Yeah, what she said. That.

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Cál Ceannann is translated from Gaelic as “white headed cabbage”. Variants use kale (oh, that lovely dark green, bitter, newly discovered to me, concentrated power packets of proven anti-cancer goodness) but I have yet to try it that way. Next time. Definitely next time.

IMG_0113-1My Facebook friends and family know this meal as Colecannon. A Monica Family Flavor-ite. An oft discussed subject and shared recipe amongst my friends and I. And one of the few things Irish my kids like, despite their heritage being more potatoes than sopressa!

Maggie Moo!

    The MOMENT the night air starts to turn sharp. The slightest inkling that the leaves are trading in their green shades for reds and oranges. When I go to the local farm and there are 5lb heads of cabbage for 85 cents, THAT’S when the colecannon starts to appear at our dinner table. And it keeps popping back up almost weekly until the CO2 detector just cant take the excessive methane anymore or Spring arrives and our #1 comfort food becomes “SO last season.”

Whats the big deal you ask? Whats the, je ne sais quoi, big lure?

Its inexpensive. Its easy. Its delicious! Its made in BULK!!!

HOLLA!

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normal size recipe and ingredient list. X3 if you’re me….

Like all things Irish, this recipe starts off with potatoes. Well, most things Irish, no whiskey or beer in this recipe. (yeah, I know… bummer)  I choose red bliss because I can leave the skins on. (Yeah, don’t get all “awww, shes so into nutrition for her kids.” Its more like, when cooking 15lbs of potatoes the LAST thing you want to do is have to peel them all. Not to mention my peeler is so awesome, it tends to peel the potato skins and MY skin!)

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Not a part of the traditional recipe, but totally a requirement in my food “Code of Conduct” is garlic. I throw a handful of cloves and some kosher salt in the water pot so while it boils the potatoes get flavored and they just get mashed up later when mixing it all together. I put two huge pots of water to boil on the stove while I prepare the ingredients. One for for potatoes and one for cabbage.

Next up is my favorite part of the recipe.

BACON!       

I cook my bacon in a broiling pan under the broiler. The pan helps keep the bacon out of the grease and cooks the bacon nice and flat.         

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  Oh, let me tell you, if there was a world where there was only one type of food (no, not a la Clockwork Orange) bacon would totally be this families food of choice. Bacon goes on, with and IN everything. And thanks to a recent SheSpeaks.com Twitter party, hosted by the flavoring company Torani Syrups, it has been brought to my attention that there exists a bacon martini. Oh yes, I went there… bacon… martini…. ::bites knuckles:: Can anyone say New Years Eve???

But, alas, I digress… back to the colecannon.

I divide the cabbage into quarters and put it into a pot of boiling water. I throw in a few pats of butter too because this helps soften the cabbage as it cooks. Some salt too, just a pinch to flavor it.

Once the potatoes are done, mash them with butter and milk as you would regular mashed potatoes. (it helps too if you imagine the potatoes to be little heads of all the people who aggravated you that day, its therapeutic, I promise)IMG_0243-1 Salt and pepper to taste, making sure the garlic cloves get mashed too. Although I personally love a nice hunk of garlic, most people (and sparkly vampires) tend to find whole cloves a bit too strong to eat.

Chop the bacon. And try to not eat most of it before it gets into the pot. I tend to have an issue with this so to help manage with my inability to maintain any semblance of self-control around bacon and to ensure proper ingredient quantity for the recipe, I make sure I cook AT LEAST an extra pound of bacon than what the recipe calls for. It also helps, if Im cooking this on a week day, that I cook the bacon BEFORE the kids get home from school. Then hide it in a sealed container, sink it in wet cement and bury it three blocks away. Bacon addiction is hereditary and the gene runs strong in this house. Especially since both parents are carriers.

Lets face it. Bacon packages should come with a disclaimer.

“If you or someone you love has a problem with bacon, get help, seek support, have your cholesterol checked and call 1(800)PorkAnon.

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Once the cabbage is done. (fork tender) drain it well and chop it.

(watery cabbage will make your colecannon  soupy)

How much or how little you chop it is another personal choice. As I have said before, the bigger the chunks, the more the kids have to chew. Shuts them up for a little while, at least….

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Take the chopped bacon, chopped cabbage and mix it all into the mashed potatoes. Now, traditional colecannon (and my personal choice) contains chopped scallions as well. But, if you have ever read my blog before, than you know that in this house, to Cody my 14 year old, onions are a HUGE no-no.More like an “oh HELL no-no”.   So, I always place a bowl of chopped scallions at the table for those who, like me, prefer the colecannon with the scallions. Its easier to just add it to my plate than to listen to him bitch about it then operate on his plate for 30 minutes before he takes a bite.IMG_0303-1

My dear friend Victoria, a newly converted follower of the awesomeness that is colecannon, likes to mix things up a bit and one day proudly posted on her Facebook “What did I do to tonights colecannon?…… I topped it with cheddar and bacon….oh no she didn’t! H to the E to the double L yeah, I did!”

Oh sweet Victoria, Mammalish is proud…so proud…::wipes a tear::

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Once the whole thing is all mixed and mashed together you may want to add more milk. Sometimes the variety of potato can affect the consistency. Baking potatoes can be very dry, and my one experience with Yukon Gold, although a very sweet potato, required extra butter and milk to get it just right.

I have used a mixer as well as hand “smashed” the potatoes and the general consensus around here is, as mentioned before, we tend to like things lumpy.

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After all is said and done, and the dinner plates are washed, dried and put away and as Victoria says “once the cabbage starts to get chatty” your best bet is to make sure you are either seated near a dog,  baby, or soundly sleeping child or adult, none of whom can verbally defend themselves from you lies, I mean your harmless blaming them for…well, you know.

::ahem::

live, love and laugh…always

especially because everyone is farting.

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