TJTalks

TJ Talks and writes and paints and cooks and dreams...

Posts tagged St. Patrick's Day

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In the Mist

I can see as far as the third house down, then the fog or low clouds obscure the hills on my normal horizon. Four young redwood trees make a dark silhouette above the roof tops, creating a stark contrast to the soft gray sky. The patio tiles are dark gray with moisture and there is a sheer mist falling gently. The fruitless pear trees in the neighbor’s yard have tiny green leaves next to it’s fluffy white blossoms. I can hear a steady drip from the rain gutters in the silence of my neighborhood. 

I’m still in my robe but one of the three corned beef briskets is already in the crock-pot along with extra spices, vegetables and stout. The other two will be cooked on the stove-top or maybe braised in the oven. Soon the scent will fill the air. This is perfect weather for cooking our traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner of Corned Beef and Cabbage. I’m not concerned with the question of the origin of this meal, it’s a great excuse for making something we have learned to love. I’ve made a few family adjustments like skipping the caraway seeds in the Irish Soda Bread, but the corned beef recipe has stayed the same for years. 

I found this menu and recipes in a magazine probably 20 years ago. I can’t remember which magazine and I’ve trimmed all the identifying references. 

Our daughter and son-in-law will be arriving from The City tonight and I’m praying our young adult son will also join us. He has been avoiding us for weeks as his life continues to sputter in neutral. 

My mind will drift from food prep, nagging house-cleaning issues, unfinished art home-work, family dynamics and the real possibility of major life changes as I joyfully move through the day. Maybe St. Patrick’s story  is the perfect backdrop to these thoughts. Although there is mystery, myth and exaggeration surrounding this story there seems to be an agreement that he was captured/imprisoned by the Irish but in his loneliness he turned to God and started the journey of learning to present the Gospel in the land of his captures. Maybe this story will inspire me to think about our next phase of life and the possibility of struggle and loneliness with the reminder to turn to God in the middle of it all. 

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