When I was young, I was pinched a lot on St. Patrick’s Day. Since my family was not Irish, I always forgot to wear green until I got to school. It’s one of the reasons I bought green shamrock stickers when I was a teacher to give to all my students who weren’t wearing green!
On St. Patrick’s Day, we say that everyone is Irish, whether you really are or not. The people that I know who are Irish are fiercely so; they are proud of their Irish ancestry. In this melting pot that is America, perhaps the rest of us just want to fit in with the Irish on this one day of the year, although I have to say I think Ed is only in it for the corned beef.
I had never cooked corned beef until I married Ed. I actually think that was the first time I had ever eaten corned beef. And oh! It tastes so good!
I’ve also made boiled cabbage, which I didn’t care for. I prefer cabbage cooked a different way, in the way my ancestors made it.
When I was growing up, the only German meal my mom made for us was sausage, sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes. I still love it, and I make it for my family when I get a craving for it. We don’t really have a special day when we eat sausage and sauerkraut, but we do share something with the Irish: beer.
While Guinness is a little too dark for me, Ed and I used to drink either Bass (Irish beer) or Hacker-Pschorr Weisse (German beer) every Saturday night after church. So I guess when we were in church looking forward to our beer, we were doing the opposite of what Martin Luther said: “I’d rather my people were in the alehouse thinking of church, than in church thinking of the alehouse.” It’s said that Luther loved his wife’s home-brewed beer.
My grandfather, a proud German, drank half a beer with his lunch, and the other half with his dinner. He said that beer was good medicine, and he lived to be 96 years old.
While I’m usually staunchly German like my grandfather, I’ve always loved this Irish proverb.
Perhaps I love it because the ending, “And until we meet again may God hold you in the palm of His hand,” reminds me of my uncles. They say instead of goodbye, say until we meet again either here on Earth or in heaven above.
What’s your ancestry? Are you Irish on St. Patrick’s Day? Tell me in the comments below!