You've been to Mass, adhering to traditions that are more ancient than memory. The corned beef is ready for boiling, to stand in lieu of the boiled bacon that you can't get on this side of the Atlantic. There's spuds and parsnips and the can of Batchelor's peas that you slipped past customs in the embracing folds of your dirty laundry. Cabbage is cored and sectioned. The buttermilk's in the fridge and you'll time the baking of the soda bread so that it pops out of the oven at just the right time.
The computer is on, and you set your Internet dial to RTE Raidio and sit back, listening. Can't understand a word, but it sets the mood. Gets you in that St. Paddy's Day frame of mind.
Pry off the cap on a bottle of Harp's and split it between two glasses. Then open up a bottle of Guinness draft and let the foam crest, eager to escape from captivity. Hold the big teaspoon flat, with the tip resting against the side of the glass, and divvy up the Guinness between the half filled pints of Harp. You take a step back, to admire the sight of two fine beverages maintaining an uneasy alliance, with the Guinness always coming out on top.
So you cook your meal, drink half and halfs until you forget that you've not eaten yet, and toast to the blessed Saint Patrick. He'll grant you an indulgence for not putting green food coloring in the beer. And don't get him started on the Shamrock shake nonsense.