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Bubble and Squeak

By Judy Thomas

Fri, Mar 7th, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

“St. Patrick’s Day”. It’s the day one and all claim to have a touch of the IRISH so they can celebrate with the shamrocks and the music of the harps, parades, dances, parties, singing the Irish ditties, stories and, of course, the “drinking of the Guinness and the green beer.” In other words a reason to shake off the winter’s doom and gloom and breathe a little merriment into what has been a long, cold haul and looking forward to spring.

I do have legitimate claim to the Irish as I am from a long line of short, chunky, auburn haired and blue-eyed Irish men. With a maiden name such as “McCraney” I can hardly deny it, nor do I want to: I am the youngest of 11 and was born in Iowa. How I got Minnesota is a story for another time.

My dad loved to cook, and at one time he was chief cook and bottle washer and bread earner (another story) for his family of 10 before my mother came along, and she was an excellent cook also. My dad used any holiday that came along as an excuse to gather kith and kin for a big meal and he was never happier than when he was cooking us a big pot of something.

As for our lineage, when asked, he always said that we were Irish, Pennsylvania Dutch and on my mother’s side I am Welch and Dutch and English. But somehow the Irish always came out on top. I had a niece who tried to research our family tree and she traced us back to somewhere in Northern Ireland near the Welch Border and that our ancestors were either tin miners or journalists, so that may be where I get my love for telling stories and keeping memories alive. I love to share stories with my grandkids. The older ones, when I start, roll their eyes and look at each other, groan, and say, “Here comes another Grandma story”, but they all seem to listen well.

My dad loved the St. Patty’s Day celebration, not as much for the partying as an excuse for the gang to gather and eat and always made BUBBLE AND SQUEAK”, which I always thought was an Irish dish, but is actually of English origin, but somehow got claimed by the Irish. I guess, according to the history books, the English helped themselves to much of what used to belong to the Irish. The Irish figured they could at least steal a recipe back. Anyway, the following recipe is my father’s rendition of Bubble and Squeak.

We all looked forward to this. It meant as much for the company to have the chance to catch up with each other as for the food. Sorry say I am the only one left, but the memories and the stories are still there to share and tell. Until next time, enjoy!

Bubble and Squeak

3-4 lbs. corned beef brisket

8-10 small white onions (I use frozen onions)

2 lbs. fresh or 4 boxes brussel sprouts - If you really do not care for sprouts, use medium head of cabbage and cut into 8 wedges.

6 medium potatoes, peeled - or 8-10 red potatoes

1 lb. small carrots

In a large roaster, place the corned beef brisket and cook as package directs. During last 45 minutes of cooking time, add potatoes and onions and return to a boil. Cook 20 minutes. Add carrots and brussel sprouts (or cabbage) and return to a boil and cook covered for 10 to 15 minutes. All vegetables should be fork tender.

Remove corned beef to a large serving platter, let rest 10 minutes, slice beef and surround with the vegetables. Serve with mustard or spicy brown mustard.

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