Mudcat Café message #1432353 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #79184   Message #1432353
Posted By: GUEST,leeneia
11-Mar-05 - 01:20 PM
Thread Name: BS: the people who make the corned beef
Subject: BS: the people who make the corned beef
Preparations are underway as leeneia and the DH (dear husband) host their traditional St Patrick's Day party. First there will be a dinner with corned beef & cabbage, mashed potatoes and Irish soda bread. Then the gang will split in two, with musicians heading for the living room to play Irish music, while the non-musicians stay at the table to chat and play Scrabble. If you put down a word of Celtic origins,you get to double the points.

In River City, and probably in most of the U.S., corned beef is not available all year. Instead, large quantities of it appear around March 17th, and it's all on sale. The people in the corned-beef manufacturing business must have an unusual way of life.

They make the move to River City every year in mid-February. The orders for beef brisket, cry-vac plastic and mysterious spices, most of them shaped like little balls, have to be placed. Then, about March 1st, the frenzy begins. Grandpa and Dad operate the huge vats of beef and brine. The teenagers operate the cry-o-vac units and put the finished product into cases for shipment to jubilant supermarkets. Grandma and Mom take the orders and make sure payments are received. Nobody gets much sleep, but the shop is cheerful. Family members sing "When Irish Eyes are Smiling" and similar dubious tunes as they work.

The little children play about in the office, whistling their tin whistles and shooting stray, ball-shaped spices at one another with pea shooters. (The pea-shooter work enhances their playing ability.)

Work doesn't stop just because March 17th comes and goes. Grandpa says, "Sure, and aren't leeneia and the DH having their party on the 19th this year. Don't slack!"

When it's all over, they close the shop and head who-knows-where for another eleven months. They will lie on the beaches of Florida, hike in the rain forests of the Northwest, perhaps go down to Cajun country to hear some good tunes.

It's a wonderful life.