Flex PT - March 2018

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973.812.8000 www.flexptnj.com March 2018

A TRADITIONAL IRISH CELEBRATION

HowWe Observe St. Patrick’s Day

Growing up in an Italian family, I didn’t experience many St. Patrick’s Day celebrations until I began dating Taryn. We are on the verge of celebrating 15 years together now, and marrying into an Irish family gave me the privilege of participating in the annual St. Patrick’s Day party at my in-laws. Over the years, as the family has grown, the party has gotten bigger and bigger. Each year, my mother-in-law, Ma, cooks a huge traditional Irish feast of corned beef, cabbage, Irish soda bread, and more. Everyone brings beer and other beverages, and we dye them green. My mother-in-law even dyes the butter green! Ma’s corned beef recipe is truly to die for, and ever since the first time I had it, I’ve begged her for the recipe. The first time I asked her for it, she just smiled and said she couldn’t tell me how it was made, which of course made me more curious. Once, after many years, she left the recipe pinned to the refrigerator (if it was intentional or accidental I will never know), and I was able to snap a picture. Although no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to make my corned beef taste exactly like her recipe, so she must do something extra special.

Having never celebrated with my Italian family, I cherish the gathering as another great way to spend quality time with our loved ones and for our girls to learn about their heritage.

After we eat, the kids run around and play while we drink our green beer, listen to traditional Irish music, and enjoy each other’s company. Someone will usually bring green hats and glasses and other silly props, and we take pictures as well. The girls love playing with the props, which look fantastic with their green tutus. Overall, it’s a great time. As the celebration got bigger, Ma had to put a cap on how many people were allowed to come over. My in-laws live in a traditional colonial, so there’s only so much room. Every single year, people will ask us if they can come, but we have to tell them the only way that can happen is if someone

else rescinds their invitation. As you can imagine, that practically never happens. Almost all of our good friends come to the party, but when there’s a rare opening, someone else is on deck waiting to take it. Our St. Patrick’s Day celebration holds a special place in my heart. Having never celebrated with my Italian family, I cherish the gathering as another great way to spend quality time with our loved ones and for our girls to learn about their heritage. We hope to continue the celebration for many years to come. Maybe someday Ma will show me how she really makes her delicious corned beef.

I hope you have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day. We look forward to seeing you soon.

–Raffaele Lagonigro

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