The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Vicki Sternfeld-Rossi
the Times 

Shakespeare & shamrocks


March 19, 2020

Courtesy photo

If it was karma, please accept my apology. I know I said, "phooey!" defied Shakespeare, and didn't heed his warning to "beware the Ides of March," so, if that's why we're now watching spring change into winter again, please accept my apology. Intellectually I know I'm not powerful enough to dictate the weather patterns, but I don't want to feel as though I jinxed it. Sadly, my daffodils are snow bound and my car will keep its snow tires on a little longer.

However, there is some good news. It's St. Patrick's Day so there will be green. If not from mother nature, then in our wardrobe, decorations and, if I was still in Los Angeles, my neighborhood bagel store, who would be selling green bagels (not to me), and the local pub would be serving green beer (again, not to me).

I was born in New York, as were my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. My grandparents emigrated to America as youngsters (all under the age of 8), from Eastern Europe and Russia. So, although there is no Irish blood in either me or Daniel, (he was born and raised in Milan, Italy), I claim a connection to the Emerald Isle. I conveniently choose to believe in "six degrees of separation" when it serves my purpose, and since Robert Briscoe, one of the First Lord Mayors of Dublin, was Jewish and a number of years after his election, his son Ben Briscoe was also elected to the same post in 1988, (also Jewish), I will proudly claim a bond to Ireland.

Truly, in my world, it's all about the food. Although the traditional corned beef and cabbage isn't my all time favorite, the leftover corned beef, sliced thin, slathered with deli mustard in between 2 slices of rye bread, is a winner! The only thing better is adding sauerkraut and cheese, to make a Reuben sandwich. If I was still in New York or Los Angeles, I would wash either of those delicacies down with Dr. Brown's cream soda. Never a beer aficionado, (too much cheap stuff in college), I have discovered we have some amazing craft beers here! So, I am looking forward to enjoying my corned beef on rye with a Guinness-like Washington craft beer.

However, tonight it's bangers & mash, (Irish sausage cooked in beer, potatoes steamed, then puréed with butter and cream, and Brussels sprouts steamed, then sautéed with a little more butter), and with more craft beer to drink. Maybe I can whip up an Irish soda bread to add to the menu. Actually, Irish soda bread, like corned beef, is also good the next day, toasted and drenched in butter, or jam. Not exactly breakfast of champions, but very tasty. That will not be washed down with beer, but maybe an Irish tea.

If we're going to celebrate the food and drink of Ireland, let's not forget Irish whiskey! Good for the cold nights, and my idea of adding fun to being "socially distanced." Aha! There may be a silver lining to the change in weather and staying uninfected. Daniel suggested a cozy night on the couch sipping whiskey and watching movies. On his list: Contagion or Outbreak. I did say he had a wicked sense of humor. I was thinking more along the lines of the old movie, The Quiet Man.

I plan to enjoy the food and music celebrated on St. Patrick's Day, but I will not wear green. I have a fair, olive complexion, with just enough red in my hair, that I will look like a giant olive with a pimento sticking out! So, cheers and Erin go Bragh!


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