St. Patrick’s Day, Koreafornian-style
I was raised in an Irish-American household. Grandfather (of blessed memory) loved St. Patrick’s day fervently. Every year, he would undergo his annual ritual of dying his long, white beard with green food coloring and would make absolutely sure I left for school that day wearing lots of green (so I wouldn’t get pinched). I’m also sure it was a good excuse for him to drink lots of beer. (He was stereotypically Irish in his love of alcohol and struggled with alcoholism for most of his life).
My Grandmother (of blessed memory), however, didn’t understand Grandpa’s passion for St. Patrick’s day (even though she was also Irish-American on her mother’s side) or alcohol. We may have had corned beef and cabbage occasionally on St. Pat’s day but traditional Irish food was not a part of her culinary identity.
So, how can a Korea-phile or an ex-pat in Korea celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Since I can’t stand eating plain cabbage — probably the real reason Grandma rarely made it for me — I eat my annual corned beef meal with kimchi. Really.
So Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh! Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!