Joyous Easter wishes to all

EasterJoyous Easter wishes to all on this  Easter Saturday. It is a good time to reflect and celebrate the coming resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday.

I like to read several Irish Blogs, one of which is Irishamericanmom.com, Mairead a Dubliner by birth gives great insights on Irish traditions, culture, food, and this week has a great post on Old Irish Easter traditions. This got me to thinking about the evolution of religious traditions (irony) and the longing for them.

There was a time when stores were closed on Sunday. Everyone stayed home and enjoyed family time.

There was a time people got dressed up to go to church.

There was a time when everyone went to church every sunday.

There was a time when Easter was a joyous time to remember Jesus suffering, dying, and rising on the third day.

I grew up in a Florist Shop, literally, the busiest holidays for my parents were Easter and Memorial day. Every woman wore a corsage to church, and an Easter Bonnet.

There was a time when believing in God was a given, maybe it was because these people survived the depression, or the dust bowl, or World war II.

In todays politically incorrect world, the things we have counted on as the foundation stones of civilization have been continually eroded with the fierceness of the Colorado river on the Arizona plains. They would tell you that God is a myth and government is your savior, they try to bribe you out of your soul with foodstamps, section eight, fuel vouchers, bet cards, obamaphones, obamacare, and they are very good at it.

So today I try to honor my Creator, who bestowed on all of us certain inalienable rights, with  some simple traditions not carried out as nearly as well as former generations did.

We attended a Good friday re enactment of the Passion of Christ, moving really.

We ate fish on friday.

Picked a penance for Lent.

Celebrate Easter Sunday Mass and have a family Easter Dinner.

Not hard to do.

I hope all enjoy their Easter celebrations if you have a tradition you participate in send along a comment and share.

Cheers.

Irish words you need to know.

Irish wordsSo your thinking of heading over to Ireland for a well deserved trip, or your thinking of heading down to a local pub that also is a favorite of the local Irish, then there may be a few Irish words that you should know.

We’ll start of with some easy ones:

Failte- Welcome- as in the land of a thousand welcomes, Cead Mille Failte,-the famous welcome phrase to Ireland and used and used again by tourism Ireland to get us all to visit. It is most useful when in tourist shops or Irish gift shops back home where the phrase adorns placards and slates, posters and tee shirts, but don’t expect to hear it overseas exept for the pilot wishing you welcome on your safe landing in Ireland.

Slainte- A salute, to your health, cheers, a positive welcoming toast. A little less commercial phrase than the last and used sparingly as a welcoming into a group or as an emphasis for an important occasion. Back home it’s used in the same way and sometimes a bit overused by returning visitors, but always evokes a good feeling and connection to our Irish past.

Ok those are easy, onto a few less known Irish Words to we Tourists:

Culchie and Jackeen. A Culchie man is from the country a hillbilly of sorts, and A Jackeen is a city man, originally a Dublin city man but the phase can be extended. Kind of like  Hee Haw vs. A City Slicker. Very common phrase to Irish folk virtually unknown to tourists.

Kip- It took me a bit to get this one, a Kip is a mess. I first heard it referring to an acquaintance “he’s a real Kip”. So if your room is a mess, well it’s messy, and if your life is a mess your life is messed up. A kip is the same. Example: Irelandfavorites.com what a kip.

Now these are just a few of the hundreds of Irish words you’ll hear, the slang flows fluidly some nights (pun intended) and you really have to listen to the full context to understand what’s going on. Irish slang changes from region to region but once you are comfortable with the folks you are talking to feel free to ask for a translation.

The last bit might be changing, but it’s still good to know the difference between                         A Ride and A Lift- A lift is what you get if you need transportation to or from a place, “I need a lift to the store” “can you give me a lift to Jacks?” Pretty simple. A ride has other connotations, which you might want to research, needless to say a decent Irish girl would only ask for a lift, and if you ask a girl for a ride you might get slapped or surprised.

Cheers.

