AH, tis that time of year when the family drags out the memories of St. Patrick’s Day of years past. We’ve had some douzies—including this one I originally posted in 2016.
A St Patrick’s Day Revisited
“I was thinking we could get a corned beef and make a big pot of corned beef and cabbage,” my son enthused. His green eyes sparkled at the thought of it.
He waxed poetic about the ole days when we would celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with corned beef and cabbage. A toast to my grandfather, the author of those manuscripts I’d struggled with a number of years, and to our alleged Irish ancestors–but then everyone claims to be Irish for that one day–an entirely excused and actually obligatory Guinness celebration.
So it was that my hubby and he went to the local grocery and proudly came home with the largest corned beef the store was selling this time of year. He produced the red potatoes, carrots, turnips, onions, and cabbage he’d remembered with the shared help of dear hubby. (Forgot the soda bread!) Soon as he opened the package, however, I wondered if something wasn’t majorly wrong. It smelled bad. Not. Just. Bad.
When I questioned the date on the package, he pointed out that it wasn’t due to expire until the end of July and doggedly proceeded with preparation in his family-sized crock pot.
“What stinks?” queried DH.
“I wonder if we shouldn’t just be taking it back right now,” I pondered out loud.
“Nah,” answered Mark, “I don’t want to take it back. It’ll be okay.”
But it wasn’t. And as I prepped vegetables and shared the juice with another crock pot (the first was too small to hold everything), the liquid didn’t look all that healthy either and continued to create a very odiferous house.
Well, rats, they had forgotten the horse radish! Everyone knows you can’t have corned beef without horse radish. Back to the store and home with horse radish (forgot the soda bread again) that they now determined had, by several months, an expired date.
Then my daughter-in-law got home from work.
“Holy cow! What is that smell?!!” she cried. “And who is living here now? Did we exchange family members?” Declaring she wouldn’t touch that stuff, we wondered again, “Did we get used to the smell? Is it that bad? Maybe we should have a taste of it.” Three of us did–it tasted okay–but then why that smell?
Discussing it further, DH made the executive decision: it was going back along with the horse radish. “I’m afraid of it!” he declared. The lady at the customer service counter pleaded, “Take it off the counter–you’re making me gag!” No problem getting a refund.
Okay, what to do for dinner then–it was getting late. Producing a gift card from our 50th wedding anniversary years ago, the boys went to Outback and came back with quesadillas and dinner for four; dry, tasteless, so bad three of us gave up on it half-way through.
Looking at the awful food the restaurant had prepared, we couldn’t help but compare it to the corned beef. Still, the corned beef won out for most obnoxious. Discussing it further, DH nodded and ventured, “The corned beef was worst than an old cat box. Okay, who is ready for ice cream?” My son burst out laughing. So did I.
Next morning, venturing into the kitchen, my son grinned at me and waved a big frozen ham bone in the air. “Look what I found in the freezer! I thought we could use this and make a big pot of beans today.”
He looked so hopeful and happy, what could I say?
©2016 Virginia Williams
Graphic attribute: St Patrick’s Day Dinner banner background courtesy iStockPhoto