Sunday, March 18, 2012

How Badly Will I Pay for the Irish Dinner?

by Leann

There was a time I could eat just about anything. And I did as an adult. Nice change from my childhood where I was a skinny, pale picky eater. Unfortunately, as I aged, the food intolerances began to show up. The list has grown so long I cannot keep track.

My husband is dedicated Irish (the name IS Sweeney) and though last year I skipped making corned beef and cabbage, he was practically begging me Friday for his favorite holiday meal. Problem is, I LOVE corned beef and cabbage, but it doesn't love me. And finding an uncured corned beef brisket is difficult--unless I want to drive for an hour and go to Whole Foods in Houston. (And pay about 25 bucks for a cheap cut of meat.)

Next year, if I can think to plan ahead, I will make my own. Did not do it this year, unfortunately. See, I am very sensitive to all preservatives--especially the nitrites in corned beef, bacon, pastrami, pre-basted turkeys, luncheon meat ... I could go on and on. There are preservatives in so many foods these days it's no wonder the whole world isn't sick. Preservatives are chemicals, after all.

So, I found myself at the grocery store at 7:30 Saturday morning. The good husband (he's been SO wonderful working on getting us to South Carolina) deserved his corned beef and cabbage. But guess what? Out of corned beef. What??? On to the next store and got one for $6. (Take that, Whole Foods!) I cooked it all day in the Crock-Pot with potatoes and carrots and sweet onions. It smelled wonderful. Since the veggies cooked with the meat, they, too, were infused with nitrites. But I had been smelling that corned beef all day. (Curse you, Crock-Pot!!) I had two small pieces of meat, a half a potato, a few onions and carrots and cabbage (that was cooked separately). I added a handful of digestive enzymes that sure do help for some foods.

I have a feeling, however, that by Sunday evening, I will be very sorry I didn't plan ahead and brine a brisket myself ten days ago. (Can you spell stomachache and migraine?) Homemade corned beef requires much planning and next year I will do better. But, oh, were those two little pieces of meat delicious!

What about you? Did you enjoy an Irish dinner yesterday? What about green beer? I asked my granddaughter if she had green beer and she is finally at the age when she gets Grandma's jokes. She laughed. Nice. :-)