Call me cynical. Call me a realist. Hell, call me whatever the heck you want. As a conscious-wanna-be parent, I have to find meaning in these “holi”-days. If we look up the definition of holiday, it is simply
a day on which one is exempt from work; specifically : a day marked by a general suspension of work in commemoration of an event
So what is the event of St. Patrick’s Day (using this as an example because of the calendar date yet there are so many that could take its place)? I mean, I learned about St. Patrick being a patron Saint of Ireland. Yet this meaning is SO FAR gone from what the norm celebrates these days. Don’t get me wrong, I am part Irish and will gladly celebrate the heritage and culture of the beautiful country. Yet, I cannot help but compare it to the other commercialized BS holidays.
So, let me share what was discovered today, 3/17/2013 and how it connected with the Irish. Firstly, I rode my bike to study group and on the way was greeted or greeted every by-passer! It felt amazing! To connect with strangers. To make eye contact with a stranger and sincerely say “Hello! Good morning!”. And I know from experiences, the Irish practice this daily. Always friendly, no matter what county, city, etc. Usually on bike rides I have no problem connecting with nature around. I don’t wear headphones for this purpose exactly. When I stop and think about it, when on a bike ride it is easier to connect with nature than other humans. Until today! How messed up is that?
Secondly, CBS The Early Morning Show did a story on songwriter, singer, guitarist Glen Hansard. Born in Dublin Ireland, he has earned many awards for the movie and songs of Once (now a Broadway show). If you do not know of this artist and his work, please take a moment and check him out. He is part of the Irish group The Frames and one of the folk rock duet The Swell Season with his wife and co-star from Once Markéta Irglová. The work of this individual and his collaborators is moving, deep, and easily accessible. My mom, Grandma, and I saw Once together and were touched by the lyrics and sounds of instruments in different ways. Please, do yourselves a favor and give a listen or watch.
Lastly, our spring garden is on its way. Finished planting seeds Sunday (3/17/13). Carrots, spinach, green pole beans, green peppers, lettuce variety, and sunflowers. A beautifully cool day in FL, we opened all the windows, blasted U2 and dug in the earth. Nothing quite like “wearing your green” by gardening. And to bring the day to a close, choosing not to eat meat, we made green cabbage soup. SUPER EASY, SUPER CHEAP, SUPPER HEALTHY, SUPER DELICIOUS.
As a final thought, here are a few words on Irish Etiquette from a dear friend who recently relocated to Ireland. There with her husband, babe in belly, in-laws and lots of cows (they are operating a dairy farm).
Wishing all a peaceful & productive spring!
Cabbage Soup Recipe (adapted from a few different recipes but mainly “Divas Can Cook”)
- ½ head of cabbage, chopped
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 cup white or yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow squash
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups broth (veg or chicken)
- 14 oz can basil, oregano, garlic diced tomatoes (we didn’t have this on hand so used fresh tomatoes with herbs in the food processor)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- few shakes of black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add celery, onions, bell peppers, and carrots.
- Saute until slightly tender.
- Stir in garlic.
- Pour in broth.
- Stir in tomatoes and cabbage.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce heat.
- Cook until cabbage is tender.
- Stir in oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, black pepper and salt (if using)
- Taste broth and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Serve and enjoy!