Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy St Brigid's Day

Happy Saint Brigid's Day - today is the feast day of St Brigid here in Ireland and a lot of school children will come home having made a cross similar to the one above. 

Here's what Wikipedia says

Saint Brigid of Kildare or Brigid of Ireland (Brigit, Bridget, Bridgit, Bríd or Bride) or Mary of the GaelIrish: Naomh Bríd) (c. 451–525) is one of Ireland's patron saints along with Saints Patrick and Columba. Irish hagiography makes her an early Irish Christian nun, abbess, and founder of several monasteries.  Her feast day is 1 February, celebrated as St Brigid’s Day or Imbolc in Gaelic Ireland.

And, yes, food is involved in the celebration of St. Brigid's life. Colcannon, Boxty Cakes, and St. Brigid's Oatcakes for the children are the thing:  (I haven't tried to make any of these but thought I would share some traditional recipes with you!).

Colcannon (serves 6)
1 1/4 lbs. Kale or green Cabbage
2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 pounds peeled and quartered potatoes
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 cup cleaned and chopped leeks white part only
1 cup milk
Pinch of ground mace
Salt and ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup melted butter

Simmer kale or cabbage in 2 cups water and oil for 10 minutes, then drain, and chop fine. Boil potatoes and water, and simmer until tender. Simmer the leeks in milk for ten minutes until tender. Drain and puree the potatoes. Add leeks and their milk and the cooked kale, and mix in. Add mace, salt and pepper. Mound on a plate and pour on the melted butter. Garnish with parsley. 

Boxty Cakes (makes 12)
1/2 pound hot cooked potatoes
1/2 pound grated raw potatoes
2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Butter for frying
Salt and pepper

Drain, peel and mash the hot potatoes. Stir in the raw potatoes, flour and baking soda. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well with enough buttermilk to make a stiff batter. Shape into 3 inch patties about 1/4 inch thick and fry on hot greased griddle until crispy and golden on both sides.

I have been absent from the blogging world in recent weeks (there has been a lot going on) and I hope to rectify it over the comings days!  Cannot believe it is the first day of February already!!!  Where did January go?

Thanks so much for stopping by hope you have a great day.


Jane said...

Happy St. Brigid's Day! LOVE that cross!!
The food is yummy!!!

Lin said...

Thanks for this fun history lesson, Deirdre! I enjoyed your post today!

Nancy said...

Thanks for the Irish history! So interesting, and the recipes look interesting too! Have a great day!

Barb said...

What a fun post, Deirdre! I am about 3/4 Irish, so this was very interesting for me! Happy St. Brigid's Day!

Anonymous said...

I loved hearing about the Irish holiday. My grandmother came over from Ireland as a small child. I have never celebrated anything but St. Patrick's Day so it was fun to hear about this holiday.

She used to make me potatoe pancakes which at first I thought was simular to the boxty cakes until I realised it said '2 cups!' of flour not 2 spoons. So it really is more like a cake than the potatoe pancakes we make as more of a sidedish. Interesting!

Happy Holiday!

JACKIE M said...

Hello Deirdre hope you are keeping well, I love your blog post, you have me hungary now :)

I have left you a little something on my blog.

Jackie :)

CinnamonSally said...

Hi Deirdre, great post today the boxty cakes look yummy. Great to see you blogging again.

Ger said...

Hi Deirdre, Happy St Brigid's Day to you too! Looking forward to seeing your creations again. Ger x.

Dawn T said...

Lovely post today Deirdre.

Brigid Pearce said...

I love your post!

Anonymous said...

Lovely story of the history of the day and thank you for sharing it with us from your own family's perspective. Those Boxty Cakes look delicious! Happy St Brigid Day and Slainte!

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