St. Patrick’s Day has arrived, and the grass seems to be greening just for this occasion. This is one of those holidays that I especially love – there isn’t much required to celebrate – no gifts to buy. Although I cannot trace one family line back to Ireland, I certainly can to Scotland and England, so I just think of them as my neighbors and kissing cousins.

The weather is even cooperating. With the rain behind us, and temperatures expected to reach seventy today, I can picture myself lying in the grass searching for a four leaf clover. I’ll just blame the leprechauns if my search is unsuccessful.

Typically, in the south, we make a dish of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes to celebrate. I know that is stereotypical but it has become tradition. I didn’t think I cared for this much, until I tried a few different methods of preparing it.

For perfect corned beef brisket, forget the steaming over the cabbage method. In my opinion and those of close family, the brisket is underdone and the cabbage overdone. For the best brisket, trim the fat, sprinkle the packet of seasoning that comes with it over the top, and throw it in the crockpot with about 1/2 cup of water in the bottom. Cook about eight hours on low. You can even add your potatoes, small round, to the top of the brisket if you like. The cabbage can then be prepared by itself in a pot of salted water and left a little crisp. In the south, we would then add a tablespoon or two of seasoning like bacon drippings or my new favorite, olive oil. Simple, delicious, easy, which has become necessary for my meals. Who has time to spend slaving in the kitchen, and even if you do, is that how you want to spend it?