Feast yoursel’s, friends on the foods of dear old Ireland. A blessing ‘tis, too, that they’re mostly cheap, easy to make, and tasty they are with it. You can even get Irish butter at our Thriftway store.
I believe in butter. Sure, it’s got saturated fat in it, but never mind that. It’s Omega 3 fat, an essential to provide skin for the cells of your brain and lots of other good things for your body. For the good Lord’s sake, don’t even think of substituting margarine. That stuff’s full of wicked transfats. You know that because it says "hydrogenated fats" right on the box. And it doesn’t even taste good. My mother, God rest her soul, used to mix yellow food coloring with white margarine as a thrift measure. It was awful. Stick with good tasting, good for you butter.
Don’t think you can’t afford it. When I lived in a French village, my neighbors, though they could only afford to buy one stick at a time, bought real butter. And the grocer sold butter by the pound, or by the stick.
Cabbage and potatoes figured large in old-style Irish home cooking. Colcannon, which contains both, is a favorite recipe of my second daughter Jeannie. She takes after her Scot great-grand mother, Jane Ann Macbeath, who was descended from the Scoti who migrated from Ireland to Scotland centuries ago.
½ pound finely chopped Cabbage
3 large or 4 not so large Potatoes
4 or 5 green Onions, chopped, green part included
¼ cup cream
½ cup Milk
Salt and Pepper to Taste
3 to 4 Tablespoons Butter
Minced parsley, optional
Steam, boil, or microwave the potatoes until fork-tender. In my microwave, which is not very high-powered, this takes 6 minutes for one potato plus an additional minute or two for additional potatoes. Cool enough to handle. Peel. And mash. Cook the cabbage in a little water until just tender.
Wash the onions, chop them and cook them in the milk 5 minutes. Beat into the potatoes. Drain the cabbage and stir that in, too. Put some in the butter into the mixture, and a pat to put on top of the colcannon.
Garnish with minced parsley. Serve hot, on Sunday the 17th, St. Pat’s Day.
Good foods to serve with colcannon would be roast lamb or sautéed lamb shoulder chops, extra butter for diners to put on each serving, and peas cooked briefly with a little water, salt, and a pat of butter. Beverage, Guinness, of course.