First, I must say that I HATE this holiday. I’m the halloween grinch. However, as a proud Irish woman (my mother was a Finegan and my father was a Flanigan and you can’t get a much more Irish name than Kelly Erin) I always wanted to make up some Colcannon on October 31st. It is an Irish tradition full of superstition. I was also supposed to make Barnbrack today to be really traditional but didn’t get to it. Maybe next year!
The tradition says that a blindfolded unmarried woman is to pick the cabbage from the garden that is used in the colcannon. Then a ring is hidden in the cooked cabbage. Whoever finds the ring will be the next to marry. Since my unmarried 13 year old had just had her eyes dilated at the eye doctor, I figured it was close enough to being blindfolded so we let her pick the cabbage from the walmart bin. 🙂 Also the first and last spoonful is put into a stocking by an unmarried woman and hung on the door. The first man to walk through the door will be the man she will marry. Well being the grinch I am, I wasn’t about to stick a dirty ring in my food or really stick mashed potatoes in a sock. gross. But I am happy that everyone liked it.
4-5 pounds of russet potatoes, pealed and cut
1 medium sized cabbage
1 1/2 cups light cream
2 packages of bacon (I used Oscar Mayer Selects smoked uncured bacon- no nitrates or nitrites added)
salt and pepper to taste
Cook up the bacon first and set it aside. Boil or steam the potatoes. I read that traditionally they would steam the potatoes, then peal them but I just boiled them with some salt. Shred the cabbage. There are a couple of options here too. I boiled them for a few minutes and then drained them because I like the cabbage pretty soft but if you like more of a crunch just skip that part. Cook the cabbage with a couple TBSP of butter until it’s as soft as you want. Blend the potatoes up with a hand mixer. Warm the cream with 3 TBSP of butter in a saucepan until the butter is about melted. Once it’s warm dump it into the potatoes and blend into mashed potatoes with the mixer. Then add the cabbage and crumbled bacon and stir with a wooden spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls with a well in the middle for a pat of butter.