 3- 3 1/2 hours, or until the meat is deliciously fork tender. Enjoy!
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 Until next time, take care of yourselves, and each other. 
Bless your little Irish heart, and every other Irish part.



May your glass be ever full. May the roof over your head always be strong. And may you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you're dead.

57 comments:

  1. Love that final Irish blessing. It covers everything doesn't it?
    A very happy St Paddy's day to you and yours.

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    1. Yeah, it's pretty darned inclusive.

      And a wonderful day to you, too, dear Sue.

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  2. That was so interesting. How ironic that it started out as a dry holiday. Also, the pic of you is adorable.

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    1. I thought the "dry" start to the holiday was pretty funny, too. It sure isn't dry any more.

      Thanks. Our daughter got those shirts for us. :)

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  3. Hi Susan - lovely photo of you and Smarticus ... and then all the fun topics - beer drinking like that still carries on?! Green fountain - I have a green sea outside - does that count! Enjoy today - but perhaps I'd better wear something green ... and have a Guinness later on ... Happy St Patrick's Day - cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary. Yeah, the last I heard, lots of people still think a St. Patty's Day celebration is an excuse to get wasted. In spite of those "Swiderski pub" tee shirts our daughter gave us, we'll be "celebrating" right here at home. :)

      Cheers back atcha!

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  4. Dear Susan
    Fun post. Loved that picture of you two in your shirts.
    I like your treatment of corned beef. I recall the first one I made when I was very young and just married. Tough as shoe leather. ( I later learned but yours sounds terrific) Those dancing apes are a hoot.
    Thanks for the B/D wish.
    Love, Belva

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    1. Hi-ya, dear lady! It's great to hear from you. I hope you had a wonderful birthday. I'm not surprised you enjoyed the dancing apes. Hmmm, I wonder if I can find any videos of them doing the flamenco... :)

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  5. My mum's favourite line: may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead.
    Love the chimps riverdancing :)
    I had a four leafed clover once, should have kept it.

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    1. Your mum's favorite line is one of my favorites, too.

      I have quite a few four leaf clovers, some of which I've had for many years. Most of them are pressed between the pages of various books. Maybe that's why I've been so darned lucky!

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  6. I've heard the bars are so crowded they have to dance that way to keep from slapping anyone in the head.

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    1. HA! Could be.

      When I was growing up in Baltimore, our parents would send us kids to the corner bar to bring growlers of the green beer back to my grandmother's house for the adults. It didn't matter that we were only kids. The bar owners knew our parents, and they'd just put the beer on their tab.

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  7. Top o the marnin' to ya Susan.....as one who is at leat 30% Irish I am ashamed to admit I own nothing green I can wear today.

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    1. And the top o' the mrorning... er bottom of the afternoon... to ye, too. Nothing green at all? Consider yourself pinched. I must confess, I'm not wearing any green at the moment, either, but my eyes are still green. That should count for something. :)

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  8. If I'm remembering correctly, I think St Patrick was actually Italian?

    That "press your luck" joke cracked me up!

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    1. Yes, ma'am. If I'm remembering correctly, you ARE remembering correctly. :)

      Good! Laughing is good exercise for our insides.

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  9. I know I can always count on you to have one of the most interesting Friday posts and this one is fabulous. . . history, jokes and a recipe.
    This is really fun.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoy my rather eclectic posts. :)

      Cheers back atcha.

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  10. Funny how things change over time to suit people, like the drunks who want yet another excuse to get drunk. Saint Me wasn't Irish? Damn lol

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    1. HA! Nope, Saint You wasn't Irish, me lad. :)

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  11. So, how's the craic over there? Jolly good, I suppose. Fab. Me, I like a bit of the ol' "Oirish" jig meself. ;-)

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Everything's jolly good, old bean. I bet you'd do a foin Irish jig. :)

      Greetings back atcha.

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  12. Anybody who's lived downstairs from Riverdance would appreciate those barefoot chimps. Great post, Susan, and have a delightful day.

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    1. HA! I don't think I'd be too crazy about living below a Riverdancer, barefoot or not. For one thing, I know Morse code, so all that constant tappity-tap-tap would drive me nuts, because I'd be trying to decipher the message subliminally. :)

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  13. Happy St. Patrick's Day! You two look good in your green shirts.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. And a very Happy St. Patty's Day to you, too! Have a super weekend.

      Thanks. Our daughter gave us those spiffy shirts. :)

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  14. Nice picture of you and Smarticus!

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    1. Thank you! (It's because of those cool shirts!)

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  15. No Irish in me i thought, but after taking a genetic spit test ... they r saying i am %0.001 Irish ... yey ... anyway, happy St Pattys Day, friend Susan ...

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    1. HA! .oo1%, eh? That's larger than nothing anyway, right? I'm a Heinz 57 kinda gal, so I have no idea how much Irish blood, if any, lurks in my background. I yam what I yam.

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  16. That was indeed a post worth repeating. I always learn here...and I'm always inspired to smile. Especially when I see chimps dancing an Irish jig.

