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It's a pretty simple meal to make. You basically put everything in one big pot on the stove and forget it. Well, that's not all that's involved but you get the idea. I wasn't about to eat the corned beef but I really didn't mind preparing it. It was an act of love for my husband and also for my brother-in-law, a full-blooded Irishman. He loved my corned beef and cabbage and I always sent him home with plenty of left-overs.
Year after year, I faithfully served corned beef, cabbage and potatoes for my husband's birthday dinner . One time in particular, we were gathered at the table, everyone oohing and aahing over the meal (I was enjoying a simple dish of boiled potatoes and cabbage I had cooked up separately). The corned beef was tender, the potatoes and cabbage were perfect. My attempt at homemade soda bread was a complete success and my brother-in-law said no one would ever guess I was not Irish. I glanced over at my husband for a nod of approval. He just glared at me and cleared his throat.
"You know, I really hate this meal," he said.
We all stared at him in horror.
"I hate it, " he continued. "I never liked corned beef and cabbage and I don't know why we have to have it every year on my birthday. Why can't you make a lasagna or something else Italian instead?"
No one said a word. I felt awful. I had never thought to ask my husband if he had any special requests in honor of his birthday. I just assumed, because he'd never said a word otherwise (until now), that he loved my corned beef and cabbage as much as everyone else.
In the years that followed, we celebrated his birthday Italian Style. I invited everyone over on a different day for my famous Irish meal.
Lesson learned: Never assume. Always ask.
All that leads me to this:
What can a vegetarian/vegan eat on St. Paddy's Day?
Hearty Kale, Cabbage and Potato Soup. It's hearty, satisfying, easy to prepare and as it simmers on the stove, the whole house smells amazing. Serve it up with Irish Soda Bread.
Here's the recipe: Hearty Kale, Cabbage and Potato Soup