Monthly Archives: February 2017

Southern Colcannon… get’n my Irish on for a day! (1)

Southern Colcannon with NC Sweet Potatoes

Southern Colcannon featuring North Carolina Sweet Potatoes and Wendy’s Cabbards (collards and cabbage) @ WendysHomeEconomics.com

UPDATE…. my Southern Colcannon and “Cabbards” recipes were published in Our State Magazine in March 2015! This is such a tasty recipe to serve anytime, but just right for adding a southern twist to your St. Patrick’s Day supper table. I am republishing this old fave per requests… I hope you’ll enjoy!

With all the blogs and newsletters filling my inbox with St. Patty’s Day recipes, I got to pondering what I could do to put the “Wendy Twist” on things while throwing some Irish South In Your Mouth. So far as I know, there’s nary a drop of Irish in me, but green IS my favorite color.  Those are (that is) my credential(s) for this recipe.

All my life, I’ve seen “colcannon” but never really paid attention to what that is, so being the Culinary Adventurist that I am, it was time for me to dig deeper… turns out, “DIGging” around was appropriate since this dish involved taters that have been dug up… somewhere…  sometime.

I first turned to a few dictionaries to find out just what such an oddly named dish is made of… and find that to be potatoes, greens (traditionally kale, but cabbage and other greens have come to be used), butter and seasoning.  Bestill me heart, you little Leprechan!  Some of my FAVs… this is a no-brainer for me.  Since I love to sub this for that, and that for the other, I got to it.

Let’s start with the potato part.  Seeing as how I am lucky to live in the heart of sweet potato country here in North Carolina, it only makes sense to me to throw aside plain old potatoes and grab Sweet Taters as I mostly prefer using anytime a potato is called for…  This past week, at my local Piggly Wiggly, I got THE best white sweet potatoes… about the best of ANY colored sweet potato ever to pass my lips… so good in fact I got a whole case of them.  All you have to do is throw some in the oven and bake until nice and soft when squished with a hot pot pad.  (Note: I Dig the Pig, cause they are local folks who buy local NC goodies for their store.)

Next.. cabbage.  I do luv me some cabbage, but even mo’ better are my cabbards.  We’ve cooked those here before… and just so happens I still have plenty of my winter stash in the freezer, so just had to thaw and heat those.

Ahhh… Butter!  A staple in my kitchen.  Not much that makes butter better… except browning! I’ve been throwing browned butter into all sorts of stuff lately, so why not atop my Southern Colcannon too?  And according to the song I found, see below (after creating my recipe), it seems there is supposed to be a butter hole on top!  So there’s your pot ‘o gold.  Toasty, nutty browned butter.  I’m quite certain the fountains in heaven doth flow with luscious browned butter.

As I read more about Colcannon, it seems that it is mostly served with ham.  Yet another staple in my kitchen, it only makes sense to this “Irish for a day gal” that a helping ‘o country ham (from here in North Carolina of course) snuggles up next to my concoction of Southern Colcannon!

Now that, my friends, is my contribution to the day of Irish celebration.  Colcannon is so groovy, it has its own song.
So here you go… tap along.

The song “Colcannon”, also called “The Skillet Pot”, is a traditional Irish song that has been recorded by many artists.

“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:

“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.”

The story of its name and the colcannon traditionalists versus “the other group” is rather interesting.  I’ll let you decide if you need to know more… over here!

And on a personal “toot my horn” note, St. Patty’s Day is special for me… because it was on that day in 2005 I QUIT SMOKING!

If you have a Colcannon story or memory to share, please do in the comment box.  Share your recipe too… for Colcannon or how you quit smoking.

Southern Colcannon… get’n my Irish on for a day!

Rating: 51

Southern Colcannon… get’n my Irish on for a day!

What to throw together...

  • baked sweet potatoes, any kind but white used in photo
  • cooked and seasoned cabbards, cabbage or collards
  • roughly chopped scallion, white and green parts (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • browned butter

How to throw together...

  1. Use about equal parts baked sweet potatoes and greens. Exactness is not important.
  2. Throw baked potatoes into mixing bowl and mash. Fold in greens and mix well. If using, add scallion into mixture and stir to combine. Or, simply add into greens when cooking or heating. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Make well in serving of colcannon and fill with browned butter.
  4. ENJOY!

Pantry Purge has its rewards… NEKKID nut butter!

homemade honey nut butter!

homemade honey nut butter

During our most recent snow “event” last week,  cabin fever set in.  So instead of being lazy like I did in the storm 2 weeks before, I hopped up off my buttkus and got productive around the house!  I have an awesome pantry that from time to time, gets in total disarray.  Little pantry devils come during the night and make the biggest mess you’ve ever seen.  So last week, I had to get in there and fix the mess those little demons had made.

I love nuts… and like to keep some in the truck for a quick snack when out and about…. keeps me out of those drive thru junk food places and they offer me a quick heaping of protein to tide me over till I’m home.  So I end up with bits and pieces of this, that and the other kinds of nuts from assorted companies… mostly from friends here in North Carolina… like Baker’s, Mackey’s Ferry, Bertie County, American’s Best Nut Co and others.  Since y’all know me to be a “throw cooker,” you know I threw all those nuts together.  There were VA blistered nuts, some salted nuts and some not, a menagerie of almonds (skin on, sliced, slivered), cashews and dry roasted.

So this morning, I threw them all into the food processor.  As they whirled around, I drizzled in a little peanut oil.  I also had a tidbit of local honey in a jar so I finished that off too, and drizzled that in while the nuts whirled about.  Since some of the nuts were salted, I didn’t need to add more.  I like creamy peanut butter and I also like it crunchy, so I pulsed mine to something kinda in-between the two.

And that was that!  I cleared out about 6 cans, jars and bags of bits and pieces of nuts along with that jar of honey that needed to be out of the way for a new jar.  And what did I end up with?  Three half-pint jars of the BEST NEKKID clean peanut butter… if you’ve never made your own nut butters, do!  You’ll never go back to store bought again… you’ll have just plain, natural butter without all those chemicals, preservatives and SUGAR you buy at the store.

Just look at the ingredients on the label of perhaps the most popular national brand you may have on your shelf… corn syrup solids AND sugar!  I added natural sugar with the honey… and you can too!  So had you rather eat and feed your family my recipe of…
just nuts, peanut oil and honey, or THIS:

jif label

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And… you can make it just the way YOU and your family like it.  If some like it crunchy, just take some out of the processor and make a jar of crunchy.  And for those who like it smooth, just keep whirling in the processor until nice and creamy.  Make it plain, with honey, or like I do sometimes with a tad of molasses.  You can even spice it up as you like by adding things like a touch of cinnamon, or stirring in some mini chocolate chips.  This is a great food to get the kiddos into the kitchen to have fun and make some good “whole” some peanut butter.  (Not to mention that the whole process took me about 5 minutes, from getting processor out, adding ingredients, whirling and spooning into jars.)

Here’s to pantry purging and reinventing goodies with all the tidbits of “stuff” you find in there.

I hope you will make some of your own NEKKID peanut butter… and come back and share it here with us…