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Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Samhain Recipe: Colcannon


Samhain is the birth mom of Halloween. The pagan holiday took place on October 31 in Ireland. It marked the end of a cycle, when the old crops were harvested, the livestock brought indoors and souls would return to visit their former homes. Because it takes place in the autumn, root vegetables are stars of the table. Once upon a time, Colcannon, a mashed potato and cabbage dish, was served with objects in it, to predict for the coming year. A ring went in for the bride, a button for the bachelor, a thimble for the spinster, a coin for wealth, etc. For obvious reasons, I do not recommend using those objects in the dish, but it is delicious on a fall night.

4 large yukon gold potatoes
3 slices thick-cut bacon
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup butter, melted

1. Peel and cube potatoes. Place in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.
2. Cube bacon and place in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat until brown. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside.
3. Saute the cabbage and onion in the bacon drippings until translucent.
4. Drain the cooked potatoes, mash with milk and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the bacon, cabbage, and onions.
5. Transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl. Make a well in the center, and pour in the melted butter. Serve immediately.

© 2012, Lauren Capitani. All rights reserved.

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Lauren Capitani was an early foodie. While her friends were busy watching Family Ties , she was tuned into Graham Kerr and Yan Can Cook, and served her friends and family dishes such as beef wellington and baked alaska while still a teen. After college, Lauren received Masters' degrees in both journalism and business and worked in both subsequent fields. At 29, she decided to rewrite her life and became an assistant teacher. For the first time, her vocation became her avocation. She now has certification in both both elementary and early childhood education and has taught at seven schools on both coasts (and in between). Lauren has lived summers in France, England, Spain, Japan, and Thailand, and has visited more than a dozen other countries. When her own children start limiting their food choices, Lauren turned it into a teaching moment and created One World Whisk, a global cooking initiative for children. The project garnered more than 200 followers before its one-month charter was complete.

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