Monthly Archives: March 2017


You can celebrate the luck of the Irish on St Patrick’s Day by making Colcannon which is a traditional Irish recipe of mashed potatoes with cabbage or kale. It can be flavored with green onions, cream and butter.  Colcannon translates to white-headed cabbage.

Here in the US we celebrate St Patrick’s Day with parades, eating, drinking, and with really prominent displays of green. Chicago does it in a big way by dyeing the Chicago River green. Photo credit WGN-TV.

In Grand Rapids, we don’t dye the Grand River green but there is an annual St Patrick’s Day Parade with our own version of St Patrick.  Quite a handsome fellow.  Photo credit Lauren Petracca.

I remember as a kid hearing a story about my great grandmother dancing an Irish jig at some kind of town celebration.  I wish I could have seen that, and it makes me happy to know I may have an Irish connection.  On St Patrick’s Day, I think it is a day that we all wish to be Irish.

If you want to enhance your Irish experience this St Patrick’s Day, watch the movie Brooklyn.  It is a delightful movie about a young female Irish immigrant in 1950s Brooklyn.  It takes place in both Ireland and Brooklyn.  Or perhaps you prefer to have a glass of Guinness Extra Stout.

I make Colcannon quiet often because it is a hearty and simple comfort food.  But if you plan to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with a special Irish dinner, I can definitely recommend it as a side dish.


  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup warm heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cabbage, thinly sliced and chopped (about 3 cups)
3 tablespoons  butter (with extra butter for serving)
1/4 cup water
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Cook the potatoes in boiling water in a large saucepan until tender.

While the potatoes are cooking, saute the cabbage in 3 tablespoons of butter for about 1-2 minutes.  Add the water and cook until cabbage is tender and water is cooked off, stirring occasionally.  Add the green onions and cook 1 minute more.  Set aside.

Drain the potatoes in a collander; return to the pan.  Add butter.  Mash potatoes until creamy, gradually adding milk.  Add the cabbage mixture; mix well.  Add salt and pepper to taste and serve hot with a tablespoon of butter in the center.  

1.  Leftover Colcannon warms up very nicely in the microwave.
2.  I used Kerrygold butter which is made in Ireland.  If you can find it at your local grocers, give it a try.


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