Colcannon for Halloween. How many Irish families serve it as a celebratory dish these days? James Joyce writes in Finnegans Wake:

Hugh Leonard, who kept a diary for this newspaper, out after dark: “On his list was a woman like the wall next door who pretended to cook colcannon but was actually manufacturing poison gas.”

At the turn of the 20th century, William Bullfin, an Offaly man returning from Argentina, set off on a 3,000-mile bicycle marathon around Ireland. He creates impressions of people and places, Eileen’s walk, Published in 1907, we enjoyed the seasonal dishes offered as we passed through Co Meath.

He was welcomed into the kitchen and helped pound the potatoes with kale, cabbage, and chopped raw onions.

Colcannons, or champs, were served on large plates and all family members dipped their spoons into the central depressions where large chunks of butter had melted. It was a cake, a stumpy flavored with sugar, caraway seeds and cream, and a box tea similar but with mashed potatoes.

On the sides were oatcakes, pancakes, apple cakes and pie platters. There was an old saying.

Writer and schoolteacher Amhuraoib O Suirabain, from the Kerry tribe of Cullane, County Kilkenny, wrote of the 1831 feast: autumn season. ”

I remember playing with Snap Apples, bending over apples and coins in a tub of water and reaching for hanging fruit. The nut shell was toasted to see what the ashes prophesied, like reading the tea leaves at the bottom of a cup.

For farmers, Samhain meant the end of the year when crops and livestock were secured and grain, hay, turnips, potatoes, onions and apples were carefully stored. Where I grew up, apples for cooking and eating were carefully arranged on a newspaper-covered floor in an unused room for the winter days ahead.

Halloween was also a night of respite for some. Hitting the road, banging the pot, blowing the horn to ward off ghosts, and watching for signs of puka. This is this oiche na heimrys, or terrifying creature that roams the night of mischief. .

Neighborhood doors are wrapped for modest contributions for young liberals, a form of blackmail to prevent doors from being tied up from the outside or plastered with captive animals.

And the possible aftereffects of overindulgence on champions and pies are dispelled like Leonard’s poisonous gas, all the screaming and singing of young brave people marching down the road into a starry night.

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