 

Raglan Road, just as nice on a spring day.

Raglan RoadNow this may surprise listeners of Irish song but Raglan Road is based on a failed romantic attempt of a depressed struggling poet and his vain attempts at happiness and success. Go figure. But through time and song On Raglan Road is one of my favorite songs to listen to especially on a brilliant Spring day. My favorite version is of course Luke Kelly’s, for more than one reason.

A Little Background for On Raglan Road

Patrick Kavanaugh struggling writer, poet, author, became infatuated with Dingle born beauty Hilda Moriarty. Kavanaugh middle aged, semi employed, and depressed over his situation was on the losing end of an unrequited love affair, that is Miss Moriarty was interested in literature and not so interested in anything else Mr. Kavanaugh might be offering. Needless to say Kavanugh pursued  the situation which in todays terms would be nothing short of stalking and probably requiring a restraining order.

Miss Moriarty manages to ditch the sorry lump, marries a well to do engineer and Patrick Kavanaugh is rejected again. Now this makes Hilda Moriarty’s father happy but leaves the rejected, semi employed, depressed Kavanaugh with nothing but a bitter taste and a need to write. Thus is the birth of the poem On Raglan Road. However it still remained unknown.

It wasn’t until Raglan Road was published in a collection of poems of Kavanaugh in 1964 as a song lyric followed by a tune: (On Raglan Road,  Air- The Dawning of the Day) some twenty years after the words were first penned. Kavanaugh always thought Raglan Road had the makings of a hit song but it wasn’t until he presented the song to Luke Kelly in the Bailey pub did it finally see the light of day.

Now my praise of Luke Kelly is endless, He is legend, God rest his soul, and a song couldn’t find a better place to rest than on the lips of the Great Luke Kelly. Fast forward fifty years and the Song On Raglan Road brings forth such great Images and feelings. It transports the listener to the Dublin streets and you can feel the autumn air and see that lovely maid approaching.

So though it may be a beautiful spring day here today (thank God, finally) it still is a good day to listen to Luke Kelly sing about Raglan road and long dark hair and hope for better things to come.

Cheers.

Cheers.

 

Brendan Behan Irish Music fix and a pint.

The nice thing about living near Boston is that when you need a good fix of Irish music you have some good choices. This Saturday it was time to make my way into one of the outlying neighborhoods of Boston and check out a good Irish session. The Brendan Behan Pub located in Jamaica Plain is such a place.

Brendan Behan

The nice thing about the Behan is that it is a small neighborhood bar without the bells and whistles of the Gastro pubs, instead, you can’t get food, but you can have your choice of a plethora of craft beers, which is great, if that is what you are after. It also serves a good pint of Guinness which your humble author is after, which by the way is also great. The reason for the visit though isn’t the decor, variety, or good Guinness, the reason is the great music session that occurs on Saturday afternoons from 5 to 8. So this Saturday last I headed down to the Behan for a traditional Irish music fix and I was not disappointed. Three fiddle, two flutes, a mandolin, and a nice selection of reels and polkas, jigs and hornpipes, all played in a tight little corner in an old snug pub, while a pleasant barkeep properly pours a pint of plain, what could be better.

Brendan behan

There are other venues that provide good Irish Trad. There’s the Burren in Somerville, the Druid in Cambridge, The Greenbriar in Brighton, but maybe it’s the South of Boston in me (not to be confused with South Boston) that likes the relaxed feel of the Behan. So as the days get a little longer and the sun manages to creep through the front window by the bench seats it’s easy to pretend you are in Bray, or Enniskerry, or maybe Salthill.

Now the Brendan Behan does have it’s drawbacks. First it is hard to find a parking spot closer than four blocks away, after a while you figure out to park on the other side of the seven eleven and walk a bit. Since the Behan is small it can get crowded without having a crowd, when the bar gets crowded the noise level increases which makes it hard to hear the music. The bar has many neighborhood regulars who stake out their spots in the place, but I’ve found most to be pleasant. like most Irish music venues you can usually find a spot to enjoy your beverage, and the music, and the occasional chat or two to boot,.

