Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Memorial Day (Green Edition)
As a kid I remember thinking he looked like a jolly ol' leprechaun - only much taller. Because this sweet man adopted my dad I suppose I can't claim any real Irish blood. However, I choose to believe that once a child is adopted into a family and loved like a natural-born child the family's history seeps into their blood as if it were always there. (So Ireland, I claim you as part of me. I'll try to make you proud.)
I remember speaking to my grandpa on the phone one year on St. Patrick's Day when I was fairly young. He sang me a little song that still brings memories flooding back when I hear it - When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.
The summer I graduated from high school my friend Suzanne and I went on a road trip to Northern California. I stopped in for a day to visit Grandma and Grandpa Royce in their little apartment in Sacramento. They served me boxty and smoked sausage. Along with the smell of sweet pipe smoke, smoked sausage still makes me think of my Grandpa to this day.
Later, when my kids were old enough to care, I decided to make a proper St. Patrick's Day feast to celebrate March 17th. I got a book from the library on Irish cuisine and was surprised to find there were no recipes for corned beef and cabbage. However, I did find a recipe for boxty - along with this poem that made me smile:
Boxty on the griddle,
boxty in the pan,
if you can't make boxty,
you'll never get a man.
I had forgotten about boxty! And although I already got myself a man I figured it would be a fitting tribute to Grandpa Royce to prepare these little potato pancakes along with some smoked sausage. And the kids loved it. (By the way, if you serve homemade applesauce on boxty your tastebuds will thank you. And you'll thank me. You're welcome.)
Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!
And Grandpa, I'll never forget your smiling Irish eyes.