    I love corned beef so much that I would use that recipe any day of the year. We can be Irish whenever we choose!

    BTW - that's a cute photo of you and Hubby wearing the green.

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you liked the dancing chimps. (But they can't play the piano worth a darn!)

      You should try that recipe. If you like corned beef that much, it's definitely worth the effort.

      BTW- Thanks. I was saying, "Ta-DA!!!"

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  17. I am a wee bit Irish (for real!). Hope you had a nice St. Patrick's Day. Thanks for the chuckles today. :)

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    1. Very good, lass! I hope you had a terrific St. Pat's Day, too.

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  18. I love the picture of you and your husband in green. My mom (according to DNA, we are 94%Irish) would say when she saw someone with a twinkle in their eye, a big smile on their face and a bit of the devil in them that they looked as Irish as Paddy's pig. Believe it or not, she thought that was a compliment. I won't say that to you, but you definitely have enough of those ingredients to call yourself O'Swiderski. I was an O' .... before I married, but met a most handsome young Polish man and have kids that are the best of both cultures. However, we eat neither corned beef nor Kielbasa.

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    1. I LOVE your mom's expression about Paddy's pig. It sounds like something my mother or one of my aunts would have said. It may not make complete sense if you examine it too closely, but it "sounds" right, and its meaning is clear enough. And yeah, I'd take it as a compliment, even though I'm Heinz 57 and haven't a clue if there's any Irish blood in the background.

      (GASP!) No corned beef... no Kielbasa??!! Yipes. (Then again, I did see a comment from you on somebody's blog about you making cookies with Irish cream...

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  19. Just remembered that I forgot to wear green on the 17th. Not that it mattered much as I only went to the bank and the guy at the bank seemed to really like the blue and white sailing patterned shirt that I was wearing.

    I did however fix corned beef and cabbage on Thursday with leftovers on Friday. It was a big hit with my wife so that was good.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. (shhhh) I didn't wear any green on St. Patty's Day, either, but we DID have corned beef.

      Very cool that you're the one who made the corned beef and cabbage in your house. :)

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    2. I do nearly all the cooking in our house. Rare is the time when my wife cooks and when she does it's usually something like instant oatmeal. But on the other hand, I'm retired and she's working so I think it's fair that I cook.



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  20. I wore green, drove all night in my green t-shirt. Gave me luck too, got home in record time. But damn that black ice (the asphalt in my driveway is black) landed on my ass but good. LOL Welcome home!

    No beer for me, too clumsy as it is to stay on my feet. But hey, the good news is that spring is right around the corner!

    Happy Spring - the true green!

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  21. I like your photos, looking awesome Susan!

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  22. Doggone it, the "reply" area won't let me "reply." (Makes it kinda worthless at the moment, wouldn't you say?

    Yolanda- You SHOULD have painted that blasted asphalt green, girl! Yes, happy spring to you, too. Now I hope it starts feeling like spring for you, too.

    Romance- Thanks. It's the shirts, I tell ya. They're magical!

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  23. Hope you had a worthy green weekend. No cabbage here but plenty of luck. I have green eyes- that 1/4 Irish shines through. Dance a jig through the week!

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    1. Aye, it was, indeed, a loverly green weekend. Even Mother Nature's joining the celebration... there's a layer of yellow-green pollen all over EVERYTHING! (I'll bet it's the same where you are, too.)

      I have green eyes, too, but I have no idea where they came from. Nobody else in my family had them that I can recollect. :)

      I dunno about through the week, but I may dance the jig to the mailbox in a wee bit. Might as well give the neighbors a chuckle for the day.

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  24. It sounds like you had a great Saint Patrick's day... I adore the picture of you and your hubby... very cute xox

    I actually forgot it was a holiday but I did end up wearing a green skirt... I hope you cut me a break since I work from home and I don't always get the reminders... lol ...

    Have a great week girl xox

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    1. Thanks, m'dear. Any day we're still here is a great one. :)

      You've got the break. At least you were wearing green, eh? (Which is more than I did! HA)

      You have a super week, too.

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  25. It was my cohort's birthday (which is never a dry holiday), so we celebrated that instead. But we drank like we were Irish, till we were green in the face, so I'd like to think we did the Irish proud.

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  26. Well, of course, we're all Irish on St. Pat's day, says O'Leszczuk to O'Swiderski. (Yeah, that's my non-writing name.)

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    1. You betcha! Whew, that name's quite a mouthful. People have a ton of trouble trying to pronounce OUR name, which is a fairly simple Polish name, so I can imagine how strangers must struggle with yours. :)

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  27. Loved your photos. You really celebrated St Patricks! I just had a Baileys!

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    1. Thanks. No, we didn't really "celebrate" at all. I had tea... and it wasn't even green. :)

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  28. Well worth a repeat. I wish I'd have seen that opening joke on St. Patrick's Day, ha! You know, I didn't even wear green this year. Crazy!! :) Love that first pic. :)

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you liked it. (shhhhh) I didn't wear green this year, either. (That pic of Smarticus and me is from a few years ago.) But my eyes are still green, so I was covered. :)

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