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".