~ Happy St. Patrick's Day ~
When my youngest son was in kindergarten a little leprechaun came for a surprise visit while the kids were out for recess. The little rascal messed up the classroom and left a wee piece of green fabric on each child's desk as a reminder that he had been there. That was many years ago, but I'll never forget the day he came home from school clutching that tiny piece of fabric as he relayed the story to me. I think that may have been the year our family St. Patrick's Day tradition began. In the early years we had our corned beef and cabbage dinner accompanied by green side dishes and beverages. After dinner Brett would find a reason to take the boys outside and inside the little leprechaun was busy helping me hide gold coins and mess up the family room a bit.
As the boys grew the leprechaun visits tapered off, but the meal lived on in one form or another.
I'm often surprised that the tradition has lived on for as long as it has. Yet it seems even grown men will put on a little leprechaun hat if it means their plate will be filled with corned beef and cabbage and a thick slice of buttered Irish Soda Bread. Actually, that soda bread may be the main reason the tradition has lived on. They have come to love it.
Sometimes Peanut participated in the festivities.
She looks cute in the hat even though she looks like she'd like rather be outside running around the backyard.
I was thinking that this might be the year the tradition would come to an end until my oldest son expressed an interest in coming for dinner. It worked out best for him to come a day early, so we celebrated last night.
I was working yesterday so I decided to try a new recipe which called for putting everything in the crockpot. I might add that until now I've always used Betty Crocker's recipe and boiled everything on the stove. I usually discard the spice packet that comes with the corned beef and use plain water as I feel that the meat is plenty salty for my tastes.
My son ended up being delayed in a traffic jam.
While waiting for his arrival, we sat on the patio enjoying the beautiful 85 degree day as the meal was kept warm in the crock pot.
Once Mike arrived home, it was just a matter of piling up the platter with those fork tender vegetables and melt in your mouth corned beef. No knives required. Just the way I like it. It now occurs to me that I didn't take a picture of the soda bread. Most likely because it was gone before I had a chance.
As for the new recipe, it was decided that the potatoes and cabbage tasted a bit "different". Not necessarily bad, just different. Different isn't always desired when it comes to tradition. It didn't, however, prevent us from devouring our meals. In the future I think I'll stick with the crockpot method, but I'll forego the sauce part of the recipe and stick to the plain water. That will only result in a slight tweak to tradition which should suit my little leprechauns to a tee.