Recipe: A little bit of Irish

March 17, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Here's a bit of history, and little taste of an Irish Brotchan Flotchef.

  • Mar. 13, 2013 5:00 a.m.

March 17, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. This is the date of St. Patrick’s death.  St. Patrick returned to Ireland in 432 AD, after being captured by Irish raiders from Britain at age 16, living as a slave in Ireland for six years at which time he escaped.

After entering the church he returned to Ireland as an ordained bishop. By the 7th century he had come to be revered as a patron saint.

In Ireland it is a solemn and holy day of obligation. St. Patrick fasted and prayed for 40 days and then in the name of Jesus commanded all the reptiles in Ireland to the ocean. To this day, there are not any snakes or reptiles in Ireland and none are allowed to be sold in pet stores there either.

The Shamrock was used by St. Patrick to teach his converts about the Trilogy, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The following is a recipe using traditional foods in season in Ireland at this time of year as well as here.

Brotchan Foltchef (Traditional leek and oatmeal soup)

  • 6 large leeks
  • 1 heaped tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp. flake oatmeal
  • 4 cups milk or stock
  • salt and pepper

Thoroughly wash leeks, removing grit. Keep the green stem as well and cut the whole into 1 inch chunks.

Heat up the liquid with butter and when boiling add the oatmeal. Let it boil, then add the chopped leeks and season to taste.

Put the lid on and simmer gently for 45 minutes.

Add the chopped parsley and cook until done.

For Nettle Brotchan, used 4 cups young nettle tops chopped fine. Remember to wear gloves when picking nettles. You may add a little cream if you like, the cream skimmed off fresh cow’s milk would be the best.

“Brotchan” is Irish for broth.

Have this with a generous slice of Irish soda bread

It can be made with white or brown flour. This is with brown and my own addition of sunflower seeds, because they turn green and look so Irish in the bread.

  • 4 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 litre buttermilk or milk with a little lemon or vinegar added to sour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda and 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl along with the sunflower seeds.

Make a well in the center. Add enough milk to make a stiff dough. Mixture should not be wet and should be mixed lightly and quickly.

With floured hands put onto a lightly floured table and make a ball and flatten the dough to about 1 /12 inches.

Put the loaves on a greased pan and make a large cross on the top to ensure even distribution of heat.

Bake at 375’ for about 40 minutes. Test with skewer to make sure done. Remove from oven and wrap in a clean tea towel.

Serve with plenty of butter.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Submitted by Ellen Lewers: mrslewers farmhouse@shaw.ca

 

Just Posted

Kenny Podmore, here seen at Sidney’s cenotaph in November, says he feels for the veterans after organizers had to cancel an event acknowledging Victory in Europe (VE) Day for the second time in as many years because of COVID-19. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich event marking 75th anniversary of VE-Day cancelled

Sidney resident first planned event for May 9, 2020 moved to May 8 before being cancelled

Individuals and businesses are encouraged to bring their unwanted electronics to Tillicum Centre May 14 to be shredded, recycled or donated. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria residents can shred, donate electronics safely

Vancouver Island Better Business Bureau hosts event May 14 at Tillicum Centre

Scheduling popular summer events like the Canada Day celebrations is difficult due to the pandemic. (File - Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke summer events schedule clouded by COVID

Public health guidelines hamper plans

The District of Sooke is looking at new plans to build a fenced dog park at Ponds Park Corridor. (Pixabay.com)
Sooke seeks input on dog park

Public comment welcomed until June 4

Potatoes have two genetic centre of origins, one from the lowlands in Chile and the other from the highlands in Bolivia. The highlands potatoes flower and produce fruit profusely, which is where the seeds come from. They contribute to exciting and ecologically imporant genetic diversity of potatoes. (Submitted/Fiona Hamersley Chambers)
Metchosin farmer shares how to invent a new potato

Using seeds anyone can name their own variety

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
MISSING: Salt Spring RCMP find woman’s car, still seek Island resident

Sinikka Gay Elliott is 5’3” with a slim build and dark brown short hair

Tagen Marshall of Parksville is looking to raise funds for a new specialized van. (Submitted photo)
Wolf: Parksville’s Tagen Marshall inspires others, aims to invest in himself

VIU honour student with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy seeks help achieving big dreams

A Saanich man received almost 10 years in Supreme Court in Courtenay for a shooting incident from 2018. Record file photo
Shooting incident on Island nets almost 10-year sentence

Saanich man was arrested without incident north of Courtenay in 2018

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Most Read