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May There Always Be Work for Your Hands to Do

Corned Beef and CabbageIt's St. Patrick's Day and, Irish or not, people in workplaces across North America are wearing green and planning after-work celebrations that include such Irish favorites as corned beef and cabbage, or a pint of Guinness.

The funny thing is, corned beef is not an Irish tradition at all. Back in the day, beef was simply too expensive for your average Irish family, as the Irish blog DoChara ("Your Friend") explains:

"The ordinary Irish people, when they had access to meat at all, would have eaten pork. Because there was no way of storing fresh meat, they made the pork into bacon. This was done at home by simply brining it, or preserving it with salt."

Irish Bacon and CabbageSo if you want to be old-school, you should boil up some bacon and cabbage. Corned beef became the new tradition once the Irish began emigrating in large numbers to North America, where beef was much cheaper. Despite the change in meat, the Irish continued the practice of brining—and that's how corned beef became the meal of St. Patrick's Day on this side of the pond.

So that's your Irish trivia for today. In closing, here's an Irish blessing that's particularly appropriate for job seekers:

May there always be work for your hands to do.
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine on your window pane.
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Got a greeting or a recipe or a gripe to share? Post a comment below!

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