Happy St. Patrick’s day. I’ve been cooking for 2 hours straight putting my special menu for today together. Needless to say, my house, and my in laws house, and my car smells pretty amazing right now.
I love colcannon. Heart it. Heart it more than mashed potatoes. Essentially it is mashed potatoes, but it’s not, it’s so much more. And more yummy.
I remember the first time I tried colcannon, I was just a wee little thing (okay not that wee, more like 2 inches shorter than I am now, but whatever), and we were doing performances at Garden in the Heights. Some of my favorite memories are at that now defunct event center. We used to do ceilis open to the public there and dance until like 3AM. Most of my St. Patrick’s celebrations started and ended at garden in the heights. I think one year we spent 3 days straight there. It was amazing. And what happens to Irish dancers when they’ve done 2 performances and have 2 to go – we get hungry.
You can’t go to an Irish place and not eat Irish food. You just can’t. Every time I’m at Mucky ducky I have to eat Beef Guinness out of a bread bowl and drink a Harp. There are rules. So, I’m about 11 and starving. Mumika takes me to the food area where I ask, “What’s that?” while pointing at the colcannon. “It’s like mashed potatoes but way better” the lady told me. I’m all about trying new things even at that age, and OMG, it changed my life. I ate it every single day I was at Garden in the Heights until we no longer danced there. I would walk around the vendor areas with my friends eating a turkey leg or free hot dogs (being a performer had it’s benefits), sipping on a Dr Pepper and eating colcannon.
It’s one of my happy foods that takes me back to a happy place.
So, of course, I’m making this on this very happy day to take me back to amazingly wonderful memories that encompassed a major chunk of my life. Sadly, I can’t find any pictures from this era.
Supposedly there’s an Irish song about it. Hmm….
4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 tablespoons salt
5 tablespoons butter
3 lightly packed cups of chopped cabbage
3 green onions, chopped
1 cup milk
Put the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water by at least an inch. Add 2 tablespoons of salt, and bring to a boil.
Boil until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain in a colander.
Return the pot to the stove and set over medium-high heat. Melt the butter in the pot and once it’s hot, add the cabbage.
Cook the cabbage for 3-4 minutes, or until they are wilted and have given off some of their water. Add the green onions and cook 1 minute more.
Pour in the milk, mix well, and add the potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium.
Use a fork or potato masher and mash the potatoes, mixing them up with the greens.
Makes 10. Calories: 128, Carbohydrates: 16 grams, Sugar: 2 grams, Fiber: 3 grams, Protein: 3 grams.
Oh my bloody goodness, this is amazing. I couldn’t resist. I ate a small bowlful after it was done. I couldn’t help it. The whole kitchen smelled absolutely lovely while I was wilting the cabbage and cooking the green onions. When I added the potatoes and started mashing the whole smell changed into the most beautiful smell mashed potatoes can create. I was in heaven.
And then I ate some.
I closed my eyes and I could hear the Irish band playing, the chattering of the people listening and walking behind me. I was at Garden in the Heights again.
Gotta love food that does that to you.