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Going native

If there is a “holiday” toward which I feel zero affiliation, inclination, interest or curiosity, it would be today’s.

Nothing personal for those of you who feel, and celebrate, otherwise. It simply isn’t, has never been, and likely will never be my thang. 🐸

I will offer a little St. Patrick’s Day story, though.

About 10-ish years ago, I was staying up in the Boston area for a few weeks with some good friends. (They had a huge home overlooking Walden Pond, and, well, it was lovely, they were lovely, and when they invited me to come visit for awhile, I said, “yes.”)

St. Patrick’s Day was nestled in among my time there, and they had recommended we meet up at a nice Irish restaurant for dinner that evening.

I thought to myself, “Heck, I’m in Boston, home of many an Irish descendant, and it’s St. Patrick’s Day; I should get a classic Irish dinner!” So, when the waiter came, I ordered the corned beef meal, and a Guinness, natch.

Now, I had eaten corned beef before. On sandwiches, mostly. It wasn’t my favorite-favorite food, but it was enjoyable enough, and I was kinda counting my lucky stars to have this Irish culinary experience on St Patrick’s Day in a restaurant filled with a lot of Irish-lineage people. I mean, it was an EXPERIENCE, right?

And then my food came.

It was all boiled. Salt-less. Bland. Boring. Sad.

My friend had ordered seared sirloin steak tips, which were radiating intoxicating smells of deliciousness, and I immediately realized I’d made a mistake.

Seeing my face (and I’m sure, the disappointment in it), she very generously offered me a couple of her steak tips, and said she liked my meal and would be happy to share some of it with me. So we did a little swap.

I think I got some tabasco sauce, and I know I loaded up the salt on my boiled brisket, boiled cabbage, boiled carrots and boiled potatoes, but without any of the Maillard reaction in the meat, the brisket was just … well, boiled.

In any case, the company was lovely, it’s a story to tell, and now I know better!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day … to and for those who have meaning and reason for the celebration.

cc Ja-Naé Duane and Steve Fisher — Thank you!

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