St. Patrick’s Day Post for my Granda

One of my favorite movies of all times is “Waking Ned Devine”.  I watched in DVD and when it was over, I watched it again.  It is what I call a “true” movie – not that it is a factual accounting of an event, but because it is full of humor, friendship, sarcasm, love, mystery, mean spiritedness – life.

The movie made me laugh until I cried.  One scene, made me weep and was one reason, I watched the movie in its entirety, all over again.

The movie has a bit of a convoluted plot and if you haven’t seen it, I won’t ruin.  But the scene that touched me to the depths of my soul was a funeral and the eulogy given by the friend of the supposed dead man.  To this day, the scene and the words touch me.  Celebrate St. Patrick’s day with green beer and leapin’ leprechauns – I’ll be watching Waking Ned Devine.

I urge you to watch it if you have not.  At times funny, wistful, a nail biter – it is, a true movie.  True in its portrayal of friendship, love, greed, and forgiveness.  Below is the eulogy in written form.  I could not find a video clip for it.  But like I said, if you have not seen the movie, do it.  It is in my top 10 favorite movies and it is called “Waking Ned Devine” for a very good reason!

Jackie O’Shea:  As we look back on the life of… [pause] Michael O’Sullivan was my great friend, but I don’t ever remember telling him that. The words that are spoken at a funeral are spoken too late for the man who is dead. What a wonderful thing it would be to visit your own funeral. To sit at the front and hear what was said. Maybe to say a few things yourself. Michael and I grew old together. But at times, when we laughed, we grew younger. If he was here now, if he could hear what I say, I’d congratulate him on being a great man, and thank him for being a friend.

Indeed.  What we would hear?  Live your life so when someone gives your eulogy, they say what you would want to hear as if you were sitting at the back, listening.  Tell those you love and appreciate, say what you want to say to them while they can hear it.

I’ve also included “the Parting Glass” from Waking Ned Devine – the song sung as my grandfather’s casket was carried from the church at his funeral.  He died on St. Patrick’s day.  Goodnight sweet man.  And though it is years ago, still your sweet spirit and musical soul are missed by those of us who live to remember you with love.

Colcannon – Irish Yum Food

707px-Colcannon[1]

 

Colcannon is quick, cheap, and easy.  Not to mention delicious and comforting.  Good on its own as a simple supper with biscuits or as a  hearty side dish to baked chicken or pork chops.   A lot of recipes call for kale.  I was raised to use cabbage.  After all, the name colcannon or cál ceannann means:  white headed cabbage.  I use cabbage, not kale.  I will purchase a small cabbage, about a pound, to use for this.  I discard the tough outer green leaves (putting outside for roving bunnies), cut the cabbage into quarters, core, and shred.

Usually served in the fall or at Halloween, colcannon used to have charms put in it.  Dependent on the charm you spooned onto your plate, you’d end up being single or married.  Many young Irish lasses would fill a sock with colcannon and hang on the door handle.  The first man to enter would supposedly end up being your husband.  I’m sure there were some kind of rules in place to exclude the village priest or a brother or other male family member.  Personally, putting a bunch of mashed potatoes with cabbage in a sock doesn’t sound all that great to me, but the colcannon on the plate, without the charms or the sock is a grand dish!   All you need is some Guiness stout or Harp to wash it down.

Colcannon
1lb 6oz potatoes – (do not use waxy type)  peeled and quartered
8oz spring cabbage, chopped ****
1/2 cup scallions/spring onions, roughly chopped
1/4 cup scallions/spring onions, finely chopped
4 oz butter + 3 tbs
salt and pepper

Simmer the potatoes in lightly salted water until cooked – when pierced with a sharp knife and the potato is soft in the middle.   Chop 3/4 of the spring onions roughly and the other 1/4 finely. Add the roughly chopped scallions/spring onions to the cabbage. Saute  lightly until tender in the 2 tbs. butter. Drain the potatoes and add the rest of the butter. When the butter has melted, mash the potatoes until smooth and creamy. Add the cabbage mixture and mix. Stir in some salt and pepper to taste for seasoning and garnish with the finely chopped scallion.

Thank you Wiki for the photo!

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