Colcannon

To many of us, kale seems to have suddenly appeared in markets mere decades ago, when in fact kale has been cultivated as long as cabbage. They’re certainly in the same family, and what we know as collards are simply a type of kale. The Irish—and more notably the Scots—have been eating kale in enormous quantities for centuries and consequently know how to cook it. Colcannon (note the first syllable is practically synonymous with that of another cabbage dish, cole slaw) is from cál ceannann, meaning “white-headed cabbage”, and the recipe is as simple as the dish is hearty.

Use one large starchy potato (russet) to, say, a packed cup of raw, chopped kale for each serving. Cut potatoes into chunks and boil vigorously until very soft and whip with milk or cream and butter. These don’t have to be perfectly smooth; in fact, they’re better a little lumpy, if you ask me. Boil the kale until quite done—this is one recipe for which you don’t want to use blanched kale—drain and while still hot toss with a little butter. Mix the potatoes and kale together, season with salt and white pepper. Some people cook green onions with the kale, but I prefer them raw as a garnish. You can thin this basic recipe with milk or broth to make a soup or you can spoon it into a casserole and bake it topped with a semi-hard cheese. It is a traditional side dish with ham, though I’m certain it goes just as well with anything, anytime.

colcannon 2

Lucky Charms Treats

Breakfast cereals embody a realm of popular culture so embedded in our minds that anyone named Tony runs the risk of having “Tiger” as a nickname. The slogans are part of our collective psyche: “Follow my nose. It always knows;” “I’m coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs!”; “Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!” You’ll also know Snap, Crackle, and Pop. Chances are you made Rice Krispy treats about the first time you smoked weed and found them magically delicious. I’m assuming that marshmallows and breakfast cereals are low on the hoarding list, and that many of you have kids with not a lot to do. This recipe is as simple as the one you made; they can do it, too.

1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
2 10-oz bags mini marshmallows, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 cups Lucky Charms
Line a 9 x 13-in pan with parchment paper and lightly grease with softened butter. Set aside 2 cups of the marshmallows. Heat butter to bubbling, add half the marshmallows. Remove from heat, add the rest of the marshmallows and the vanilla. When the marshmallows are melted, add cereal and stir until well-blended but still warm and gooey. Press the mixture into an even layer in the baking pan and cool at room temperature for an hour. Cut into squares, hearts, moons, or clovers.