...there's both eatin' and drinkin' in it

Don’t Cry For Me


That’s where I was supposed to be today.

Wining, dining and (as it happens) celebrating my birthday.

However, next door in Chile, which was also on the list of places to visit, they have serious earthquake-type things to contend with, so it really was for the best that I steer clear of the region.

Rather than coming over all blue – tempting though that was – I thought that I would, instead, apply the colour green to the situation. St. Patrick’s Day will be upon us very soon and I fully expect the blogosphere to take on an increasingly pronounced Irish accent in the next couple of weeks. So, if you’re food blogging something with Paddy’s Day in mind, why not join me for a little Paddy’s Day Food Parade on the 17th.

Paddys Day Food Parade

To join in, send an email to paddysday [at] thedailyspud [dot] com including:
– Your name
– Your blog name
– A link to your blog post
– A title for your dish or drink (and, boy, do we do like to drink)
– A picture of same (preferably 500 pixels wide, 72 dpi)
– Anything else you’d like to tell me about it
– Include a link back to this post and use the logo above if you like

I’ll accept submissions up until midday (GMT) on March 16th and post the roundup on March 17th. I’m kicking things off with some potatoes (of course) but don’t feel limited by that. Any food or drink that you feel appropriate to what is our Irish national holiday is welcome.

Carmen Wines

These bottles once contained carmenère and pinot noir from Chile's oldest winery, Carmen

In the meantime (and as evidenced by the extreme emptiness of the bottles in the picture above), you are likely to find me drinking Chilean wine (mostly especially the beautiful reserva carmenère from Carmen). Goodness knows their economy will need all the help it can get.

  Print It



Not only is champ a classic Irish potato dish, it also, colourwise, just looks downright patriotic – so it seems like just the thing for Paddy’s Day.

A simple milky potato mash mixed with spring onions and topped with melted butter, the recipe here pretty much reflects the formula for champ as included in Monica Sheridan’s wonderful book The Art of Irish Cooking – my secondhand copy of which was originally published in 1965. For those who have never heard of her, Monica Sheridan was our original TV chef and a wonderful writer to boot – the book is a classic.

Interestingly, she titles the recipe “Champ (for children)“, though I think adults are just as entitled to enjoy this. And because I think that champ love should be shared as widely as possible, I’m sending this over to Joanne of Eats Well With Others for what I’m sure will be a mouth-watering Irish edition of Regional Recipes.

You’ll need:
  • 800g potatoes (4 medium specimens), preferably a floury variety
  • 300ml milk
  • 6 spring onions, white and green parts finely sliced
  • 1 tsp fine salt or to taste, plus more for boiling the potatoes
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Butter to serve
You’ll also need:
  • As always when it comes to mash, a potato ricer is the tool of choice, but it’s not mash-threatening if you don’t have one.
The Steps:
  • Peel your potatoes and cut into roughly even-sized slices, around 1-2cm thick. Rinse them under cold water.
  • Bring about 1.5l of water to the boil in a saucepan, add about 2 tsp salt and the potato slices. Bring back to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer gently, covered, for around 15-20 minutes or until just fork-tender.
  • When the potatoes are done, drain well and return them to the saucepan. Then either let them sit, covered by a tea-towel, for about 5 minutes or place the pan over a low heat and stir the potatoes gently for a minute or so while they dry out.
  • Put the cooked and still warm potatoes through a potato ricer if you have one, or mash with a potato masher or, if all else fails, a fork.
  • Pour some boiling water over the sliced spring onions to scald them (and preserve their bright green colour) and drain well.
  • Add the spring onions to the milk and bring to the boil in a small heavy saucepan. Then remove from the heat and mix into the potatoes, giving a mash with a fairly loose consistency. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
  • While still hot, place a mound of mash on a soup plate, make a little crater in the top, drop in a teaspoon or so of butter – more if you like – then scoop up some mash, dip into the melting butter and enjoy.
The Variations:
  • It’s a fairly basic mash, so of course you could add mustard, parsley, bits of bacon or whatever else takes your fancy. It is just rather lovely as it is, though.
The Results:
  • This amount should serve 4 to 6 people of either the child or adult variety.


  1. Tangled Noodle

    Happy, happy Birthday! I’m sorry to hear about the trip but your Paddy’s Day Food Parade will allow us to celebrate this fun holiday with you. I’d better get my green on and figure out what I can contribute!

  2. OysterCulture

    Happy Birthday! I hope you celebrated in style! Who knows maybe pushing out the day and increasing the anticipation will make it that much more exciting when you finally go. In the meantime, I look forward to your Paddy’s Day Food Parade and all the culinary adventures to come.

  3. Lu

    Happy Birthday Spud!! That’s sad that you’r emissing your cover – but fair play to you for supporting the Chilean economy so valiantly, I may also support them in a similar manner this evening.

    I have a nice recipe to submit to your parade – is it ok to submit something from last year – or do I have to prepare it new?

