ORIGINAL EVENTS: ST. PATRICK’S DAY Friday, March 11, 2011
For the Great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry
And all their songs are sad.
Let’s skip the green beer (ew, right?) and get right to the point, shall we?
As we once again prepare to celebrate the mysterious life of St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, and his feast day of March 17, let us pause to reflect that during his time in Ireland, he never chased the snakes from Ireland, because there have never been snakes in Ireland (and there still aren’t any). In truth, St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish, but rather an indigene of Roman Britannia.
It was the Irish, Celtic warriors, in fact, who kidnapped St. Patrick from Britannia, brought him with them to Ireland and forced him into a slave’s life of shepherding.
It was around then that St. Patrick began hearing the voices that would not only encourage him to escape, but, once he had, to eventually return to the isle of his captors so he could lastingly spread his newfound faith.
And since the ninth century, the celebration of his life and death has been quietly observed every mid-March in corners light and dark all over the world. Of course, It wouldn’t be until the early half of the 19th century that St. Patricks Day would achieve the status of spectacle—in America, of course—when thousands of Irish immigrants and Irish social clubs marched on New York City as a sign of pride and solidarity. And thus was born the country’s—and the world’s—largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
In honor of our Gaelic ancestors, The Original celebrates the Irish culture with a special St. Patrick’s Day dinner of Corned Beef with Cabbage, which we’re pairing with a batch of punch that is as green and as verdant as the river that winds and wends its way through the Windy City of our Middle West.
The cabbage, red in color, is braised in its own juices with bacon, apples, onions, Cassis vinegar, Cassis liqueur and brown sugar. The local corned beef we brine for two days, then pickle with coriander, bay leaves, thyme chiles flakes and honey. Then we roast it until its fat caramelizes.
And we’re serving not just for dinner, but for lunch, too.
So come join us and celebrate whomever you are, from wherever you came, because on St. Patrick’s Day, you’re all Irish.
And raise high your green glass of punch or your pint of the cream-topped black stuff, and sing with us three Irish cheers:
Sláinte! Sláinte! Sláinte!
And with that, some words to the wise: there’s an old Irish proverb that goes May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you’re going and the insight to know when you’ve gone too far.
So be safe, be sound and we’ll see you here on St. Patrick’s Day. And remember, no one likes a pincher.