wondering idly over a bit of authenticity for our St. Patrick’s Day brunch on
Sunday, thoughts of what-would-be-a-good-potato-dish floated through.We’ve usually had a dinner-time meal, from
Colcannon to lamb chops to why-not-corned-beef-and-cabbage, and several recipes
from the Ballymaloe cookbook over the years, but this is a noon brunch.
Porridge, of course, good coarse-cut long-cooked kind, with a scatter of raw sugar---Sweetpea's favourite breakfast, and fruit ditto: fresh pineapple.
golds, mostly, plain against a green bowl in their shiny pale jackets, or a
platter of them, random-chopped in the pan, steaming beneath a blanket of
stirred-together soft butter and sour cream and salt, and scattered with shreds of
O’Brien, we thought this year, watching Bobby
Flay celebrate his ancestry with an Irish brunch of his own; that is, until the
unconscionable amount of paprika that went into that iron skillet, turning the
whole dish into a Red Flannel Hash, sans beets.
old Hash Browns would be good, all fry-pressed into hearty crust, with
half-a-dozen-or-so over-easy eggs laid atop, glistening with bacon fat.We could set that magnificent skillet down
before Royalty, and all be glad.
the iron skillet---never before had it occurred to me to wonder if some of my own forebears in other countries might have had black skillets of their own before
the Southern ones here. I was thinking way close to home on that, for scarce one of my friends here in this middle-state area has a black skillet, and so my mind leaves their terroir back in the South, with grits and greens and The Blues. But surely that was the pan of choice over all
those peat and coal and wood fires all over Ireland
iron, for baking and sizzling and frying.A Grand-Dam’s black skillet would be an heirloom, indeed.
see that they DO have quite the market for the indispensible old faithfuls, for
several kitchen-supply companies in Ireland feature them prominently in their
ads and brochures, this one from Brennan’s Supply in Waterford, no less. Is not the juxtaposition of such elegance and grace alongside such sturdy, homely practicality simply charming? Loaves and hyacinths.
I hope it can be postulated that many a cook there is blessed with one or two
of the wonderful old seasoned ones, turning out breads and fry-ups every day,
as their faraway, unmet cousins here pull skillets of cornbread and fried
chicken and biscuits from their own stoves.
Knowing the old faithful skillets graced homes and fires and hobs far, far back and far away in our history is a comforting thought---something to be depended upon, every day, when weather and cupboard suffered the vagaries of time and place and fortune.
loaf of Caro’s wonderful Irish bread is a given, though it’s a bit tarted-up in
itself---currants dotted through, and a frivolous roll in some
large-tender-crystals of bakers’ sugar which crunch splendidly between your teeth.
Some thick-cut bacon from way down in the
Greenbelt of Springfield, Arkansas, with
a dish of fried onions and green peppers and mushrooms on the side.There’s a little bag of sprouts upstairs to
be roasted, and also a wedge or two of
rich yellow cheese and the several pots of jam.