St. Patrick's Day and MeWritten by Glynis Neves
St. Patrick's Day has always been one of my favorite days of the year. An entire day for me to show my pride in my Irish heritage! What a great thing! My mother thought so, too. She would go all out every March 17th. Shamrocks decorated our windows, pots of "gold" coins were scattered throughout the house, and we always had a special meal to end the day.
St. Patrick's Day Meal
Every year my mother would make a dinner of corned beef and cabbage with soda bread. It was one of my favorite meals of the year. When I got married, I decided to carry the tradition into my own home. I began to do some research and found that corned beef and cabbage was not, technically, an Irish meal. It became a meal for Irish immigrants because corned beef was a cheap cut of meat; easily affordable. I was a bit disappointed, at first, that my favorite meal was not authentically Irish. However, I decided to continue serving it, since my Irish great-great grandfather mentioned eating it in his journal. Whew! Saved!
I also found out that the soda bread that I loved was not typical, as well. The recipe I have is sweeter than normal, and studded with raisins or currants. It's actually more of a "tea" or dessert bread, than a hearty dinner breat. The recipe, however, comes straight from my Irish ancestors. Every time I make this recipe, I like to picture them; sleeves rolled up, kneading the bread. In my mind's eye, I see a long line of strong Irish women and I'm thankful I'm a part of that line!
Download a copy of my family's Irish Soda Bread recipe here. Even if you've never made bread before, give this one a try. It'll bring out the Irish in you.
As the Irish say, "May you always have a sunbeam to warm you, good luck to charm you, and a sheltering angel so nothing can harm you." Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Irish Soda Bread
Mom's Irish Soda Bread
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. baking powder
3/4 C. sugar
3 1/2 C. flour
1 1/4 C. buttermilk
1/4 C. melted butter
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 C. raisins
Mix all dry ingredients together thoroughly. Add the buttermilk, melted butter and eggs. Mix well until it comes together into a ball. Mix in the raisins. Knead into a ball and place on a well-greased cookie sheet. Cut a cross in the top and brush with melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Brush with more melted butter as it comes out of the oven.
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