Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Way He Liked It

I was talking with my Mom today and she mentioned cabbage. That, of course, reminded me to ask her about Rumbledethumps, Colcannon and Bubble and Squeak. She had never heard of any of the aforementioned dishes and thought her youngest daughter had gone off the deep end! I quickly explained about Rumbledethumps. That triggered a memory for her. When my Mom was a girl (back in the 1920s and 30s), her mother Marion, my Gagee, would make a “New England Boiled Dinner”, which is corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots and onions all cooked together in one pot on top of the stove. Marion’s father-in-law, an angel of a fellow named Jody, would ask her to make it “the way he liked it”. Gagee would reach into the icebox for the bacon drippings and put a little in a frying pan. Then she would scoop out some of the cabbage from the big pot and fry it in the bacon grease. Next she would lift out a potato and add that to the frying pan and mash it in with the cabbage. Gagee would serve it to Jody and he would add just a splash of apple cider vinegar to it.

Now if that isn’t the kissin’ cousin of Colcannon and Rumbledethumps I don’t know what is! Jody was of Irish, not Scottish descent. And he was, in fact, my Gramps’ stepfather. The Scottish branch I wrote about recently is my paternal grandfather’s side. Be that as it may, it cements that strong feeling I had about Rumbledethumps being a connection to something deep and old in my family’s culinary heritage. I need to keep browsing Maw Broon’s Cookbook to see what other chords get struck!


Roo said...

No we would call the corned beef dish "Corned Beef Ash", which is a stew to most people. My mum also makes a corned beef dish with onions and potato layered through the dish (and the c.beef) with a little stock and baked and we call this Panacalty - which is also called corned beef hash, see the link as it really does vary in the northern regions -

Cheers xx

Roo said...

kate said...

you lost me on the cabbage....for some reason I cannot get on board with cabbage...boiled dinner...'slaw...nothing. but I would probably be willing to try since I'd pretty much eat anything you put bacon on!

Pink Granite said...

Hi Roo -
Wow! Let's here it for all the creative, resourceful and frugal cooks who combine simple ingredients into delicious dishes!

Over here, Corned Beef Hash is corned beef, onions and potatoes but it all ends up in a dry, fine dice and after the cooked ingredients are combined, it is often fried on a griddle and served alongside eggs!

The Panacalty recipes look very good! And they do sound like a layered, baked version of Corned Beef Hash.

The Pan Haggerty (potatoes, onions and cheese) I found via your link also sounds delicious. It reminds me of an onion, cheese and rye bread (!) casserole my sister Gail makes!

I checked in Maw Broon and couldn't find anything resembling Panacalty, Pan Haggerty or corned beef hash. I guess Hadrian's Wall blocked the free flow of some recipes!

Thanks for your enthusiastic participation!
Give my love to your Mom!
- Lee

Hi Kate -
Sometimes when you cook cabbage, especially in a New England Boiled Dinner, you can get a strong, stinky, sulphury cabbage smell. I was quite pleased that when I made the Rumbledethumps there was absolutely no unpleasant smell. And the taste really was terrific. Uncle Chuck wants this to appear on the menu on a regular basis! I'll have to make it and bring to our next get-together. Too bad Carrie didn't decide on Pot Luck for the reception!

Do check out the link Roo listed above. The Panacalty sounds good and the Pan Haggerty really does remind me of the casserole your Mom makes on special occasions!
Have a good week!
- A.L.

dancingmorganmouse said...

Cabbage, onion, potato & bacon, all mached up and then fried - I don't know what it's called but it's wonderful!

Pink Granite said...

Hey DMM -
I know! What's not to like?
- Lee