If you feel the need to buy a ticket to a concert hall to hear great Irish music I say go for it and enjoy yourself. But if you need an Irish music fix find a session, and if you need a great Irish music fix head down to the Behan.

Cheers.

Why I love potatoes

potatoesI know it may be a bit stereotypical but I love potatoes in all their marvelous forms. Besides the fact they come in their own edible packaging, can be stored for what seems forever, and can be prepared in almost an incalculable amount of ways these friendly tubers also make for one of my favorite St Patrick’s day leftovers.

Hey it still is the week after St Paddy’s day and the last remnants of the corned beef and cabbage feast is almost gone, down to the last three tupperware containers. A beautiful metamorphosis occurs when we get down to the end of the pot. The broth which starts out as a clear briny vegetable and beef combo starts to thicken, the potatoes magical properties start to work their magic. By the third day the soup turns into a creamy downright decadent version you would expect to find in the fanciest restaurants. This humble spud, whose ability to both hold up in the stew and yet add to the depth of the soup is nothing short of remarkable.

potato

I almost think that this creamy potato stew is an incentive for finishing off the leftovers. When you have a New England style St. Patrick’s day party you have to make sure you have enough of the boiled dinner for all, which in turn makes for a decent amount of leftovers. Though the potato is not the star of the show I believe it must get the award for best supporting  actor. For the star, the brisket, what’s leftover, has long since been consumed, be it sandwiches or hash, leaving the broth and veggies to slog on by themselves. Without the potato to change the texture and feel of the soup it would most likely be destined for a not so glamorous swim down the disposal. This new soup however minus the meat and thickened to perfection only requires a few additions to make for a grand meal. Black pepper and a good slice of Bread and butter, heaven in a bowl. Now don’t go telling the rest of the family how good it is or they’ll be fighting over the last drop, when really it should be yours.

potatoes

Instead complain about how you are sick of the leftover soup. While you are frying up some potatoes for the 15 year old, tell them how some one has to finish these leftovers. When you’re mashing up a few more of those yukon golds and slinging out a piece of chicken and broccoli, play the martyr card and manage to eat one more bowl of that leftover gold. After all you were the one who cooked the meal for all. You made sure everyone at the get together enjoyed themselves, you sang a song or two, and you deserve a reward. So let the rest eat the leftover sugar cookies covered in green sugar, or the mimi cupcakes from the supermarket, and enjoy the last drop of that potato thicken broth of the brisket for yourself.

And I promise this is the last leftover corned beef post of the month.

Cheers.

Spring is here

Congratulations to all, we have survived another winter and successfully made it to spring. Though the grass hasn’t quite got that green tint to it yet, it does give hope that warm days and clear skies are ahead of us.

spring

Maybe a spring trip to Ireland is in store. Maybe a Donegal adventure along the Atlantic pass, or maybe venture down to the great southwest and discover the copper coast, or maybe checkout the touristy in a good way harbor town of Dingle. Makes me want to pack my bag and go right now.spring

But This little post is mostly to congratulate those of us who have withstood one of the coldest and stormiest winters in memory and wish all, on both sides of the Atlantic, a Happy Spring.

Cheers.

Leftover Irish bread and the gay agenda.

I’m nothing if not blunt, honestly blunt.

I love Irish bread the sweet version that is warmed over in the toaster and slabbed with butter. It is one of the really nice leftovers of a great St patrick’s Day party. The turnout was a little lighter than usual  but that’s to be expected being St Pat’s was on a monday, but after the eating and singing there was a bit of talk about the St Patrick’s day parades.

Seems that a few beer companies pulled out of the parades in solidarity with the lgbt activists. Yes activists, muckrakers, extremists. I know the talking heads will tell me I’m a hater, a bigot, a lummox, but why do these groups attack the Saint Patrick’s day parade and why are their premises accepted?

