One Happy Mick

Our sense of smell is acute and amazingly discerning allowing us to associate aromas and smells with our seemingly unlimited banks of memory.
How about the smell of a box of crayons?
Yeah, that’s a good one.
How many wonderful memories can you come up with there?
I thought so.

I think the holidays tend to elicit the strongest evoking power for obvious reasons.

  • Christmas = peppermint, balsam, sweet baked goods and . . .
  • Thanksgiving = roasted turkey, cranberries, cinnamon,
    clove and . . .
  • Easter = floral scent (Easter lily), marshmallow peeps (yes, they have a scent), hard-boiled eggs (alright, not so good)
  • Saint Patrick’s Day = corned beef and cabbage

When my mother was alive and well no Paddy’s Day went by without her making the Irish dish.
I’ve missed riding out to the house knowing full well my mother would have a pot full of it on the stove and delight in stuffing me silly.
Her corned beef would be cooking all day long and truth be told it must have taken weeks to get the cabbage stink out of the place.
It’s remembering days like those when I really start to miss her.

I worked the entire weekend and had no time to stink the fill the house up with those sacred aromas (you’re welcome, sweet Irish daughters ‘o mine).
It looked like I might go without this year and I must say it thoroughly depressed me.
Murphy + Saint Patrick’s Day = Irish Turkey and a freshly poured Guinness Stout
There’s a restaurant in Boston called Jacob Wirth’s and it’s said to be one of the oldest in the city. Someone mentioned that they may possibly be serving the traditional dish. (Check their link and read the menu. Yeah, huh?)
I called and sure enough, it was on the menu.
Knowing how popular this restaurant is, I had my doubts as to whether I’d actually get a seat.
I opened the old creaky doors and spied an open spot at the bar and immediately sat down.
Perfect, I thought. (And ironically it was right in front of that beautiful Guinness spigot)
The bartender promptly brought me a menu which I politely pushed away, “No need for that; Corned Beef and Cabbage, please.”
I asked for a large ice water but changed my mind when I saw him pour a Guinness with a 2″ frothy head.
He served me my dear Stout and I raised it slightly to the heavens and toasted my Madre for the many years of awesome corned beef and cabbage dinners.

My meal came minutes later and I dug in.

If you’re wondering how my lunch was, it wasn’t like my mother’s but the last place I wanted to go was back to work.
I wanted to stay at Wirth’s forever.

As they say, all good things must come to an end.

I left Jake’s with a stomach full of Irish Turkey and one heavenly Guinness under my belt.
And I was one happy Mick . . .


13 thoughts on “One Happy Mick

  1. Sounds like a fabulous St. Paddy’s Day…..minus your favorite girls. We had dinner (corned beef and cabbage, of course) at O’Connors , which was enjoyed with friends 🙂
    Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of you!

    O’Connors? You guys got Blarneystones. How long was the wait? 😉
    Glad you enjoyed yourselves . . .


  2. Jealous, very jealous. We didn’t celebrate today. We’re still recuping from our trip. Read all about it!!

    Fabulous idea on writing in Buffett by the way. He’d make a great prez!!!

    I will be by, Carn.
    You. Boston. Wirth’s. Could happen. 😉


  3. You coulda stopped by my place and had corned beef and cabbage… not only is that a tradition to eat on this loverly day, it’s a regular meal in this house. Next time, I’ll let you know.
    But, Im glad you got your fix!

    Awww, Red
    I’ll have to keep that in mind for next year. 😉
    So easy to prepare, so easy to eat, huh?
    Love the stuff


  4. Jacob Wirth’s is great. I had the same dish, except my tipperwackie of choice was Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. Melts in your mouth, not in your hand!

    The smell that gets me is the smell of my grandfather’s basement workshop. Although he’s been gone since 1992, the workshop is still pretty much as he left it. Every time I go down there, the smell of the tools, the oil, and the concrete surround me and I am once again five years old, at his side, playing with whatever tools he thought he could trust me with, or peddling my tricycle around the cellar. For a few delicious seconds I am a child again.


    The child in us never forgets, does it?
    I have so many memories in my cranuim from childhood that it blows me away.
    Gramp’s basement sounds like a magical place.


  5. I love it when smells and things bring back memories…makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.
    For me it’s 2 things. Old Spice {my Granddad} and Pears soap {my Mum…who’s birthday it is today in oz…18th here..would have been 74}
    And funnily enough a little old lady came in to get some glass cut and guess what she smelled of? Yep! Pears soap! Couldn’t believe it! Of all the days. I almost ended up in tears!
    I’m glad your day was good, and that you had your favourite Paddy’s day meal…nothing better than a happy little Mick!
    Everything over here was green and the pubs did a roaring trade with hardly an Irishman in sight! Typical Aussies, any excuse to have a few

    Pear’s Soap. Your Mum was there. I just know it.
    Hoping you soaked it in.
    My mother comes to me many times during the year. It’s all in the opening of my eyes . . .
    Really nice comment, Maureen.


  6. Hey, that sounds like I got an ‘invite!’

    Smith’s comment was interesting. A Young’s Double Chocolate Stout??? Don’t tell me that’s beer with chocolate in it. What a way to ruin good chocolate! And grandfather’s basement workshop…I can smell it now. It would have to be close to the smell of my grandfather’s hardware store. Back in the back where the workbench was.

    Oh, Lolly.
    Women will never understand the male yearning for good beer. 😉


  7. Never mind Jacob Wirth’s. You should have seen Doyle’s in JP . . . when it WAS Doyle’s. (before it became a yuppie enclave).

    Not the first time I’ve heard that. Sad.


  8. my favorite meal was my mother’s traditional “corned beef hash,” made the day after st. patrick’s day…it consisted of all-diced leftover corned beef, potatoes, onions, cabbage, turnips, carrots, fried in her heavy old cast-iron skillet.

    lord, but i could have eaten that for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

    Hook me up!


  9. And here I spent the entire day working out in the field busting concrete!

    These last few days have been such a blur…

    I have to admit…this may cause the wrath of ~m to come down upon me, but I have not ever had corned beef and cabbage.

    Please don’t hate me.

    Never had Corned beef and cabbage? You cretin!
    I have to initiate you, Grimm.
    You would love it. It’s really good.
    I promise to send you my recipe (my mom’s recipe) next year.
    Just remind me, okay?


  10. my dad was from galway but emigrated to new zealand. every saint patrick’s day my mother would cook Irish Stew. I can still conjour up that smell too…… lovely memories

    Please tell me you have the recipe?
    And please send . . .


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