I’m half Irish, half Norwegian. We won’t go into what that means but let’s just say if it has butter, I’m in. (Hence my love of Joy the Baker. I digress.)
Every year my grandparents make a lovely St. Patrick’s Day meal – corned beef, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, irish cheese and I make soda bread and bring a beer for us all to split and some kind of dessert. It’s tradition.
It’s also tradition that I cannot find the stupid soda bread recipe. Every flipping year! I did a huge google search last year and nothing comes even close and Grandma tried to give me the recipe and I told her she should keep it because I would lose it – and this year – lost it.
Last night, she gave me the original. Ugh! Not wise!
So, to problem solve, I’m typing it up so that it’s somewhere and, as an extra perk, I get to share it with you. It is a lovely bread and for me, a beginning of spring. St. Patrick’s Day on the Oregon Coast is misty, rainy, grey, dampness. It is also rich green, new buds just starting to show, and daffodils. It is an increase of eggs from the hens and many very wet dog walks. This soda bread – studded with currants and laced with caraway seeds and loaded with rich golden butter and orange yolked eggs – is the embodiment of this transition from winter to full flowering spring.
(magazine clipping from Country Living, March 2000, p. 118)
5 T of butter
3 c unsifted flour
3/4 c sugar
1 T baking powder
1 1/2 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 1/4 c currants
1 3/4 c buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1 T plus 1 t caraway seeds
1. Heat oven to 350. Grease 12″ cast iron skillet with 1 T of butter. Line bottom with waxed paper.
2. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Stir in currants.
3. Melt 2 T of butter. In a medium bowl, mix buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter. Stir into flour mixture until just combined. Fold in caraway seeds. Pour batter into prepared skillet and dot top with the remaining 2 T of butter.
4. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean – about one hour. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. (makes 8 servings).
I’m also making some other things – Grandpa wanted chocolate for dessert and Grandma wanted something with maple and The Gentleman has recently informed me that his favorite cookie is short bread. I really want to make a cake but with Easter two weeks away, I guess cookies it is for now and cake plans for another day.
And so two short bread experiments: chocolate oatmeal shortbread gf (not really our favorite but interesting) and then a canadian maple shortbread (which literally tastes like shortbread with maple). This gal here is just hoping they’ll like something at the end of it all – I did find some chocolate coins – this is actually a Christmas tradition in my household, but I’m sticking with the pot at the end of the rainbow jazz and we’re having extra chocolate… Or we can just eat more soda bread. Either way, that platter of cookies is staying at Grandma’s.
And just for funsies – last night, we went to dinner at our Greyhound Buddies house and I got to bring dessert – irish coffee pudding! Oh my! I could not wait to dig into those lovelies! I think I should probably make them again! (PS – super easy recipe and just throw into some mason jars to travel!)
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, everyone! Be safe! Have a designated driver! And raise a glass for me … I’ll be at work. Cheers!