The Saint Patrick’s day parade is attacked because there are a large number of Irish Catholic families that believe in God and traditional family values. If you believe in God you are a hater, a bigot, and a lummox.  Never mind that most of us do not want to intrude on others lives, I for one, as I am only one, believe in personal responsibility that we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights among these are life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

So what about being gay and the St. Patrick’s day parade? The truth is there are lots of people whose sexual preference is homosexual who marched in the St. Patrick’s day parade. They marched because they are proud of their Irish heritage, they marched because they are proud that they are sons and daughters of emigrants past, they marched like everyone else in the parade marched because they love their connection to their Irish heritage. They march as one of the hundreds who marched in the parade anonymously  enjoying participating in this celebration of being Irish.The organizers of these parades don’t give out a questionnaire about your sexual orientation, what they do do is ask that parade participants don’t engage in political spectacle. So the gay agenda political muckrakers look for opportunities to attack, they especially like attacking organizations like The Boston parade who fight back, more publicity, more opportunity to manipulate the press, in the name of victimhood. For the record the parade organizers said the gay veterans group would be welcome to march just not to have any political agenda, just pro Irish, this was un acceptable.

Google this story and you will have to go to the fourth or fifth page before you find any article with the actually story. the following is a reprint from the ChicagoPhoenix

South Boston Allied War Veterans Council—organizers of the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade—has revoked their invitation to a gay rights group to march in the parade on Mar. 16.

In a statement released this week, parade organizers said they were misled by the LGBT Veterans of Equality—an affiliate of advocacy group MassEquality.

“This application was conditionally approved as submitted with the understanding that these 20 veterans can march but no sexual orientation would be displayed,” the statement read.

South Boston Allied War Veterans Council claims that the marching group was not actually 20 veterans, but was instead one veteran and 19 LGBT supporters.

(It) was made clear to us that the LGBT Veterans for Equality do not have 20 United States veterans who wish to march. Rather, they presented only one supposed veteran and a group of others carrying rainbow flags. When asked about a Color Guard, their (lone) veteran replied that he wasn’t sure he could supply any more veterans willing to march,” organizers said.

“It is our belief that the application submitted to us by LGBT Veterans for Equality was a ploy by them to enter this parade under false pretenses and is hereby denied.”

So in other words the parade organizers allowed the group tp march but to follow the rules and were lied to, this doesn’t make good press these days,

We are all children of God trying to find our way in this world and I’m sure there are just as many gay Americans who can’t stand these activists supposedly representing them. In reality these groups use and manipulate  groups for their own political agenda, war on gays, war on women, war on race, the 1%, the 99%, it’s an old strategy divide and conquer, bait and switch, lie and manipulate, sad really.

The answer was written in 1787 in Independence hall Philadelphia and ratified in 1789, All freemen know it and We Americans of all ilks would do ourselves a favor if we would re read it from time to time. The Bill of rights being so important that our founders after securing their freedom from the crown made them the backbone of this constitution.

So I would suggest we the people remember our past and maybe we can form a more perfect union.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Let facts be submitted indeed,

Cheers.

Cooking the corned beef

It’s the day before St Patricks Day and you are getting a little apprehensive about cooking the corned beef. I mean the corned beef your aunt Susie cooked was tough and salty and made you wish you had a dog under the table. So a couple of suggestions to make cooking the corn beef an easy and delicious event.

cooking the corned beef

Either use the search bubble at the top of the page or check the links to these post as they give the in-depth step by step instructions for how one should go about cooking the corned beef. From what type of cut to the simplest of steps

how too cook corned beef

History of corned beef and cooking 

If you follow the steps to cooking the corned beef you will not only have a delicious tender slightly salty piece of meat buy great veggies too, not too squishy from being overcooked. If you checkout both links then you will also be armed with the evolution of the corned beef dinner in America and why it is so dear.

