The St. Patrick's Day corned beef and cabbage dinner tastes a little bland and boring to me. I have to throw in some Creole seasoning and some Louisiana hot sauce, at the very least. That's like combining St. Patrick's Day and Mardi Gras, and that's just wrong.
I'm sure St. Patrick was a swell fellow, and I do not want to be disrespectful. After all, he is the patron saint of Ireland and drove out all the snakes from the Emerald Isle. And some of my ancestors came from Ireland. So, I'll raise me a pint of beer today, for sure.
However, think about how different things would be if St. Patty had been the patron saint of – oh, let's say, uh – France. Yes, France! And he had chased out all the snakes from all the vineyards and fields there. Think what we might be eating today. I can close my eyes and smack my lips and envision it deliciously.
Today we might be eating chateaubriand and cabbage. Oh, yeah, thick-cut, fired-up, tender fillet of beef, accompanied by French-style braised red cabbage with roasted garlic and bleu cheese. Now we're talking about some good chow. And if you don't like the French beer choices, there's plenty of good wines to pick from. Or, heck, drink some Guinness.
Think about how it would be if St. Patrick had been the patron saint of Korea. It would be time to get culinarily crazy, chowhounds. We could be looking at a dinner of Korean marinated grilled beef with fermented cabbage. That's right! I'm talking about scrumptious beef bulgogi with kimchi, also spelled kimchee, also known as gimchi. Just thinking about it has my taste buds yapping and my brain ready to blow out the top of my head. Fire up the grill and pass me a Korean OB Golden Lager, or a black Irish Guinness, please.
In reality, the corned beef and cabbage tradition isn't really Irish, anyway. I understand that the meal was created in America by Irish immigrants, who wanted to celebrate St. Patrick's Day but who were too poor to buy the expensive bacon and other ingredients traditional to a fine Irish meal. Beef brisket was the cheapest meat, and cabbage was the cheapest vegetable. And that's why every March 17, we have to eat that bland grub and wash it down with tasty beer.
I'm going to hear about this little spiel from some of my friends, who are cooking corned beef and cabbage today. They'll say that my negative take on their cooked-to-death brisket and cabbage was uncalled for and that I exhibited conduct unbecoming of a gyrene – who enjoys almost all food that enters his mouth cavity, even combat rations. All right, I apologize.
But, listen, I have one friend who thinks her corned beef and cabbage dinner is the greatest meal the world has ever known. She takes all day mothering it and caring for it. Then we're invited over to eat it, and my wife raves about how wonderful it is. Of course, my wife is from Norway, where anything cooked all day will probably be appreciated. No offense, Norskies. I, on the other hand, do not adore my friend's brisket and cabbage so much, but I smile and say at least one "Umm." If only I could say, "Can you pass me some more bulgogi, please?"
Oh-oh. If my friend reads this, I'm in trouble with her, too. Oh, geez, and I'm sure I've annoyed some Norwegians also. Listen up, everybody. I apologize again, and my apology is universal and all-encompassing. I'm sorry, OK?
Whatever I am offered to eat today, I shall not complain. I just won't eat so much. Besides, that leaves more room for a bit more brew.