I'm housesitting for someone in a couple weeks and I thought it would be cool to have my friends over, cook a Irish dinner, drink some Jameson's, listen to the Pogues, and maybe watch The Replacements. So, I can invite people over, I can pick up Jameson's, I've got plenty of Pogues, and I can find a copy of the Replacements. What I can't do is cook Irish food, mostly because I don't know what the Irish eat besides corned beef and cabbage and potatoes.
I checked a Irish cookbook out from the library. I wasn't going to make fun of it for Elena's sake, but I can't help it. It is literally 54 pages long. Most of that is the introduction. The first thoughts that hit me were the obvious ones. "I guess there's only so many ways to cook a potato and boil brisket." and "I thought I got a gourmet Irish cookbook, not the potato famine cookbook."
Now that I've looked through the cookbook I have to say that those jokes would be marginally funny if they weren't true. Almost all the rest of the recipes are for potatoes, cabbage, boiled meat. I'm going to have work my brain to make colcanon a little fancier, and it looks like boiled meat is a must. Adding color will also be a bit of a challenge. I thought things would be greener, but even the salads were blanched.
So after my little rant making fun of the Irish food my friend said "If the Spanish hadn't shown up Mexican cookbooks would be a 50 page book on cooking beans and corn, and most of that would be an introduction explaining how much the Spanish could have helped."
And I said, "Shoot, if the Spanish hadn't shown up the Irish would have never got the potatoes, this would have been a four page cook book, counting the introduction. At least we would have had beans man."
I realized you have to feel kind of bad for a culture when the guys that only have beans, potatoes, and corn are rocking your world on the local ingredients list. Although now that I think about it, I've lived off of beans and corn tortillas before and it's not that bad with some salsa or the occasional avocado...
which the Irish don't have either.