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.
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 tablespoon butter, for pan frying
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)