Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Colcannon and Kilts

My Father

We aren't quite sure, but we doubt there is little to no
Irish in our heritage... however, with names like Heath and
White, (my father's family) who knows??? But my father had an affinity for bagpipes and kilts. 'Drove my Italian mother crazy  out of her mind playing his bagpipe records. My father loved this picture taken while on furlow during WW II. As you can see the picture was taken in Scotland. He was always a little embarrassed that he was wearing his Army-issue boots with his kilt. We loved to tease him about his knees showing and wearing a "skirt" but he took it good-naturedly and I enjoyed the twinkle in his eyes. What I believe he saw in the wearing of the kilt were actual warriors of a by-gone era.

Strong men who never feared battle.

That would be my father. 


When my father passed away in October of 2008 I was determined that he would have a bagpiper at his funeral. He would escort my father's casket in and out of the church and then to the cemetery. He would have loved it!
I know he did.


Tomorrow will be our usual Lenten meal at church which is soup and bread.
However, my church friends are used to me preparing Colcannon to celebrate
St. Patrick's Day. So we're going to fudge a bit and celebrate St. Patrick's Day
a wee bit early by eating Colcannon.

After watching Tyler Florence prepare Colcannon on one of his earlier shows I vowed it would become part of my family collection of recipes. The beautiful scenery in that show made me wish with all my heart that there was a bit of "lassie" in me!

Tyler Florence

3 lbs. potatoes, scrubbed

2 sticks butter

1 1/4 cups hot milk
Freshly ground black pepper
1 head cabbage, cored and finely shredded

1 (1-pound) piece ham or bacon, cooked the day before

4 scallions, finely chopped

Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish


Steam the potatoes in their skins for 30 minutes. Peel them using a knife and fork. Chop with a knife before mashing. Mash thoroughly to remove all the lumps. Add 1 stick of butter in pieces. Gradually add hot milk, stirring all the time. Season with a few twists of black pepper.
Boil the cabbage in unsalted water until it turns a darker color. Add 2 tablespoons butter to tenderize it. Cover with lid for 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly before returning it to the pan. Chop into small pieces.
Put the ham in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes until tender. Drain. Remove any fat and chop into small pieces.
Add cabbage, scallions, and ham to mashed potatoes, stirring them in gently.
Serve in individual soup plates. Make an indentation on the top by swirling a wooden spoon. Put 1 tablespoon of butter into each indentation. Sprinkle with parsley.

By any stretch of the imagination, do you see any resemblence between my father and Tyler Florence? Hmmmm....

I'm very excited to link to
Cuisine Kathleen's
St. Patrick's Day Blog Crawl


Designs by Gollum for
Foodie Friday

Clay, my brother

My brother read my latest entry and added his own recollection. I felt the desire to share it with you.

"This is a bit to add to the story about Dad and the bagpipes. When I learned that the pipes
would be played at Dad's funeral a tune came to mind that I had not thought of in years.
I recalled how Dad would whistle the tune in his own unique way as we drove across country in our white 1959 un-air-conditioned station wagon. I never knew the name of the tune but I set out to find it and offer it to the piper to play. Remarkably, I found it on the internet after looking no more than a few minutes; the title "Rosen the Bow" or "Rosin the Beau". The piper told us he'd try to learn it in time. I did not expect to hear it, but as we were getting out of our car at graveside there stood the piper playing "Rosin the Bow". - Rosin the Bow is the nickname of a drunken old fiddler who is about to go to his grave. It's also a play on words. - Now from time to time I hear him whistling it as I drive alone to and from work, and I whistle along." Clay

Our Dad with the white station wagon.

I hope you have your speakers turned up. Clay helped me find "Rosin the Bow".



Oh your father was so handsome and wow, you had him till 2008, but of course it's never enough time for us to have our love ones alive with us. My dear dad died in 1996. He looks terrific in his "skirt. Such fond memories, ha? Thanks for sharing. Hugs,

Babs said...

Your father is so dashing in his kilt. Thanks for sharing the Colcannon recipe. I do see a bit of resemblance to Tyler...also Gene Kelly the dancer. :)

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Great pic and the Colcannon sounds yummy:@)

Theresa said...

Handsome Daddy:). Love bagpipe music. I want Amazing Grace played in bagpipes at my funeral:). Beautiful. Have a blessed day. Thanks for the recipe. Hugs!!!

Priscilla said...

I'm a Scot and I love the pipes. What a lovely post. Thanks for sharing your memories.

Kathleen said...

Great story! So glad you linked up for the blog crawl with that great recipe! Here's to your dad, I love that song!

Sarah said...

