#42 Corned Beef & Cabbage

#42 Corned Beef & Cabbage77 
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 I don’t expect this to be my most pop­u­lar Amper­Art edi­tion, cer­tain­ly not one that will be framed & hung on many liv­ing room walls. (Although it might look nifty in a retro-​styled kitchen.) 

But I just had to take that phrase of one of my favorite culi­nary pairs & stick an amper­sand in it. In this case, the amper­sand itself is corned beef with lots of cracked pep­per (those are NOT ants).

St. Patrick­’s Day has always been one of my favorite hol­i­days. It always meant meet­ing a pret­ty Irish lass (or one pre­tend­ing to be Irish) for whom I would buy rounds of Irish whiskey – till her jeal­ous boyfriend showed up. Oops. It meant free-​flowing green beer which is an insult to a true Irish­man (I’m Ital­ian & Ger­man so it’s okay). It meant lilt­ing, tear-​jerking Irish bal­lads, the more heart­felt the bet­ter, & the more beer con­sumed the more tear-​jerking the ballads.

& it always meant one of my favorite dish­es, corned beef & cab­bage. With lots of horse­rad­ish & mus­tard. I don’t drink any­more, but I still love my Irish music & corned beef & cab­bage every St. Patrick­’s Day.

& the beau­ti­ful women? Every­day! (Till their boyfriends show up.)

Anoth­er thing I love about the Irish is their beau­ti­ful prose & poet­ry, such as this Irish blessing:

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 windowpane;
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.

& their wit:

Nev­er iron a four-​leaf clover, because you don’t want to press your luck.

As I wish you a Hap­py St. Patrick­’s Day, I’ll leave you with yet one more Irish say­ing, which I tru­ly believe:

A best friend is like a four leaf clover: hard to find & lucky to have.



Señor Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick­’s Day for me is all about Irish Music, Irish Food & Irish Beer. I don’t drink any­more, so 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. I real­ly must have my annu­al corned beef & cab­bage, & I’ll go to any length to get the real, authen­tic stuff. (Okay, I’ll set­tle for Den­ny’s in a pinch.)

Sev­er­al years ago I went to an Irish pub for live Irish music & real Irish corned beef & cab­bage. After a few bal­lads & a few cups of cof­fee I got kicked out – sober. Lots of drunks get kicked out of a bar on St. Patricks for their infa­mous brawls. But me? For not get­ting drunk! “We don’t like your type in here,” they said.

So I went from Irish bar to Irish bar & Irish restau­rant to Irish restau­rant (well, one — they’re not on every street cor­ner in San­ta Mon­i­ca) to get my fix of corned beef & cab­bage. Either every­one had run out or they did­n’t even serve it on its most famous day.

Then I remem­bered see­ing a hand-​written sign in the win­dow of my favorite cof­fee shop, Calla­han’s Restau­rant. “Irish Din­ner & Live Music” it said. Why did­n’t I remem­ber that soon­er? I rushed over there & got in before they closed. I asked Maria, the hostess/​waitress, if they had any corned beef & cab­bage left. “Si, Señor Chaz.” (It’s a small place run by a won­der­ful Mex­i­can fam­i­ly, & they kept the menu, décor & name exact­ly the same as the orig­i­nal own­er, who was obvi­ous­ly Irish. They all knew me, since I went there every­day for break­fast.) I asked if the live music was over with, & she said it had­n’t begun yet. Wow! They were stay­ing open late just for St. Patrick­’s Day. (Just for me is more like it — the place was prac­ti­cal­ly emp­ty. I was­n’t the only one who for­got about the lit­tle sign in the window.)

I ordered my tra­di­tion­al corned beef & cab­bage, & it was fab­u­lous­ly tra­di­tion­al — absolute­ly deli­cious! They even had real blow-​your-​head-​off horse­rad­ish which I love. I was so engrossed in my din­ner I did­n’t even notice the much-​anticipated band set­ting up.

Until they played their very first note. Incred­i­ble. I’ll nev­er for­get that St. Patrick­’s Day expe­ri­ence with that live band. I love tra­di­tion­al Irish music, espe­cial­ly the bal­lads that bring me to tears. There’s some­thing spe­cial about Irish music that just gets to me. Is it the instru­ments? The lyrics? The beau­ti­ful tenor voice & charm­ing accent of an Irish bal­ladeer? Prob­a­bly a com­bi­na­tion of all those won­der­ful qual­i­ties. But not that night.

It was a live mari­achi band.

Program: Photoshop
Font: Arnold Boecklin
Colors: Sampled from photo of corned beef & cabbage (pepper: my own blend)
Quotes: Anonymous
Enjoy & share…

11 thoughts to “#42 Corned Beef & Cabbage”

  1. from Michael (via email):

    Chaz !!!

    You’ve picked the absolute­ly PERFECT type­face for this one. I can’t recall the name of it, but I love it.
    Very nice.

    1. Michael, I chose that style imme­di­ate­ly just because it looks like cab­bage. But I also went through my entire reper­toire of fonts to find a good Irish uncial for some of the let­ter­ing, to give it some authen­tic­i­ty. (This font, Arnold Boeck­lin, does not sound Irish.) But I could­n’t find any­thing suit­able, so decid­ed to leave the entire text this style. It looks a bit like uncial if you drink enough green beer.

  2. I so love this Amper­Art, Chaz! It made my mouth water!

    Since my daugh­ter was born on St. Patrick­’s Day and is a “wee bit” Irish — from her Dad’s side — I devel­oped an affec­tion for this date. After find­ing out who St. Patrick was ~ and his ded­i­ca­tion to spread­ing the love of Christ to the very peo­ple who enslaved him as a lad ~ my affin­i­ty for the hol­i­day grew even more!

    I thor­ough­ly enjoyed your tale about your tra­di­tion­al St. Pad­dy’s Day din­ner sev­er­al years ago, accom­pa­nied by a mari­achi band, of all things! An excel­lent L.A. story!

    1. Lisa, my mouth was water­ing too until I real­ized the “pep­per” looked like lit­tle black ants on my mon­i­tor. And I was so tired fin­ish­ing this one they were start­ing to move!
      I am so glad to know the Princess Lep­rechauness has some Irish in her. I had no idea. I mean, how can you be born on March 17 and only wish you were Irish?
      Hap­py Birth­day to April and Hap­py St. Patrick­’s to all of you.

  3. I’m remind­ed of an old Irish say­ing that my Doc­tor (Den­nis O’Bri­an) used to say:

    May the wind always be at your back,
    May the sun always be on your face,
    May there always be a song on your lips
    And may you be in Heav­en ten days before the Dev­il knows your dead!
    Joe Rinaudo

  4. Cute Amper­Art. It total­ly looks like the amper­sand has pep­per and spices on it. Great job. 

    So since I’m mar­ried to a full-​Irish guy, I can share this joke. 

    Alright, so an Irish guy walks out of a bar and … yes, it’s possible.

    1. I’m try­ing to reply to the pep­per and spices, but still laugh­ing at your joke. Very witty.
      So far no one has asked why there are ants crawl­ing all over the amper­sand. I was afraid that might happen…some peo­ple just don’t see every black speck as pep­per such as us pepper-​lovers do.
      But I was ready with a quick answer – it’s an antper­sand. (Not very wit­ty? I’m not very Irish.)

    1. Judg­ing from your blog, I bet you par­ty hearty on St. Patrick­’s Day. In fact, judg­ing from your blog, you par­ty hearty every­day, don’t you, Susie?

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