Well, now that it has come to pass, I guess it’s time to share.

On July 29, 2018, I got a phone call that I never expected. My friend, Raymond Caldwell, founder and director of our wonderful Texas Shakespeare Festival, called to tell me I had won the trip to Ireland that was the prize in the fundraising raffle last year.

To say it was a shock would be a great understatement. I did not talk about it much, except to family and a few friends.

The trip finally happened. There was no “best part,” because it was all wonderful. I had heard Ireland was incredibly beautiful and that the people were friendly beyond belief. Well, I am here to say that both statements are true.

Because I love meeting all kinds of people, I have to tell you that getting to know some of the Irish was like meeting family members. In fact, everywhere we went the people said, “Welcome home.”

And we truly felt as though we were coming home.

Our tour guide, Cathy Keane, came highly recommended and became a good friend to us all. She went above and beyond the call of duty. We got to see her home, meet her animals and learn to know and appreciate her business partner just as much as we did Cathy.

It seems Angie Franklin enjoys collecting recipes and cooking as much as I. When they asked if I knew about Colcannon, I could only reply that I knew it was a dish made with potatoes (Hey, we were in Ireland!), and other vegetables.

The true definition from a dictionary of cooking says that it is a delicious Irish peasant dish of milk and butter moistened mashed potatoes mixed with other chopped vegetables. I was delighted to get Angie’s mother’s recipe for this very popular Irish “staple food.”

Her mother used broccoli instead of the traditional cabbage. This recipe will serve 4 very generously.

Mrs. Kitt Franklin of the Moyne Enniscorthy Co. Wexford, Ireland, is the late mother of Angie and is the one who is given credit for this version of Ireland’s delicious, nutritious “national” dish.


6 medium potatoes

3 medium carrots

3 medium parsnips

1 large onion

1 large head of broccoli

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup boiling water

8 rashers (we call them slices of bacon)

Kerrygold Butter (delicious Irish butter)

Peel potatoes, and cut into quarters. Peel carrots and parsnips, and dice into small pieces. Chop onion finely. Cut the broccoli into florets.

Cover the bottom of a deep skillet (with lid) with half the potatoes. Layer carrots, parsnips, onion, then broccoli. Season with salt and pepper. Then layer remaining potatoes. Pour in boiling water. Steam for 20 minutes. If top potatoes are tender, remove from heat. Cook rashers (or bacon) while vegetables are steaming.

Be sure all vegetables are tender, and using a potato masher, mash all vegetables to create the Colcannon. Add more seasoning to taste.

To serve, place a scoop of Colcannon in center of each plate. Make a hole in center (like a volcano) and add a “knob” of butter (about a heaping tablespoon). Add the crispy bacon to each.

We enjoyed the breads with butter and cheeses very much. I will share an Irish Soda Bread recipe with you next week. I wish I could have brought loaves of bread and pounds of that marvelous butter home with me.

We happened to be there at the time of the famous “Rockin’ Food Festival” at Enniscorthy. Oh, Wow!

— Barbara Richardson McClellan is a longtime food columnist and has written three self-published cookbooks. Her column appears in the News-Journal’s Taste section each Wednesday. Write her at bayrm12@gmail.com or in care of the Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.