Boxty Recipe (mashed potato pancakes)

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Imbolc, a Gaelic festival with Medieval origins, is a celebration of hearth and home. It is normally held on February 1 or 2 and marks the oncoming of spring. The holiday is often celebrated by enjoying dairy goods, as milk represents spring birth. Below is a recipe for boxty, Irish potato pancakes (and excellent conduits for fresh butter!). Unlike their Eastern European relatives, these pancakes are made with precooked mashed potatoes. While many U.S. renditions also include some raw, grated potato, the recipe below is one I learned in England in the early 1990s. We most often cook them as a base for Irish smoked salmon.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1 cups flour
1 cups buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (less if potatoes are highly seasoned)
1 egg
1 tablespoon butter, for pan frying

Instructions:
1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Heat griddle to medium. Butter generously.
3. Heat on both sides until browned, as with standard pancakes.
4. Serve with butter (or, on non Imbolc days, Parmesan, avocado and smoked salmon, or caviar and sour cream)

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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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