Karen, sorry I'm late to arrive, but I've been away from my computer. This is a wonderful post and tribute to your father. Glad your brother added his thoughts as well. Happy St. Patrick's Day! ~ Sarah

Laura said...

This is wonderful Karen!
What a handsome man-
And the Colcannon recipe sounds delicious.

White Spray Paint

Mary Sullivan Frasier said...

Oh Karen.. What a lovely post! It made me miss my own dear daddy all the more. I don't have any photos of him in a kilt, but I do have several taken in England and France during WWII. What a handsome lad you dad was. And the stories of the pipes... Well, I'm still wiping the tears from my cheeks. I get a lump in my throat every time I hear them too.

I've made Colcannon the way you did many times and love it either way, but it was when we were visiting Ireland a couple of years ago that I learned the recipe that I use and I've been making it this way ever since. All of that luscious ham in yours makes me want to dive right in with a big spoon! LOL

Thank you for coming by and for your sweet comments. I'm now happily following your lovely blog as well. Hope you have an awesome rest of the week and a grand St. Paddy's Day! Mary :~)

Karen said...

And talk about sweet posts/comments... I'm letting my brother know about your reply so he can enjoy it as well. So nice to have a new friend in blogland

Clay Boykin said...

Blogs' blessings shared. :-)

Clay Boykin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rebecca said...

You handsome father was blessed with such a loving family. Makes my heart sing to read about your memories. Also...the bit your bro added warmed my heart.

Beautiful friend. NEVER HEARD of that potato dish! Wow! Sounds amazing!


Julie Marie said...

Hi Karen... I am sooo excited you found my blog and left such a sweet comment, for now I have found yours!... we DO have so much in common!... love the photo of your daddy on leave during WWII... my daddy was a Colonel in the US Army and WWII vet as well... he passed away in November 2007 and I miss him so... he was given full military honors at his funeral, and he had bagpipes as well... our daddies really were from "the greatest generation" ... I can't wait to fix myself a cup of coffee and browse through your older posts... signing on as your new follower as well... xoxo Julie Marie

momto8 said...

what fun and interesting pictures! We have no Irish running through our veins but I have always like seeing a man in a kilt!! Thanks for the recipe..I can smell and taste it now!!
I am your newer follower...pls follow back if you can.
Happy Saint Pattys day!

Debbie said...

This one just touched my heart so much. I loved the stories of your dad, and I love (LOVE) a handsome man in a kilt. I am married to a man just like your dad. He loves bagpipe music (as did his own father). He's actually not Irish but a true blue Scot in blood and heart.

I can't believe your bagpiper took the time to master that song just for your dad. That was just a gift and a blessing.

Wonderful stories!!

Marydon said...

Shame on me, I haven't ben over here for a while. So glad I came today, Karen. Love your picture of your Father ... how handsome he is. Warm loving memories to treasure forever.

Colcannon is yummy for sure. Enjoy! We may go to the church Lenten supper tomorrow night also.

I'm Irish ...

Hope to be better about visiting you.

Happy St. Patrick's Day ~
Have a fabulous weekend ~

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this post and your (and your brother's) memories of your Dad. What wonderful, treasured pictures you share of your Dad. Thanks for the Colcannon recipe - I would love this. I found your blog via Theresa (Ganky's) blog. Enjoy the weekend.

Anonymous said...

Your post is a delight to read, and you know, I think the army issue boots added a special touch to your dad's kilt. I'm glad you provided the recipe for colcannon....now I know what it is!

Pam said...

thank you for visiting my blog!!! Loved this post!

Nezzy said...

What a wonderful tribute to your handsome Dad and St. Patties Day!!!

I had so much fun lookin' at your wonderful pictures.

Thanks for the recipes...the Colcannon sounds marvelous.

God bless ya and have yourself a grand weekend sweetie!!! :o)

Mary Sullivan Frasier said...

Just popping in from Foodie Friday to wish you and yours a very Blessed and Happy St. Pat's tomorrow. (Geesh... Seems like I was just here! LOL)

May you be in Heaven a half an hour before the devil knows your gone!

Jo's This and That said...

What a great photo to have of your father. Thanks for sharing your lovely post, Joann

Jo's This and That said...

What a great photo to have of your father. Thanks for sharing your lovely post, Joann

Jen said...

What wonderful memories of your father! I love the picture in his kilt. Such a fun post for St. Paddy's Day. The colcannon recipe sounds so good. I'll have to swap my favorite champ and give it a try.

Thanks for stopping by my blog on Foodie Friday. Its lovely getting to know you.
Our Southern Table

Green Willow Pond said...

Your dad sounds like he was a great guy. I'm sure you miss him.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such sweet commments! Your email is set to no-reply, so I couldn't write back there. Have a lovely day!