is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

May the hinges of our friendship never grow rusty. And our ale never turn musty.

by Kimmy O'Thomas

I like the Shamrock greeting card to the left, because it looks like my Grandma Tommy.

Margeurite Rose Stephens Thomas, with her red hair, Irish brogue and quick wit, was our family's Wild Irish Rose. She grew up in Canada, but she never forgot her Irish roots -- she knew every song, joke, quirk, and yes, every potato recipe that belonged to Mother Ireland.

It was from her that I learned to love the Irish heritage, the humorous but often fatalistic views, the tendency to cook potatoes morning, noon and night. Once I learned it was healthy to own those traits, somehow life got a lot easier; 'twas the luck of the Irish, I guess (heh heh) that more often than not, made me smile in the face of adversity, helped me sing for those who could not find their song, and gave me a determined hope that carried me through the best and bleakest of times.

Tommy loved to kid around -- and her eyes would just twinkle when she saw an opening for a joke coming. Whenever she sat at the piano and someone would have a request she wasn't sure of, she would light up and say, "Well, do you know Who Through the Overalls In Mrs. Murphy's Chowder?" Then she'd play up and down the piano and sing it louder than you could possibly imagine. Golly gosh shamrocks! I really miss her, but today, I'll sing O, Danny Boy and My Wild Irish Rose, accompanied by my sister and we'll raise a glass to Ireland, and to Marguerite Rose.

It's a bright and shiny day in Kentucky. I hope to get out and see the blooming dogwoods, the daffodils and weeping cherry trees that make the Bluegrass so gorgeous this time of year, but I cannot forget it's St. Paddy's day, so I'll eat cabbage and corned beef (recipe below), drink some Irish whisky (just pour and drink, no recipe needed, nor ice:), and yes, I'll sing How Are Things in Glocca Morra, or I Wandered By a Brookside until my co-workers tell me to shut the heck up...which reminds me of the BEST Irish blessing:

"May the Lord keep his right arm around my shoulder, and his left hand firmly over my mouth."

I shamrock y'all, and continue to pray for

*************IRISH BLESSINGS*******************

Here are some of my other favorite Irish blessings:

May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, may good luck pursue you each morning and night.

May the roof above us never fall in, and may we friends gathered below never fall out.

A trout in the pot is better than a salmon in the sea.

As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction.

A friend's eye is a good mirror.

May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.

He who loses money, loses much; He who loses a friend, loses more; He who loses faith, loses all.

May the Lord keep you in His hand and never close His fist too tight.

May your neighbors respect you, trouble neglect you, the angels protect you, and heaven accept you.

May the sound of happy music, and the lilt of Irish laughter, fill your heart with gladness, that stays forever after.

May the frost never afflict your spuds.
May the outside leaves of your cabbage always be free from worms.
May the crow never pick your haystack,
and may your donkey always be in foal.

May the hinges of our friendship never grow rusty. And our ale never turn musty.

St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time -- a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic.

"Maybe it's bred in the bone, but the sound of pipes is a little bit of heaven to some of us." ~ Nancy O'Keefe

"There is no language like the Irish for soothing and quieting." ~ John Millington Synge

When Irish eyes are smiling
When Irish eyes are smiling
Sure it's like a morning spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter,
You can hear the angels sing.

When Irish eyes are laughing,

All the world seems bright, and gay,

but when Irish eyes are smiling,

Sure could steal your heart away!

and the promised recipe for IRISH BOILED DINNER

1 (3 1/2 lb.) fresh beef brisket2 (12 oz.) bottles Lager beer2 c. water (or enough to just cover)2 bay leaves10 black peppercorns1/2 c. chopped parsley2 tsp. salt2 tbsp. butter or olive oil3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced2 c. chopped and rinsed leeks (white parts only)1 med. yellow onion, peeled and sliced3/4 lb. lg. carrots, cut into lg. pieces3/4 lb. sm. red potatoes1 lb. turnips, peeled and quartered2 lbs. green cabbage, cut in sixths (secure with toothpicks)Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Place an 8 to 10 quart dutch oven on the burner and add the beef, beer, water, bay leaves, peppercorns, parsley, and salt. Heat a frying pan and saute the garlic, leeks, and yellow onion for a few minutes then add to the dutch oven.
Cover and simmer gently for 3 1/2 hours or until the meat is very tender. (This will normally take about 1 hour per pound of brisket.) In the last 25 minutes of cooking, add the carrots and red potatoes. In the last 15 minutes of cooking, add the turnips, cabbage, salt, and pepper. If the vegetables are not done to your liking, cook them longer but do not overcook. Remove the toothpicks from the cabbage before serving.

Clooney Note:

Those who know me know that Rosemary Clooney is my favorite Irish singer, my favorite Kentucky star (she was the First American Idol), and even though my campaign to have Kentucky highway named after her has hit a speed bump, I shall always strive to ensure the recognition of Rosemary Clooney as one of Kentucky's, even the world's brightest and most beautiful stars. I only hope that I will be hearing Rosemary singing Oh, Danny Boy if and when the Good Lord should bless me and keep me in the palm of His hand once I leave this life on earth.

Happy St. Patrick's Day. ( I Shamrock Y'all ;-)

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