Shepherd’s Pie

When I was growing up, St. Patrick’s day was a day planned for in advance.  My mother made sure we had plenty of “Kiss me I’m Irish” buttons on hand for school or the parade if it fell on a friday or a weekend, green socks, and of course the makings for cornbeef and cabbage…which I dutifully ate even though I couldn’t stand it and it smelled up our house for a week.  At my home, I do pretty much the same thing, although my boys would dissolve away if they wore a button that invited any kind of kissing.  But they do wear their Irish shirts and baseball caps (Riley’s even has a bottle opener on the lip of his cap, something I wasn’t aware of when her bought it).  I don’t make my mother’s traditional meal though, but I still honor the tradition with Irish fare…shepherd’s pie.  I use roast beef for the meat instead of lamb, and since both my boys hate peas, I use green beans instead….but oh the mashed potatoes, or fata, with cabbage, or colcannon (but not enough to stink up my kitchen)  I do think these traditions are important, especially since the rest of the world looks at this holiday as a big drunk fest, and being Irish means adding an O’ or a Mc before your name.  There is much to be said about being 100% Irish, including being full of angst and melancholy at times…but we are old souls, we celts…and share a remarkable history of spirituality and ties with the earth…especially that beautiful hunk of green off the west of England.  I hope to go back some day, and spend some time with those who wear the map of Ireland on their faces….I’m looking especially forward to the 17th this year

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