Great St. Patrick’s Day Options for Low-Carb Dieters. Top O’ The Morning!


Top O’ the Morning to ye, boys and girls! Aren’t we all Irish on and near St. Patrick’s Day? Isn’t it a law of our fair land? Doesn’t everyone have to wear some article of green clothing, or suffer the pinching consequences? Anticipating that you have been hunting four-leaf clovers and practicing to do a proper Irish jig, I will now ask you this burning question: What’s Irish and spends the summer outside the back door? It’s Paddy O’Furniture, don’t you know!

By popular request, I’ll keep my day job, and reflect instead on green. It being the color of St. Patrick’s Day. While we know a man who used to make mattresses whose first name is Green, the color is also said to represent jealousy and envy. Sometime around 1604, Shakespeare described jealousy in his play Othello. “It is the green-eyed monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on,” he said, which is to say that the cat torments the mouse over and over again.

So Shakespeare’s cat is the reason we call it ‘green-eyed’ jealousy! But, consider this: if he had had a deaf white cat with blue eyes, we’d be saying the ‘blue-eyed monster,’ and it would have nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day at all! You see how little things mean a lot?

But, of course, jealousy has nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day anyway, so let’s move on. Green is also the colors of Cards, of whales (as in GreenPeace), of Go (as in green lights), and, it seems, of rivers.

Glorious Spouse and I went to San Antonio a few years back. (It was so we could Remember the Alamo before we got too old to remember anything at all.) Not unexpectedly, there were no Irish in abundance down there in Texas, but we were told (and, in a great Southern drawl) that, come St. Patrick’s Day, they dye the river green. The whole river that runs through the famous RiverWalk. They dye the river in Chicago, too.

Well, they can’t do that here. (In Zack’s best singing voice) It never rains in Southern California. Well, hardly ever. We don’t have any rivers with actual water in them. Some of our rivers are dry, just gravel and sand beds. The rest are deep concrete channels. (If a Martian came to Southern California, she/he/it would feel right at home with our canals that look like they are for water, but with no water in them.) Green sand, or green cement walls would smack more of graffiti than Irish festivities. The they who go around dying rivers, and who must have a green streak yearning to be set free, will just have to go elsewhere.

Which is just fine with me. Having had trouble with certain pieces of underwear living out their useful lives in a soft shade of Power Pink, the result of accidentally dropping a red sock in the white laundry, I find it difficult to deal with the concept of purposely allowing green dye to lap up along side everything, for miles on end. This results in green tennis shoes on the kids who wade near the water’s edge, and green feathers of any duck who happens to alight on the surface. If there are any actual fish in these rivers, one wonders how they like the Emerald City. But, since it is not precisely my problem, I will focus on my tall glass of diet lemon soda which I have dyed a nice lime shade, and leave it at that.

Instead, I’m going to take up a banner in gratitude for the foresight of Dr. Suess. Now, there was a man who knew the essence of Low Carb celebration! In a March that includes both St. Patrick’s Day and Easter, as it does this year, a joint celebration must be undertaken. I speak, of course, of Green Eggs and Ham.

Easter dinner in this house will include eggs scrambled with chopped spinach and fresh basil leaves (and of course Irish butter and cheese), served cold as a side dish with our baked ham. Before you go all gah-gah over the idea of cold scrambled eggs, I want to tell you that when Glorious Spouse and I sojourned in Europe several years ago, we stayed a few nights at a too-expensive chateau in southern France. The present owner of the chateau is a Count, and his family has owned the castle and grounds for some 800 years. We had some wonderful adventures there, which I doubtlessly will tell you about one of these days, but suffice it to say for our current discussion, that we had dinner with the Count in his private dining room, and we were served cold scrambled eggs. I say if it’s good enough for the Count, it’s good enough for us proletarian-types! But, I digress, as usual.

Green eggs and ham. The perfect low carb St. Pat – Easter combo. Here’s a little game you can play on Easter for your guest’s and family’s amusement. (Some of us are more easily amused than others.) Dye some hard-boiled eggs nice shades of green. Do at least as many eggs as you have guests/family members present. Everybody old enough to hold an egg can play.

Each player selects an egg, and in the first round two players knock the ends of their eggs together to see which one breaks. If you knock only the ends, only one of them will break, trust me on this. The person whose egg is unbroken then takes on the next challenger, and so on until there is only one unbroken egg. In the meantime, there is much discussion on how to hold the egg, whether it is better to use the small or large end, whether it is better to be the hitter or the hittee, and whether or not someone is cheating by holding the egg too close in his hand.

At the end, there is the one uncracked egg. That person is the Ham, and goes around the room hamming it up: cheering for himself, showing off his egg, and presenting his skill in the endeavor, and declaring in loud voice that he could win against many more contestants, if more contestants there were. Next year, the winner of this year’s game is in the first round, and if he loses right off the bat, he is shamed before all!!

Some of you will be celebrating Passover this month instead of Easter, and of course ham is not on the menu. But, you can still join in the Dr. Suess celebration. Since you’ll be eating parsley and other greens with the ceremonial foods, you can feel the equivalent joy of Green Eggs, but who’s to say you can’t tint the Passover eggs a nice spring green, and thereby have Green Eggs and Lamb (shank)!


ZACK GRADY writes from Southern California, where the grass is definitely greener on the other side of the fence.

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