Meal planning has taken on an entirely different appearance now that all the kids out and on their own. Who doesn’t like what, who is on a diet, or just not home. The kids would be appalled at our dinning fare. Gone are the menus posted on the fridge. No more instances of starting to cook only to find a necessary ingredient half eaten or totally gone. Now a day’s dinner is fast and simple. Sometimes it’s simply soup.
Holidays will always be special with pre-determined meals. Although our family is Eastern European one day a year we are Irish, St. Patrick’s Day. And what would St. Patrick’s Day be without corned beef with potatoes and cabbage.
I was surprised decades ago to find that corned beef was not the national dish of Ireland. So, how did we come to associate this meal as a go-to meal on St. Patrick's Day?
First, what is corned beef? Corned beef is made from brisket is a cut of beef from the lower chest and is relatively inexpensive. The meat is cured with large grains (corns) of rock salt and a brine. Then it’s cooked slowly transforming a rather tough cut of beef into a super tender and flavorful meal.
Second, how did corned beef get associated with St. Patrick’s Day? From the Middle Ages through the 19th century, Ireland was a major producer of salted meat. Large amounts of corned beef were produced in Ireland, but nearly all for trade. The meat was a luxury and much too expensive for the table of the regular folk. Instead, their diet consisted of dairy and pork, especially salt pork, a relative of bacon.
In the 19th century there was a large influx of Irish immigrants into the United States. Their go-to meat, salt pork wasn’t readily available and the nearest equivalent, bacon, was much too expensive.
They looked for a lower-cost option and found, you guessed it: corned beef. Once a luxury, corned beef was now inexpensive and readily available. It was the Irish-American who initiated the association of corned beef with Ireland and St. Patrick's Day.
And as for cabbage with corned beef, it was simply one of the cheapest vegetables available to Irish immigrants, so it was a side dish that stuck.
Here are two corned beef and cabbage recipes you might like.
Do you eat anything special to celebrate St. Patrick's Day?
I'm one of the authors participating in N. N. Light’s Book Heaven’s March Pot ‘O Gold Giveaway:
Enter today and you can win this beautiful Irish Blessing mug!
Contest runs March 1 – 31. Good luck!
RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. Writing with the Timeless Scribes, Ruth also writes contemporary romance with enough action to keep you turning pages. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing romance. She hopes her stories become your favorite adventures. For more information, please visit www.RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie.
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page http://amzn.to/13GwuQ1