St. Patrick’s Day is a day where everyone is Irish, celebrating all that is green. About 12% of the US population can claim Irish heritage. But what does it mean to be Irish?
Today the meaning of “The Irish” conjures up people wearing green, drinking beer, eating corned beef and cabbage and frolicking with the leprechauns. The imagery keeps alive the stereotype and generalization of being Irish. But is this bad? The Irish immigrant has melted into the fabric of America giving it strength and resilience. To honor one’s past is to recognize the struggles they had to overcome.
My mother’s family is Irish and though she was third generation, a lot of the traditions were heard through her stories. Growing up in “Irish Arbor Hill”, the neighborhood was still predominately Irish but the melting of the different ethnicities had begun.
I remember her stories of the neighborhood, the food that they ate and the struggles the family had. So this year to honor my mother and her heritage, I am making creamed cod over potatoes. It is a dish that her father James would make.
Next week on the menu is my mother’s version, creamed tuna with peas on toast.