concoction of vegetable stock, thickened with oatmeal and enriched with
milk, Brothch/an Buide was the favorite pottage of St. Columba.
There is a story that when Lent came around the saint decided to mortify
himself with ersatz broth, so he instructed his cook to put nothing into
the broth except water and nettles, with a taste of salt on Sundays.
"Is nothing else to go into it, your Reverence?" asked the cook in
horror. "Nothing except what comes out of the pot stick," the saint
This went on for two weeks. The saint grew thinner and weaker, and the
cook grew more and more worried. And then, all of a sudden, St. Columba
started to put on weight again and the worried look left the cook's
face. The devoted lay brother had made himself a hollow pot stick down
which he poured milk and oatmeal. Thus he was able to preserve his
master from starvation and himself from the horrible sins of
disobedience and lies.
When questioned by the saint he was able to assure him honestly that
nothing went into the broth save what came out of the pot stick.
Ingredients: 45 cups chicken stock, 4 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup flour,
2 tablespoons flake oatmeal, ,1 medium onion, 1 stick celery, 1 small
carrot, 1 3/4 cups spinach, 2 tablespoons cream, pepper and salt to
taste, 1 tablespoon parsley.
Method: To stock add chopped celery, onion, carrot and salt and pepper
to taste. Cook 30 minutes. Knead butter and flour together and add to
stock. Sprinkle in oatmeal and add chopped spinach. simmer 15 minutes.
Pass through a sieve, correct seasoning, stir in cream. Sprinkle with
minced parsley.-Maura Laverty, Feasting Galore., 1952/61.