Oct 23, 2011

Yummy Monday: Witches, Pumpkins, & Grinning Ghosts

(Amazon link)
     Did you know that in Ireland there is a special Halloween food called colcannon? It's like mached potatoes with greens and special little objects are secreted inside. If you find a certain object while you're eating, you can know your fortune for the upcoming year! It's kind of like King's Bread/Cake, but with more than a little baby Jesus toy.

     I learned about this tradition from the book Witches, Pumpkins, & Grinning Ghosts by Edna Barth and Ursula Arndt. It's part of a series of information books about the holidays we're familiar with in the US (see the past Easter post which features Lilies, Rabbits, & Painted Eggs). Edna Barth wrote six of the books in the series (I have three -I feel special!) while Ursula Arndt illustrated all seven (the last book, about the Forth of July was written by James Cross Giblin because Barth passed away in 1981. The year I was born! Oh no!).
(From Goodreads)
     Here are the stories behind all the familiar and not-so-familiar symbols of Halloween. Each of our holidays has its own familiar traditions: Trick-or-treating on Halloween, eating turkey on Thanksgiving, waiting for Santa Claus on Christmas, exchanging cards on Valentine's Day. But where do these customs come from, when did they begin, and why do we continue to observe them? In the engaging blend of careful research and lively prose that has earned her books a lasting place on the holiday bookshelf, Edna Barth explores the multicultural origins and evolution of the familiar and not-so-familiar symbols and legends associated with our favorite holidays. Full of fascinating historical details and little-known stories, these books are both informative and engaging. Festively illustrated by Ursula Arndt, they are now available again in hardcover as well as paperback editions, featuring new, eye-catching jacket designs, and fun holiday activities inside the paperback covers. Each book includes an annotated list of holiday stories and poems and an index.

Now on with the recipe (don't forget to put a few small toys inside before serving -AFTER cooking)!
This recipe is from a bag of potatoes, but here's one from Allrecipes.com. You can use cabbage instead of kale and leeks instead of scallions. You could probably even use spinach.
Traditionally served with ham or bacon.

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