I share this story with you today because tomorrow’s the day to set the beef a-cornin’, and because I always get a little sentimental around St. Patrick’s Day. (Forgive me, Fiona.)
I don’t know that it’s true, but one of the things I remember about Child’s biological father is that his birthday is on St. Patrick’s day.
When Child was a baby, I was dirt poor and finishing college and we had a food stamps debit card and I had a lot of time on my hands, so I did lots of complicated cooking and became friends with Martha Stewart, figuratively.
I would cook giant, elaborate things and invite people over.
It was a really nice time in my life. I felt so fiercely independent and resourceful. I had tons of great friends who were smart.
My life is starting to look like it did then again in terms of contentment and fulfillment.
In early March, Martha corned a beef on her show. I love making stuff that people always buy prepared, from scratch, like mayonnaise, marshmallows, and corning my own beef.
I got a brilliant idea.
I would prepare a giant St. Patrick’s day feast in honor of Child’s bio father. It would be important to share the feast, and it would be a way of honoring him for his part in this lovely child without, you know, opening Pandora’s Proverbial Paternity Discussion Box (not that it hasn’t now been opened, we’re getting to the story a bit at a time), and a way of thanking my helpful community along the way.
One year, we had a post-modern St. Patrick’s Day feast on Shabbat with prayer in Hebrew and candles with some Jewish friends.
One year, I corned an especially large brisket and took the bounty to my insane sales job and shared it there.
Last year, we had the neighbors over.
Every year, as I fix to corn the beef, and look up the best Irish Soda Bread recipe (it’s on epicurious), I say a silent thank you to the cosmos for landing me in the same universe as Child’s progenitor & forcing me to face motherhood, even though I thought I never wanted it.
And as a testament to how awesome Fella is, he loves the tradition and is on board with a Corned Beef and Cabbage feast each year. He is aware of my silly, or maybe odd or crazy, sentimental observance.
Here’s the Menu:
Last year, I made Colcannon.
And here’s a delicious recipe that I don’t know if I’ve ever made on St. Pat’s day, but that would fit right in, Nigella Lawson’s Guinness Cake