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Mmmmm, I love Colcannon and for some unknown reason I’ve only made it once for St. Patrick’s Day.  I vowed at the time to make it throughout the year, but haven’t done so.  I am hereby vowing again to incorporate this yummy potato/cabbage dish into more of my menu plans.

An old Irish Halloween tradition was to serve colcannon with prizes of small coins concealed in it, as the English do with Christmas pudding. This is still done today and small amounts of money are placed in the potato.  Sounds dangerous to me.  I’m sure a few chipped teeth have come from this tradition.

Here’s a little ditty to sing while making/serving/eating your Colcannon.  The song “Colcannon”, also called “The Skillet Pot”, is a traditional Irish song that has been recorded by many artists.  It goes a little something like this:

Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?

The chorus goes:

Yes you did, so you did, so did he and so did I.
And the more I think about it sure the nearer I’m to cry.
Oh, wasn’t it the happy days when troubles we had not,
And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot.


1 pound cabbage or kale1 pound potatoes

2 leeks or green onions/chives

1/2 cup onions

1 cup milk

salt and pepper to taste2 minced garlic cloves

1/2 cup butter

Optional:  add leftover cornbeef, ham or cooked bacon


1. In a large saucepan, boil cabbage until tender; remove and chop or blend well. Set aside and keep warm. Boil potatoes until tender. Remove from heat and drain.
2. Chop leeks/chives, onions and garlic.  Simmer them in just enough milk to cover, until they are soft.
3. Season and mash potatoes well. Stir in cooked leeks and milk (and optional ingredients). Blend in the kale or cabbage and heat until the whole is a pale green fluff. Make a well in the center and pour in the melted butter. Mix well.

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