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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I have spent my lifetime trying to overcome my English grandmother's prejudice against the Irish. She did not rant about them or talk about them a lot. I actually only remember her saying something once about them. It left an impression with me. This should be a warning to all that we should be careful what we say about others, even in jest, when little ears can hear you that are attached to a wee person who loves and admires you. The meaning they hear may not be exactly the meaning you intented to convey.

Here remark was a judgement on the Irish as being poor, lazy, shiftless, drunkards, who did far too much dancing and partying, papists who could sin all week and make it OK by confession to a priest. (my grandmother was a Methodist who took the pledge not to drink at 18 and never did. My memory of her is of a moral and proper woman, for who an extravagance was a little candy in her purse to give her grandchildren).

You may recognize her list of Irish shortcoming as similar to any list against a prejudiced group: Blacks, Italians, Haitians, Newfoundlanders, French Canadians, etc. Real life experience and a liberal education puts the lie to such prejudice. I am grateful I have had both.

I first thought I might write something about Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal", which always impressed me as a biting bit of satirical prose about the relationship between the Irish and the English in the 18th Century. If you are not familiar with this it is well worth reading. It is often said to be the best bit of satire in the English language.

Instead, I offer you a couple of videos on food for this occasion. One of the nice things about ethnic occasions is the food. It is almost always peasant food and comfort food. In North America Corn Beef and Cabbage is considered the perfect St. Patrick's Day meal. The thought of it and watching the following video makes me so hungry. If the car were not broken I would get out to the store and buy the ingredient and make it.

As an alternative, how about some Irish Stew! I miss my neighbour who used to give me a slaughtered lamb for letting his sheep graze on my pasture, otherwise, I could make this meal.

I hope you celebrate today with a lovely meal to you liking.


At 11:09 a.m., Blogger KGMom said...

Happy St. Paddy's day to you--in spite of the ancient enmity that your grandmother nurtured.
Oh, nothing like a Methodist who has taken the pledge. "Away away with rum, by gum--the song of the temperance union."

At 12:17 p.m., Blogger Peggy said...

Have a great saint paddy's day! I will take the cabbage and cornbeef.. love it!

At 4:38 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

I celebrated today with a lunch of corned beef, cabbage, new potatoes and Irish soda bread. Yum...
My waistline couldn't do that every day!

At 6:16 p.m., Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Ginnie got it just right. The perfect meal for today.

At 6:25 p.m., Blogger Janet said...

I come from a long line of Methodists - both sides. Being Southern, we heard the derogatory remarks directed against Blacks. As you say, a liberal education and experience can do wonders to dispel those misapprehensions.
I like corned beef, but not cabbage. I'd love to have some Irish stew though.

At 10:43 p.m., Blogger Loretta said...

I have the Irish in me background, so here's to you.

May your neighbors respect you,
Troubles neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And Heaven accept you.
Dance as if no one were watching,
Sing as if no one were listening,
And live every day as if it were your last.

At 6:10 p.m., Blogger Old Wom Tigley said...

I have always liked the Irish, I have quite a few friends who though they are born in this area are every bit as Irish as those not.
I did spend many a happy hour propping up certain bars with them and being introduched to a glass or three of 'The Black Stuff'
I also have had some good luck on past St Pats day.. one being it was the day I passed my driving test... and another time it was my release day from a prison sentence... Irish Stew is beautiful... and a great meal to boot. :O)

At 10:50 p.m., Blogger Mary said...


We didn't really do anything to celebrate St. Patrick's Day even though I'm of Irish heritage. The boys had green potatoes for dinner and they enjoyed that along with green drinks.

Hope you're getting a bit of our spring weather. It's to be cooler again on the weekend here. I've been loving the spring temperatures this week.



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