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THE IRISH KITCHEN
is perhaps the most prolific Irish-American writer of topics
dealing with Irish food and drink.
Holding dual citizenship in
the US and Ireland, Margaret is the author of ten Irish
Cookbooks, An Afternoon Tea cookbook titled 'Tea and Crumpets'.
Her most recent Irish books are 'Flavors of Ireland' (2012), 'Christmas Flavors of Ireland' (2013) and Favorite Flavors of Ireland (2015). She
has authored more than 200 food and travel articles in a number
of publications, including the "Irish Echo," "Irish America
Magazine," "CARA," "Intermezzo, " and Dublin's "Food and Wine"
To see what else Margaret has to offer or to order signed copies of her cookbooks, why not visit her website
In Ireland, many traditional dishes are associated with festivals and feast days from both the Celtic calendar of the Druids and the newer Christian calendar. Colcannon (from the Irish cal ceann fhionn , or "white-headed cabbage"), a mashed potato dish flavored with kale or cabbage, is the main dish of the Halloween (All Hallow's Eve) dinner. Its origins may lie in the need to use up the last leafy vegetables in the fall garden. In keeping with tradition, a carefully wrapped gold ring is placed in one of the bowls and the diner who finds it is likely to marry within the coming year. While a true colcannon is made with cooked, finely chopped kale, cabbage is also used. Like many Irish dishes, it is celebrated in song:
Did you ever eat colcannon When 'twas made with yellow cream And the kale and praties blended Like the picture in a dream?
Did you ever take a forkful And dip it in the lake Of heather-flavored butter That your mother used to make?
Oh, you did, yes you did! So did he and so did I, And the more I think about it Sure, the more I want to cry.
God be with the happy times When trouble we had not, And our mothers made Colcannon In the little three-legged pot.