I am not one for adventure cooking. Because our family likes to eat dinner together, I prefer simple meals that do not involve much forethought. This time of year, you’ll find such standards as meatloaf, chilli, taco salad, spaghetti, baked pork chops and various soups and salads on the rotating menu. When it comes to the fancy stuff, I leave that to my husband whose fondest hobby is trying assorted recipes for everything from cornish game hens to guacamole.
Imagine his (and our kids) surprise when he arrived at the dinner table recently to find Boxty Pancakes and Beacán Bruithe (stuffed mushrooms) created by yours truly. I found the traditional Irish recipes in a book given to me by my mom titled, Celtic Teas With Friends by Elizabeth Knight and illustrated by Hugh Harrison. It's a colorful and entertaining little book with rich illustrations and brief commentary that includes bits of history, folklore, recipes and common teatime traditions enjoyed in Wales, Cornwall, Ireland and Scotland.
The recipes were listed in conjunction with a tea for St. Brigid’s Feast Day which is coming up soon on February 1st. As St. Brigid is my patron saint of course the menu for this particular tea piqued my curiosity and I decided to try a few. I surprised myself ...I enjoyed making these dishes just as much as eating them! The boxty pancakes combined mashed potatoes with raw grated potatoes, buttermilk, flour and baking soda and were especially good served up hot out of my cast iron skillet. My husband went on so about the scrumptious dishes that I think I’ll have to do a little more adventure cooking this year. I believe I can sense my Nanny's (my late paternal grandmother) smile even as I type that.
With whatever foods you decide to celebrate Super Bowl Sunday, St. Brigid’s Day, may God bless your table with plenty.