March 17, 2011

Shamrocks and Leprechauns

I learned early on in life that March in the Chicago suburbs brought two holidays: Cashmir Pulaski Day and St. Patrick's Day. Cashmir Pulaski Day meant a day off from school. No one really knew anything more about that guy named Cashmir except that he was Polish and did something worthy enough to give us a day off from school. St. Patrick's Day was had something to do with a Saint from Ireland and gave us an excuse to wear green to school, paste little green shamrocks to our cheeks and color pictures of leprechauns jumping out of big pots of gold.

As we grew up and "matured," the tradition became spending the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day bar hopping all over Chicago while still wearing our green shirts and little green shamrocks on our cheeks but instead of coloring pictures of green leprechauns, we drink green beer. I never realized that this wasn't the norm everywhere until 2004 when I was in Arizona for Spring Training and no one celebrated! It gave me a deepened appreciation for the city I call home. Did you know that Irish is the largest reported ethnic group in Chicago? If you've ever attended the Southside Irish parade (that has since been canceled because it had become too much of a drunken fest...shocker!) you would probably have guessed that.

Last year I tried to be all domestic and attempted to make Jason and I a traditional Irish meal consisting of a shepherds pie that I'd hope to never have to taste again and a green mint chocolate cake which I accidently used unsweetened chocolate. It was the most disgusting cake I've ever tasted in my life. This year, I decided to forgo the kitchen and stick with the traditions. Jason's mom and step-dad were here so on Saturday we went and saw the Chicago River after it had been dyed green. Truly a sight to see if you haven't already. (And I can assure you, it's a great place to people watch as well!) Tonight we're headed out for date night at the new Irish pub down the street for some good 'ole Irish grub and green beer. Nothing like extending the holiday and celebrating twice!

May the luck of the Irish be with each of you today and the rest of this green month!

1 comment:

  1. I lived in the Chicagoland area for 22 years and never once saw the green river. That is sad. But in my defense, I was never in the area for St. Patty's day when I was over 21. Someday...