  4. Daily Spud

    Tangled Noodle: it’s all about looking forward and not back – with that in mind, I’m looking forward to your Filip-Irish contribution to the parade :)

    OysterCulture: thanks – I think I managed to do justice to the day that was in it, even if I wasn’t where I thought I was going to be on the day!

    Lu: If the recipe was good last year, then it’s still good, right? Delighted to have contributions old and new, so do send on the details.

  5. Phyllis

    Happy Birthday Spud :) Looking forward to the food parade! Think I might submit something vegan this year…

  6. sippitysup

    I am sorry you are not traveling, but count me in on this… GREG

  7. The Diva on a Diet

    Happy Birthday, Spud!!! So sorry about your holiday plans but it sounds like you’re making the best of it. And, lets face it, a nice big bowl of buttery champ is just the thing sometimes! Yum!

    I’ll put on my thinking cap and join your St. Paddy’s Day Parade. This is going to be such fun! :)

  8. Chef E

    I thought I left a comment earlier :( Oh well me almost fifty year old brain has kinks in it!

    Count me in girl! Now I know what I am going to have for dinner, and I am serious as an Irish girl in Jersey dancing the jig!

    Happy Birthday Spudsy! I will also open a good cold one in your honor! My best friend from high school, her birthday is SPD…

  9. The Duo Dishes

    Everything works out for the best, huh? Hopefully you’ll be able to reschedule your trip. In the meantime, keep sipping and celebrating your birthday!

  10. Caroline@Bibliocook

    Happy birthday, your Spudness! Hope you enjoyed it, despite not being off and away. Now, to start thinking of Paddy’s Day…

  11. Whitney @ Lettuce Love

    Happy Happy Birthday! Hope you had a fabulous day of celebrating :)

  12. Joie de vivre

    Thank you so much for visiting! For some reason, I don’t have your RSS feeds in my reader! Argh! I’ve added it now so I can read your wonderful posts when they come out. Have a happy, happy birthday!

  13. ValleyWriter

    Happy Birthday! Sorry to hear your travel plans were interrupted – but that just means you’ll have to celebrate all over again when you do finally get to take your trip. Have a great one!!

  14. Daily Spud

    Phyllis: ooh, would be delighted with whatever you come up with!

    SippitySup: am very excited about Paddy’s Day getting the Sup treatment :)

    Diva: Champ must be one of the ultimate comfort foods – just what I needed – and of course looking forward immensely to seeing you in the parade!

    Chef E: cheers, I’ll crack open a cold one in return and anticipate the national holiday to come :)

    Duo Dishes: all for the best indeed – and of course it’s vitally important to keep sipping and celebrating!

    Caroline: thank you – hope you can join in on the Paddy’s Day craic

    Whitney: thanks so much, I most certainly did manage to enjoy myself :)

    Joie de Vivre: there’s no getting rid of me now :D

    ValleyWriter: you make an excellent point, I’ll use any excuse to prolong the celebrations!

  15. Jamie

    Happy Happy Birthday darling friend! So sorry about the spoiled travel plans but going green is really the way to cheer one up! I’ll see what I can come up with! Hugs!

  16. George@CulinaryTravels

    Happy Birthday Aoife (sorry I’m late). I’m so sorry your travel plans were so interrupted too.

    Will of course be cooking/baking for St Patrick’s Day so will let you know what I come up with :)

  17. Joie de vivre

    I got your e-mail about your event. Thanks for including me! I usually make Irish soda bread for St. Paddy’s but I may not make your deadline. I’ll try my best though!

  18. Daily Spud

    Jamie: absolutely, green is such a positive colour and looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

    George: thanks – I was sorry about the travel too but, really, happy not to be travelling under the circumstances – and, of course, will be very happy to include your St Patrick’s Day eats :)

    Joie de Vivre: if you can make it, that would be wonderful – soda bread is one of my favourites

  19. sweetlife

    Happy Bday my dear spud, sorry about your travel plans…Count me in..how fun!!


  20. Lori

    Oh my, I remember you telling us about your trip. What a bummer. I hope you were still able to enjoy some celebration. Happy Birthday!

    Thanks for the email heads up. I’m behind in reading. This sounds like a fun round up. Gotta get thinking!

  21. zerrin

    Sorry for being late. Happy birthday! Now I need to do a little research to learn more about St. Patrick’s Day to get an idea what I can cook for your food parade.

  22. Jennifer (Savor)

    Happy Bday! So sorry to hear about the plans but loving your optimism. By the way, tanglednoodle and I are announcing Eating your Words 10′ this weekend. :)

  23. Daily Spud

    sweetlife: yay! glad to hear you’re joining in – the more the merrier :)

    Lori: I am spectacularly behind on my own reading – I’d probably have missed this announcement myself if I hadn’t written it :D Really hope you can come along for the parade!

    zerrin: if it’s any help, something (anything!) green is always acceptable on Paddy’s Day :)

    Jennifer: Thank you :) And excited to hear that Eating Your Words is making a comeback, woohoo!

