Updated: Mar 20, 2019
In honor of the season of sprouting bulbs, falling snow, and of course St. Patrick and the luck of the Irish, “May The Lord Keep You In His Hand and Never Close His Fist Too Tight!” What?, You were expecting that old tried and true, “May the Road Rise To Meet You….”. No can do – in our family of Irish roots that run very deep, sarcasm is always part of the bargain, right up there with strong opinions about everything and even more so as the decibels rise.
I recall with great fondness the traditional St. Patty’s Day dinner - the odor of boiling cabbage (that smell did not rise to the level of aroma), bland boiled potatoes (never enough salt), and battles between the adults over whether to have corned beef or boiled ham butt and which mustard to put on the table – English, French, or good old yellow. Looking back I wonder if my inability to make some decisions is tied to the pantry (if I didn’t have a fabulous framer for my art, I’d grow old trying to make up my mind!). If we had one brand of mustard, we had 10; the same held true for peanut butter, mayonnaise, ketchup, paprika, cinnamon…oh, the list goes on!
One element of the holiday that I have carried forward is my Grandmother’s soda bread. I still have her recipe box and in her beautiful script on 3 x 5 cards along with the ingredients and instructions, she carefully documented her opinions of the recipes she treasured (because she didn’t have just one recipe…for anything). In honor my Grandmother’s legacy and heritage, I hope you enjoy this version of a family favorite. Sláinte!
“Marvellous Whole Wheat Soda Bread”.
2 Cups 100% whole wheat flour
2 Cups sifted all purpose flour
½ Cup wheat germ
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ Teaspoons salt
To the flour mixture Add:
2 Medium eggs, well beaten and added to 1 ¼ cups well soured buttermilk
1 Cup dairy sour cream
Optional additions are 1 cup raisins and 2 teaspoons caraway seeds.
Stir lightly to mix well (to form a dough). Turn the dough into a well-greased 9-inch iron skillet and bake in a pre-heated 425 degree oven for 40 – 45 minutes.
This is delicious, tender bread, wonderful warm, spread lavishly with whipped butter and honey or marmalade and of course tea or coffee.