3.17.2011

Erin Go Bragh!

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!!

I am Irish, almost 100% Irish (there's a bit of English but we don't talk about that part, ha!) My family's last name was actually Towey until it got changed to Toohey at Ellis Island. I remember in 6th grade going to Ellis Island and making rubbings from the walls with my relatives names on it. My Nana once told me that her uncle was once part of Sein Fein. The Irish Republican party whose objective is to end British rule in Ireland and it is a bit controversial. She said that he had to be snuck out of Ireland so that he wouldn't become a political prisoner. In book club a few years ago we read Ten Men Dead which is about the 1981 Hunger Strike of the Irish political prisoners, namely Bobby Sands and the 9 other men who perished while fighting for their rights.

It's so weird, since I moved from Jersey to Pennsylvania whenever I ask people "What are you?" they're all Dutch, everybody...it's crazy! In Jersey people were always Irish or Italian and some English and German mixed in. It's so weird to be somewhere that everybody is the same!
So I decided I wanted to have a St. Patrick's Day party at work and half these people didn't even know what the holiday is about!! One girl didn't even know what bagpipes are, BLEW my mind to say the least! So of course I had to educate these people!
I grew up thinking the holiday was to celebrate the day St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland, which isn't true. When I got older I learned it's a feast day and celebrated on the day of his death. St. Patrick is credited with converting a lot of the Irish pagan population to Christianity. This is also where the shamrock comes in to play. He used the 3 leaves to help explain the Holy Trinity that Christians believe in.
Fun Fact: Since it is considered a religious holiday, until the 1970's all pubs were mandated by law to be closed on St. Patrick's Day in Ireland!

Anyway...for the party I decided to make a traditional Irish recipe, Colcannon. It is a dish made of cabbage, kale, or other greens, and potatoes boiled and mashed together. I used Kale.

Ingredients
1 pound kale
1 pound potatoes (I actually used almost 2 lbs.)
2 leeks
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch ground mace (I used nutmeg)
1/2 cup butter

Directions

* Strip the Kale off the stalks.
* In a large saucepan, boil Kale until tender; remove and chop or blend well. Set aside and keep warm.
* Boil potatoes until tender. Remove from heat and drain.
* Chop leeks, green parts as well as white, and simmer them in just enough milk to cover, until they are soft.
* Season and mash potatoes well. Stir in cooked leeks and milk. Blend in the kale and heat until the whole thing is a pale green fluff!
* Make a well in the center and pour in the melted butter. Mix well.

Here we go....
Get all your ingredients together.


Strips the leaves off the stalks of the Kale and boil them in a big pot.


Peel and cut the potatoes and boil them too.


Once the Kale is boiled for a while, take it out and chop it in the blender. I didn't get a picture of this but it pretty much looks like Popeye's spinach, ha!
While the potatoes are boiling cut up the leeks. These ones were GIGANTIC so I think I only used one total. Use both the white AND green part. Oh and don't forget to rinse the leaves because there will be dirt jammed in there!
Put the leeks in a pan with the milk and simmer for a little while.


Mash up your potatoes, I used my hand mixer. Also put in the salt, pepper and nutmeg.


Put the Kale, Leeks with the milk in with the mashed potatoes and mix it all up.


And serve it in your cute Pyrex dish!


This is so yummy and just an over all good comfort food. If I were to make it at home for dinner I would totally shortcut and used instant potatoes.
I hope everyone has an awesome St. Patrick's Day!!
And my favorite Irish blessing...

May those that love us, love us.

And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.

And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles
So we will know them by their limping.


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3 comments:

Erin Dawn said...

BAGPIPES. Brendan plays them. I don't mind listening to them every now and then.

I completely forgot it's St Paddy's Day. I'm part Irish and I'm horrible :(

On a lighter note, I think we're going to try this recipe. It looks yummy and I do like me some kale!

~~kym~~ said...

I'm not one bit Irish...but I have to say this dish looks mighty tasty.

Thanks for following my blog, I am now following yours and look forward to becoming blog friends.

Jamie said...

Erin - My Dad tried to learn the bagpipes but since he's been a smoker for freaking ever, it was a bit rough! The sound of bagpipes ALWAYS makes me cry, whether at a wedding or funeral...they just do something to me!

Kym - I'm looking forward to becoming blog friends too =)