We are not a family of St. Patrick’s Day revelers. I attribute this to being raised in a family with Polish/German heritage. I was more likely to hear a story about how chickens in the backyard had their heads cut off to make Polish duck soup called Czarnina than to partake in corned beef and cabbage. Yes, I do realize that my grandparents used chicken instead of duck-it was the Depression. Work with me here people.
My parents collected Polish flags and buttons that invited you to “Kiss Me, I’m Polish.” But, it was hard to avoid the overarching Irish cultural experience on St. Patrick’s Day when your friends would come up and pinch you because you weren’t wearing green.
Yesterday’s holiday could have come and gone with the same lack of fanfare as in previous years, even more so because we weren’t around a large group of people to pinch. And, pinching your quarantined family will eventually lead to more serious physical inflictions in the long run. I decided to try and bring some frivolity to the situation with, yes, GREEN FOOD.
“What food could we turn green?” I pondered aloud to my 14-year-old son.
“Maybe, jello. Green milk.”
Then it came to me-green Rice Krispie Treats. At Christmas time my Mom would make green holly cookies out of corn flakes, marshmallows, and green food coloring. Somehow my synapses made the connection with potential St. Patrick’s Day green food and what my husband considers a cookie abomination.
After I pulled together left over holiday colored Rice Krispies and marshmallows that had been fused together over the past three months, I started melting the butter in the pot. I soon found that there was an immense pleasure watching the marshmallows transform from large chunks into smooth goo. Adding the green food coloring reincarnated my Mom for just a few minutes and we stirred companionably, lovingly, and in harmony.
The snap, crackle, pop of the cereal entering the marshmallows brought an intense rice smell. My oldest son’s cherubic face appeared before my eyes. It was smeared with rice cereal and I could hear the little smacking sound he made after he closed his mouth around those little silver spoons with the smooth plastic on the spoon part. Little teeth marks on the plastic.
Maybe I had you all wrong St. Patrick’s Day. Making green food made me feel pretty damn lucky to be alive.