There has been entirely too much drama in this house lately. There are some people who thrive on drama, who go to lengths to create it and fuel the fires of excitement when things get a little too ordinary. I generally find myself at the other end of the spectrum, now more than ever. I feel like my everyday life is busy enough without added angst and unpredictability. Heck, forgetting to set my alarm to get up in the morning sometimes sends me into a frenzy over how those lost 10 minutes will affect the rest of my day.
So you can imagine that when the perfect storm hit last week (Maddie’s freak fever, my maxillary sinus infection brought on by using prescription steroids for this weird eye thing I’ve been dealing with, and the shock of finding out my new salary was half what I had expected), I was in something of a tizzy. Luckily things evened out quickly with my infection subsiding and Maddie’s fever quickly resolving. As for the job issue, well that’s still a work in progress, but I’m happy to report that said “dream job” is still in the works, with the salary slowly rising and a faculty title being added (I’m going to be an assistant professor- woo hoo!). So all things are looking up in that respect.
At the same time, the drama goes on and the latest is that we’re about to put in an offer on our first house today. Pretty big, huh? I kind of feel like I could use a year (or perhaps even a week or month) without something major occurring, a nice quiet period to go about my day to day business rather than constantly having something new and important brimming. A little bit of boredom might even be welcome.
Admittedly that is a terrible way to transition into talking about this perfectly lovely recipe for colcannon, the traditional Irish mashed potato with cabbage. This version is based on a recipe I bookmarked long ago on Everybody Loves Sandwiches, which used leeks. It is simple, unassuming, comforting, and entirely undramatic. You won’t get bold flavors or unexpected bursts of spice. Rather you’ll find the smoothness of potato, the creaminess of butter, and the subtle hint of sauteed cabbage. I tend not to be a fan of cabbage, but I was definitely digging this dish and Dylan went so far as to say it was the best use of cabbage in a recipe that he’d ever had, declaring that he would happily eat it whenever I might choose to make it again.
Colcannon (serves 4)
4 red skinned potatoes, cut into quarters (I used Yukon Golds instead)
1/2 head of green cabbage, sliced
1 leek, (white and pale green parts only), cut into slices (I substituted 2 small onions)
1 cup whole milk
4 tbsp butter
salt & pepper to taste
1. In a medium pot, boil up the potatoes. Meanwhile, combine milk, cabbage, leeks, half the butter, salt and pepper into a large pot and bring to a simmer. Cook until the cabbage is soft, about 15 minutes.
2. When the potatoes are fork tender, drain well and add to the cabbage mixture. Mash with a potato masher, adding in remaining butter and more salt & pepper if necessary.