I think that as a child St. Patrick's Day was actually one of my favourite celebrations of the year. For the weeks preceding many hours were spent making flags, banners, brooches and hats all sporting green, white and gold. Of course nowadays all these can be bought for little or nothing yet I feel for the children to experience the 'real' St. Patrick's Day a few homemade flags are completely necessary! The local parade was the highlight of the day where we got to stand at the side of the road for a couple of hours, mostly in the rain, waving frantically as neighbours passed by in their tractors and trucks. A couple of brass bands and some energetic Irish dancers would complete the line up and each year on the journey home we'd decide that the previous year's parade had actually been better. As simple as this day was I have so many fond memories of St. Patrick's Day. I think the fact that it was a family day out really made the experience special and all the nicer.
Each year my Mother would serve a big fry up before we went to town and my favourite part to this would be my mother's fluffy potato cakes. A big knob of
butter placed on top before serving allowed the potato cake to don a silky buttery
glaze. Only in recent years have I started to make potato cakes myself and the
children love them. I have added some finely chopped scallions to my potato
mix but if you prefer you can leave these out and make them plain or even add a
450g (1lb) cooled mashed potatoes
1 egg, slightly beaten
Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper
75g/3oz Plain Flour
2 scallions, finely chopped
Knob of butter
1. Place the mashed potato in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and add the egg. Stir in the flour and combine well to form a dough.
2. Transfer the dough onto a floured work surface and lightly knead. Roll out the dough, about 3cm thick.
3. Cut into circles using a pastry cutter making approximately 8 potato cakes.
4. Place the oil into a pan and place over a medium heat. Add the potato cakes and cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
5. Serve hot with a knob of butter on top.