Dish of the Week
Donegal Potatoes

Taught to me by Anthony Finnegan, Contributor to Garnethill International Cookery Pot, 1976

Garnethill International Cooking Pot, 1976

Click to view the cookbook

... was published by The Third Eye Centre, the precursor to the CCA. It was compiled by Christina Cunningham and featured a selection of recipes from eight different people: Mrs. R. McIntosh, a resident of Garnethill (Scottish recipes) Andrew Porter, administrator of The Third Eye Centre (English recipes) Mrs. M. Herman, a resident of Garnethill (Jewish recipes) Cecilia Fazzi, a shopkeeper in Garnethill (Italian recipes) Mrs. Ashgar, a resident of Garnethill (Indian recipes) Berg Milroy, wife of Third Eye technician (French recipes) Hock Hun Teh, a resident of Garnethill (Chinese recipes) and Anthony Finnegan, a resident of Garnethill (Irish recipes). As the Third Eye Centre was founded by Tom McGrath in 1974, the International Cooking Pot must have been an early project, and through it we can gain a snapshot as to what Garnethill was like 47 years ago. While the exact process of where and how these recipes were collected has been lost to time (if you have any information on this then please do let me know!) it shows clear evidence of inter-cultural food-sharing happenings.

The project showcases a slice of the history of Garnethill, an area that has been around since the mid-nineteenth century and that has often been associated with both creativity and migration. Garnethill was noted as being an early home for Irish migrants as well as a large Jewish population.

The Synagogue on Hill Street is Scotland's oldest and other community centres, including St Aloysius Church, the Glasgow School of Art, have ensured that a steady stream of people have called the area home throughout the years. Towards the end of the twentieth century Garnethill became well-known for its growing Chinese community and in the 70's the Garnethill Multicultural Centre began operations, first as a community cafe and then expanding its services to suit the needs of numerous local community groups. Today the Centre supports social groups for elders, activity and support for new Scots and more.

Garnethill continues to flourish as a diverse area of Glasgow, with so many projects and activities going on each and every day, many of which include communal cooking, eating and food-sharing. At the same time, the Garnethill International Cooking Pot project from 1976 serves as a reminder of the depth of history shared in the area. Millions of meals have been made and shared by thousands of people over the years, including, perhaps...


Donegal Potatoes

... the epitome of a cheap, hearty, warming and versatile recipe. I must admit here that the amount the recipe in the book specifies to make is enough to feed a family, and since I live on my own, I ended up with a lot of leftovers! However it was through experimenting with how to use those leftovers that I began to truly appreciate the versatility of the dish as a whole. For instance, it makes for a great topping to a shepherd's pie style dish, and once cooled it can even be mixed with a pinch of flour and then shaped into patties to fry up. I also used the peel from the potatoes (I hate waste) to make a potato peel soup by boiling them with herbs and milk before blitzing the mixture up, which therefore made even more meals for such a small price tag. Out of all the recipes I've learned on my journey through Dish of the Week, Donegal Potatoes might just be the one I will go back to the most. I especially loved it with a dash of sriracha, although I'm not sure exactly how Athony Finnegan would feel about that!

3 pound potatoes
the type or size of potato doesn't matter, it's just whatever you can get
2 ounce grated cheese
similarly no particular cheese is specified here
1/2 pint milk
why is milk still served in pints? I must research that at some point
1 large onion finely chopped
in future I will use a grater for this, I hate finely chopping things
chopped chives to taste
I used spring onions instead hope you don't mind
  1. Peel, boil and drain potatoes in normal way.
  2. Mash potatoes.
  3. Warm milk, then add chopped chives and seasoning.
  4. Place potatoes in bowl, pour warmed milk over potatoes.
  5. Beat together lightly with a fork at the same time adding chopped onion.
  6. Fork top of potatoes.
  7. Sprinkle on grated cheese.
  8. Place in a moderate oven (450F gas mark 6) until top turns golden brown.