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Love corned beef and cabbage? Thank the Irish who helped create it but rarely ate it

Babbie Guscio
Babbie Guscio

We've survived the annual St. Patrick's Day shenanigans and all those crazy leprechauns.

Many in my family mingled with the masses at the Hilton Head parade last weekend. Everyone had a great time. This whole scenario brings me to the subject of corned beef and cabbage.

I read that the English owned much of the farmland in Ireland where the cattle used in the making of corned beef were raised. Corned beef is salt cured meat and the salt used had large grains that were called "corns". The cured beef was a very important commodity for hundreds of years. It was used by the British Navy and in many areas in colonial times because it would not spoil. It was also traded to France and other countries. The meat was looked down on by wealthy English and French people because it was thought to be only for the lower class.

Eighty percent of the corned beef now at grocery stores comes from Brazil where beef is in abundance. The Irish actually ate little of the product they produced because of the cost associated with it. Their diet consisted mainly of vegetables such as cabbage and potatoes with a bit of pork.

But no matter. We can still thank the Irish for the delicious corned beef concoctions we all munch and nibble on this time of year.

Feathering a nest

I have a little birdhouse on the porch of my store.

The other day, I heard a great deal of chirping and looked out to see what in the world was going on. An adorable wren was in a real twit because people were walking by where it was trying to build a nest. I got a hammer and a nail so I could move the little house to another spot. Of course the bird got really upset but later seemed relieved it wasn't in the line of fire.

Speaking of birdhouses I saw that Home Depot has birdhouses that have that famous slogan "See Rock City" painted on them. They are very cute and look just like the old advertisements one used to see driving around the countryside. It would make a very cute house warming present or just for anyone who loves birds and nostalgia. They are $20 and can be ordered on the Home Depot website.

Meet the bunny

We have the Bluffton Children's Easter Parade coming up March 31.

The parade begins in front of my store at 10 a.m. where the Easter Bunny will greet the children. Calhoun Street will be closed from Bridge Street to Lawton Street until 11 a.m. so the children can frolic with the bunny and have their pictures taken, too.

So dust off your chapeaux and join us for an hour of fun.

For information call 843-757-3855 or drop by The Store on Calhoun Street in Old Town.

Coming this spring

Later on this spring, we are having a Flamingo Fling at the Bluffton Farmers' Market.

So think pink and stay tuned for feathers and fluff.

Also the Bluffton Pound Cake Extravaganza is planned soon. Get out Aunt Milly's much loved receipt and butter your cake pans. The dates of both will be announced as soon as Mother Nature calms down