Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Have you ever stopped to think about why you do some of the things you do? A husband asked his wife why she always cut off the perfectly good ends of the roast before she put it in the oven. “I don’t know. It’s the way Mom cooks a roast. I’ll ask her,” she said, wondering if it had something to do with the moisture content of the meat.
She called her mom and asked why she cut the ends off of the roast. Her mom said, “I don’t know. My mom always cooks roast that way. It’s so good, I just cook it the same way. I’ll ask her.”
When the mom called her mother and asked if cutting the ends off the roast had something to do with the flavor, she laughed and said, “Heavens no! I just don’t have a pan big enough to hold the roast so I just take off the ends so it’ll fit.”
Today is St. Patrick’s Day. Like cutting off the ends of a roast, have you ever wondered why all the hoopla? I figured Patrick had done something stellar to have a whole day named after him. Not really. At 16 he was captured and served as a slave in Ireland for six years before he escaped and returned to his family in Britain. He later returned to Ireland to become a bishop and several centuries after he died became revered as a patron saint. I did find out he used a 3 leafed shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity and that’s why it’s connected with the day. He was a good guy and a missionary, but I’m sure he would be shocked at his influence for people to celebrate.
Actually, March 17 is the day he died and I guess Irish officials thought it would be a good day for a religious celebration. March 17 falls during Lent and it used to serve as a break day. People would go to church in the morning and at noon, eat, drink and party until midnight. The next day I guess they asked for a large amount of forgiveness and then it was back to Lent.
Over the years it morphed into an official day of feasting and now it has become a secular celebration of Irish culture. And all this time I thought it was just an excuse to have parades, color large bodies of water green and eat corned beef, green cupcakes, and shamrock shaped cookies.
It’s sometimes surprising to learn the why behind the things we do. You might want to get to the bottom of some of it. But then, maybe not.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!