Drummond Pioneer Irish Boxty
Many of the early settlers in Lanark County, arrived in 1816, like our pioneer ancestor, Tobias Stafford. He came from County Wexford, married the lovely Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ McGarry, from County Westmeath, and after a year spent living on Stafford Island, built a home on lot 10, 11th concession of Drummond Township.
One of the recipes brought from their native southern Ireland, was for Irish Boxty. It was a simple dish, made with ingredients on hand. In those days, it was a very long trip by horse and buggy to Perth, for supplies. Many of the early recipes relied on staples, ingredients available in the cupboard, at home.
As some may already know, the Irish love their limericks, and poems, and there is a little rhyme about Boxty, that was often recited with a wink and a smile. Although it is not very politically-correct in these times, it gives us a glimpse into the things of the past, that were popular in the early days:
“Boxty on the griddle,
Boxty in the pan,
If you can’t make boxty,
You’ll never get your man”
Recipe for Boxty/ Irish Potato Cakes
2 c mashed potatoes
1 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp grated onion
1 egg, beaten
Mix all ingredients together, shape into patties, and fry in a greased pan, until golden brown. (salt and pepper to taste) Serve with eggs, breakfast meats, and hot buttered toast.
(enjoy with a cup of hot Irish breakfast tea, or hot black tea, as our parents did)
This old recipe, in its simplicity, may not be diverse enough for the modern palate, and some may wish to add spices or vegetables into the mix.
Mother and Dad enjoyed plain food that wouldn’t upset their stomachs, and this certainly fits the bill.
and…never to be forgotten, the ritual that always came before any meal at the Stafford home, was the grace:
Bless this food to our use,
and us, for thy service”
For more information on the early Irish settlers of Drummond Township, and St. Patrick’s church:
This recipe is from “Recipes and Recollections: Treats and Tales from our Mother’s Kitchen” ISBN: 9780987-7026-09