They say that on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish. And while the sentiment is certainly admirable, for those of us with deep roots in the South, this is also pretty true. A serious case of the norovirus a few winters ago had me in bed and on ancestry.com for the better part of a week; just enough time to dig three hundred years back into my dad’s family history. It turns out that my grandmother’s description of our family history as “you know, a little Scotch, a little Irish, and a little English” was pretty accurate, and that with the addition of one Pole who immigrated to Wilmington in the early 1800s (the O.G. Rosemond), that’s what we are. Scots-Irish mountain folk who made their lives and found their homes in the foothills and mountains of North Carolina. On my mom’s side of the family things are a little more clear cut, as the immigration has happened more recently. My Grammy is Sicilian and my Poppie (a Waldron) is Irish. His family immigrated from County Mayo in the late 1800s.
Even more immediately my youngest sister, Genevieve, has elected to immigrate to Ireland. She’s engaged to a nice Irish lad and has absolutely no plans to ever move back stateside. And, while I miss her desperately, I’m not too sad to have a reason to visit Ireland and somewhere to stay in Dublin. Plus, when Everett and his cousin Iris are old enough I’ll be ready to ship them off to Auntie Gen & Uncle Naoise Camp across the ocean. Based on the amount of colcannon that Ev ate last night I have a feeling he’ll fit right in.
4 russet potatoes
1/2 cup whole milk
3 cups of shredded kale
1 white onion, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 tbsp butter
Salt & pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
Clean and boil your potatoes, skin on. Sauté chopped white onion and garlic in 1 tbsp butter. Once onions have browned (3-4 minutes) add kale to the pan, stirring frequently until wilted.
Using a mixer or a large bowl and a strong forearm mash potatoes with 2 tbsp butter, milk, and spices. Add in kale and onion mixture and fresh green onions. Transfer to your serving dish.
Make a well in the top and add the remaining 2 tbsp butter, allowing it to melt into your hot potatoes!