Food For Thought


Cock-a-Leekie (Chicken and Leek Soup)

2½ lbs frying chicken, cut up
4 cups water
1 medium carrot, sliced
½ cup barley
2 t. chicken bouillon
2 t. salt
¼ black or white pepper
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups sliced leek, green tops included

Heat all ingredients (except leeks) and bring to boil in Dutch Oven.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes.
Add leeks.
Again heat to boiling, reduce heat.
Cover and simmer until thickest pieces of chicken are done – about 15 minutes.
Remove chicken from broth and cool slightly.
Remove chicken from bones and skin and cut chicken into 1” pieces.
Skim fat from broth & remove bay leaf.
Add chicken to broth.
Heat for 5 minutes or until hot.
Makes 7 servings or 7 1-cup servings.


Ever dream of sipping a good cup of coffee in a clear, footed cup with a handle? Robust, sweet, and wild, Irish Coffee fits the bill.

Irish Coffee

Strong, black coffee
Whipping Cream (the Irish call it Double cream)
Irish Whiskey or Scotch Whiskey. (After the first cup you won’t care where it came from.)

Warm a whiskey/whisky cup since Irish Coffee is always served hot, and add about 1/3 cup of Irish Whiskey.  Depending on how sweet you like your coffee, add 1 to 2 tsp. sugar before filling cup to about 1” of rim with hot, strong, black coffee and stir.  Then gently pour 1 Tbs. cream into the cup, pouring it down the back of the bowl of a teaspoon.  Important not to stir, since you will be drinking your “Irish Coffee” through the whipping cream.


My ancestor’s from Co. Tipperary (the Gleeson’s) served “Irish Stew” made from lamb, either the neck on up to the best end, cut it into cutlets and trimmed away any excess fat. There is never much fat on lamb except perhaps mutton which has a strong taste as opposed to a 6-7 # leg of lamb for roasting on special occasions.

Irish Stew

1½ # lamb
1 pound potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 large onions, peeled and sliced
2 Tbs. parsley fresh and chopped
1 tsp. thyme, fresh and chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
½ - ¾ pint water

This stew is made in a 325 degree F. oven or may be slow cooked on top of the stove.  (Imagine your ancestor’s making Irish Stew on an old wood burning stove!
Layer the lamb, potatoes, and onions in a casserole dish, sprinkling some of the herbs on each layer and topping casserole with a layer of potatoes.  Add water and cover with lid or foil.  Cook for 2 – 2 ½ hrs.  Serves 4.


Scotch Eggs

8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and dried
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 pound bulk pork sausage
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 t. sage
1/4 t. salt
2 whole eggs, well beaten
Canola Oil for cooking or may be baked in oven

Coat each dry, hardboiled egg with flour.
Divide sausage into 8 equal parts.
Using 1 part sausage, pat with one part sausage until egg is completely covered.
Mix together sage, salt, and bread crumbs.
Dip sausage-coated-eggs into well beaten egg mixture.
Roll in bread crumbs.
Heat oil, ½ to 2 inches, to 360* F. in 3-quart pan or Dutch Oven.
Fry eggs, 4 at a time, 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally.
Drain on paper towel.
May be served hot or cold.
Makes 8 servings.
(A former Reg. Comm. & Doctor from Wisconsin suggests baking the eggs until sausage is thoroughly cooked.)
(The first time we made Scotch Eggs we used extra large eggs. After covering them with sausage they were so big they looked like dinosaur eggs, so we cut them in half. I keep wondering how many eggs would have been left on the serving plate at the church potluck if we had labeled them dinosaur eggs?)


Stovies (Scottish Skillet Potatoes)

2 T. butter, margarine, or bacon fat (we use butter)
6 medium potatoes (about 2 lbs), sliced thinly (about 4 cups)
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 ½ t. salt
¼ t. black or white pepper
¼ c. kparsley, snipped
¾ c. water

Heat fat in 10” skillet until hot.
Layer half each of the potato and onion slices in skillet.
Sprinkle with half each of the salt, pepper, and parsley.
Add water.
Cover and simmer over low heat until potatoes are tender and liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes.
Additional water may be added if necessary.
Makes about servings.