Friday, March 13, 2009

St. Patrick's Day

In our home St. Patrick's Day is a fun day to celebrate with family, food, and traditions. Even if you didn't celebrate yesterday, make this bread! It's basically a large buttermilk biscuit studded with raisins. Slather it with good organic salted butter if you want to go to Shamrock heaven. LOL!

You don't have to be Catholic or even Irish to celebrate this saint. He was a follower of Jesus Christ and sacrificed his life to spread the gospel in Ireland. Go to the library and find a book about this saint before you don your green, or even think about putting green food coloring in everything you eat March 17th.

Although not the traditional way to celebrate St. Patrick's day in Ireland, we enjoy corned beef and cabbage along with Irish Soda Bread each year. Below is a recipe shared by my husband's boss's wife. This man was from Ireland and came to America with the name of one man to contact for a job. He was given the job, and then later when he became President of that same company, he gave my husband a job in the same circumstances. My husband became Vice President of that company and then later went on to start his own business.
Try this bread recipe, it's more like a large biscuit with a nice crust and yummy raisins.

Mary Ward's Irish Soda Bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 9 inch round pie plate or cast iron skillet.
4 cups flour3 Tbsp. sugar1 Tbsp. baking powder1 tsp. baking soda1 tsp. salt6 Tbsp. butter, cold and cut into pats1 1/2 cup raisins1 1/2 cups buttermilk2 eggs, beaten. Reserve 2 Tbsp. for brushing on the top.Extra flour for kneading.
Mix the first 5 ingredients together. Cut in butter with two knives or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in raisins until they are well coated with flour and separated.Mix buttermilk in with remaining beaten eggs. DON'T forget to reserve two Tablespoons. Stir into flour mixture until flour is moistened. Don't over mix. Dough will be sticky.
Turn dough onto well-floured surface. With floured hands knead into a ball for about 10 strokes to mix thoroughly. Shape dough into a neat ball, place in plate or skillet. ( I prefer the skillet)In center of bread with a sharp knife cut a 4 inch cross about 1/4 inch deep. Brush with reserved beaten egg.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes.
This is best eaten hot out of the oven and slathered with butter. My family fights over the big, chunky, crusty parts.It's also good toasted the next day. Enjoy.

Our St. Patrick's Day menu:

Roasted Salmon with Pesto
Corned Beef
Colcannon, a mixture of cabbage and mashed potatoes, and onions
Regular Mashed Potatoes
Sauteed Cabbage
Irish Soda Bread
Yingling (for the beer wimps, uh, that would be me!)
Key Lime Pie

No, Key Lime Pie is NOT Irish, it's just this Irish family's favorite so my daugther makes and we eats it, with lots of whipped cream. Yum!


Renna said...

What an interesting post, Dana, along with a mouthwatering menu!

I made Marilyn's roasted cabbage a few weeks ago (YUM!); now, I'd like to try your sauteed cabbage. How do you do it, exactly?

My Open Nest said...

Renna, My mom brought the sauteed cabbage and I've e-mailed her to find out the details. She told me at dinner, but I don't remember much about how she did it.