Colcannon is traditionally eaten in Ireland at Hallowe'en. Until quite recently this was a fast day, when no meat was eaten. The name is from cal ceann fhionn -- white-headed cabbage. Colcannon should properly be made with chopped kale (a member of the cabbage family) but it is also made with white cabbage.
Colcannon at Hallowe'en used to contain a plain gold ring, a sixpence, a thimble and a button: finding the ring meant marriage within the year for the person who found it, the sixpence meant wealth, the thimble spinsterhood and the button bachelorhood.
- Peel and wash the potatoes. Cook them in boiling water until tender.
- Drain and mash the potatoes; add the milk to make a purée. Season with salt and pepper.
- Chop the kale finely; cook in boiling lightly salted water for 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain.
- Peel and chop the onion. Sweat in butter until translucent.
- Add the onion and kale to the mashed potato.
- Incorporate the butter, parsley and cream. Serve hot.
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