  24. Phoo-D

    Happy Birthday! I’m sorry you aren’t spending it sipping and speaking Spanish, though it probably is best to avoid the area right now all things considered. I hope that the trip is rescheduled for you soon! Love the idea of a St. Patty’s day round up.

  25. Sarah, Maison Cupcake

    Happy Birthday!

    Champ looks so comforting and buttery. I do have something in the archives of my blog that would be fitting for your parade although I will try to do something new in the next week.

  26. sarah

    This seems like a nice way to celebrate, all the virtual friends popping over with food for St Paddy’s Day. Thanks for inviting us all! :)

  27. Reeni

    Happy Belated Birthday! The round-up sounds fun. Count me in. The sight of that pooling butter has my mouth-watering. Yum.

  28. Sophie

    Happy Birthday, Daily Spud!! Yeah!

    Champ looks like a lovely dish that I will be trying soon,…thanks for sharing!

  29. Hilsters

    Happy birthday your spudness……am loving your blog. Your friend Isobel put me in the spud direction. Anyway as a brummie living in Edinburgh I will come up with something suitably paddy-ish and forward it on….am thinking pea green cupcakes, watch this space x

  30. Angela@spinachtiger

    Sorry about your delayed/cancelled vacation. Hmm I need to think about what I could make for this event. Sounds Fun. Your potatoes look amazing. Isn’t it true that just simple ingredients put together can be so right.

  31. Daily Spud

    Phoo-D: thanks – I’m hoping the same thing myself :)

    Sarah, Maison Cupcake: champ is indeed both comforting and buttery (I think those two facts are inextricably linked!); would be delighted to have you join in the parade with contributions old and/or new

    sarah: you’re welcome, hope you can come along!

    Reeni: thank you – would be delighted to have you joining in on the fun :)

    Sophie: thank you as always and you are most heartily welcome!

    Hilsters: Well you are most welcome to spud central – bring on the pea-green cupcakes!

    Angela: it is so true – it’s good to be reminded that things don’t need to be complicated to taste good

  32. Paul

    Aoife, A belated happy birthday. Im sure you will get to experience Argentina and get to see some calicitas in Chile but hopefully the ones created on purpose!

  33. diva

    Fun fun Paddy’s Day food event! Just gonna send in my post now. Woot :D

  34. aoife mc

    Such a shame about Argentina :( I’m heading to SXSW in Austin, Texas next week so I won’t be cooking much/at all but I will try to put up some pics of any Paddy’s Day related foods I come across!

  35. Daily Spud

    Paul: thanks a mill’ – and yes indeed, I have every hope of getting to those parts at some stage, preferably not in the immediate aftermath of any natural disasters!

    diva: yay, thank you :)

    aoife: Hey, lucky you off to SXSW. Pics of Paddy’s Day food – especially the Texan interpretation of same – are most welcome!

  36. mangocheeks

    Instead of ‘coming over all blue’….now that is funny.

    I hope I can join in the festivities too. And sprinkle a little bit of green magic here too.

  37. gastroanthropologist

    Happy Birthday! Bummer about the trip but I hope you get there soon. Argentina and Chile are absolutely on my list of places to visit.

    Champ – what a great name for a dish, and looking delicious too.

  38. Daily Spud

    mangocheeks: oh do join in if you can, would love to have you participate!

    gastroanthropologist: thanks and hopefully I will get to those places sometime; and champ is a great name, isn’t it?

  39. kickpleat

    Ooooh, love that pool of melting butter! Looks delicious and I’ve got everything to make this. I think it will be a very good St. Paddy’s day.

  40. Carol, Simply...Gluten-free

    Breithlá sona duit to you (I hope I got that correct) Sorry about Argentina but glad to see you are making the most of it.

  41. Daily Spud

    kickpleat: It does look good, doesn’t it! Enjoy and have a lovely St. Paddy’s Day.

    Carol: Go raibh maith agat! Thanks so much for the birthday greetings and for the parade entry – Argentina can wait :)

  42. Janmary, N Ireland

    Happy St Patrick’s Day from N Ireland.

    I do have a genuine Ulster Fry on my blog – but it does not really count as a recipe – just fry everything and assemble!!!

  43. Martha

    Just found this over at Joanne’s (Eats Well with Others), just posted and sent you my info. Hope I’m not too late. Have a happy St. Patrick’s Day either way :-)

  44. Martha

    PS – Happy Birthday! :-)

  45. Daily Spud

    Janmary: The Ulster Fry counts! Glad I was able to include it :)

    Martha: You weren’t too late! Thanks and glad you could participate.

  46. Dee

    So sorry I missed this fun event. We were doing a bit o’ celebrating here Texas style. Love this post. Happy St. Patrick’s day.

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