But be it the delicious meal or the history of cooking the corned beef, the intention of the day is  friends and family paying Homage to the Patron Saint of Ireland. Singing a few of the old songs or listening to some great reels and jigs and a slow air or two.

Don’t forget to get a round or two of good Irish bread and good Irish butter to slab it with. There is nothing like good Irish butter, Kerrygold is whats available in my part of the world. Then you have a feast fit for a king or a Saint and a Happy ST. Paddy’s day to all.

Oh and if you decide to forgo the above linked instructions and cook your corned beef on your own there is one more thing you could do to help your guests out

buy a dog.

Cheers.

It’s St Paddys, lighten up.

I seem to run into more and more “experts” on how to celebrate St Paddys Day. I hear stuff like “All the green garb and tricolored wigs or Kiss me I’m Irish junk is for the plastic paddys” a term by the way that is not meant to be complimentary. So I thought it might be beneficial to checkout some of the images of St Paddys day in Ireland, we’ll have a look at how the real Irish celebrate the Saint.

St PaddysNow this fella is the head of the parade on the beach in Wexford, tri colored wig and flags a blazing, it’s tough to see but he has a Kiss Me I’M Irish tie tied onto the front of his trusty tractor. I’m not sure if that me to kiss him or the tractor? some more in depth investigative reporting may be necessary. But you say “this may be just a lone looney who thinks he’s in Boston” Hmm we’ll see.

St Paddys

 

We’ll move on to the more cosmopolitan venue of Dublin City. We can clearly see a tame and sophisticated crowd making there way to an iconic pub to have a simple toast to St Paddy. I believe that’s him in the red hoodie on the left surrounded by a sea of green, damn tourists, ruining St Paddys day for the Irish residents

St Paddys
Or it could be that things change a bit and the people in Wexford, Dublin, Cork, Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Laois, Louth, limerick, Meath, Westmeath, Kerry, Wicklow, Galway, Monaghan, Clare, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Kildare, Longford, Offaly, Carlow, Waterford, Roscommon, Leitrim, Cavan, Derry, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Armagh, Antrim, and Down just enjoy celebrating the day with a nice parade. So I’ll leave with two points and an inspirational song. Yes the irish celebrate St Paddys day different than we do but they still have fun with the parades and a bit of pretend greenery adds to the fun. And the second is to in the famous words of Seamus Moore- Lighten up when you still can- life is short enjoy what you can, try to give the next guy a break and celebrate the Saint this monday.

Cheers.

 

 

St Patricks Day tips for the Irish American

St. Patricks Day is Monday and these are my St Patrick Day tips.

St Patricks Day tips

St Patricks Day tips,- number one-  It’s St Patricks day or Paddys day or St Paddys day, but never, I repeat never is it St Pattys day. Your Irish born brethren will really give you a hard time if you refer to the patron saint of Ireland with the feminine version of his name. I mean would you call John Wayne Jane Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Rene Reagan, George Washington, Georgina? You get the point, nothing sounds more like nails scratching across the St. Paddys day chalkboard like using that term.

St Patricks Day tips

St Patricks day tips,- number two- Know the words to the song you try to sing. If you don’t know the words don’t worry, there will be plenty of choruses that are easy and fun to sing along with.

 

 

St Patricks Day tips

St Patricks Day tips,- number three- If you request a song, especially a sing-a-long, don’t talk and ignore the band or singer who is trying to make you night more enjoyable. I was listening to a fella the other night when a table next to me wanted to hear “The Black Velvet Band”. The fella obliged and started singing the song which has a catchy chorus but a long set of stanzas, when it came to sing along the guy is yacking it up with his guests. The singer is left to stoke up the others in the room to sing the chorus and the whole time was a bit forced. It’s bad enough when people’s conversations compete with the music, it’s downright rude when you do it to a song you requested.

St Patricks Day tips,- number four- have fun, enjoy yourself, sing a song or two, and give your fellow celebrant a break, keep the car at home if indulging, and celebrate your Irish Heritage and celebrate Saint Patrick in Style.

Cheers.