Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick’s Day… Family is my Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow

Family memories about St. Patrick's Day... A vein of silver opened into the sky, sunlight poured from dark cloud into spring. There was a slight chill in the air, but also a freshness that hinted winter was shedding her heavy cloak for the vibrant bloom of spring. My children tumbled out of the car, wrestling their way onto the walkway leading to Auntie Becky and Uncle Mike’s house. They clamored to the door with laughter, Auntie Becky answered before the doorbell could be pressed—she heard their energetic shouts a mile away.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” their voices called. The shy voice of my oldest son, Bear. The competitive soprano of my daughter Nora, who has to be the loudest. And the babbling of my baby, JC, who just wanted to be part of the action.
We entered the house with a circle of hugs. I commented on the delicious aroma coming from the kitchen, Uncle Mike was making corned beef and cabbage for lunch. I set an apple soda bread on the counter, there were other treats to sample…and more hugs to go around.

A loud Amazon scream pierced the air as my niece bounced out of her bedroom, she scooped up JC, who affectionately began to scream, “No! No! No Jessie!” JC would scream, fuss and push Jessie away while she teased him. The louder his cries, the more fun he was having. Eventually JC would settle down and play; the kids would migrate outside to kick a ball across the yard.

My Sister Becky and I loved to host family parties, if there wasn’t a holiday nearby we would make one up. Once we even had a pretend “Baby Shower” for the robot baby doll Jessie had to take care of as part of a school project, the baby cried and wet his pants like a real baby. Poor Jessie was up all night with the baby doll fussing! As a joke, I gave her earplugs for the "Baby Shower", and of course we had to eat.
St. Patrick’s Day was no exception, family and friends filled the living room, the dogs sniffed along the floor looking for a treat. The aroma drifting from the kitchen smelled so delicious, we were all drooling like dogs for a treat. Mike is well known for his recipes, everything he makes cooks fabulous, he is especially known for his lasagna roll ups and creamy fruit salad.

When lunch was ready, we sat on the balcony enjoying the silver rays of light shining on our shoulders with heaping plates of corned beef and cabbage warming our bellies. My Sister and I traded stories back and forth about our children, embellishing each with embarrassing details that had us laughing, and our kids groaning. Our favorite story cause quite an amount of confusion when we tell it, which is part of the fun.. My Sister and I are so close that we just agreed that we had all of our kids at the same time, we really enjoy the looks of confusion when we tell people that we are both “mom” and “We both had our kids at the same time, it was a Siamese pregnancy”. My niece Jessie and my daughter Nora are several years apart in age but both were born at the same hospital, which to us, makes the story even more credible. “Yeah Becky gave birth to Jessie first then I gave birth to her second…” When our kids yell “Mom!” Becky and I both turn our heads, and answer…we share photos and tell everyone about our kids as one big family.

It was a beautiful celebration that I will always remember. Nora wrote cute thank-you letter to Becky and Mike, showing her love by praising the food:

 "Dear Auntie Becky and Uncle Mike: Thank you! Thank you for the wonderful food! I love the cookies mhmm yummy! And I loved the food they were the best. They taste fantastic like Mom’s cooking. And you are probably the (best) cooker beside Mom. But anyway nice house, You’re a good cook. It’s like the angels sent you on a mission to cook. By the way the corned beef was amazing like God made them. Wow you’re amazing at cooking. Love Nora.”

** Picture of Cookie and Corned Beef**

Family is my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

-- Daylen Swift, St. Patrick’s Day 2014

Brendan Bakes Apple Raisin Soda Bread
Mott's Applesauce Irish Soda Bread: Apple Soda Bread:

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