Monday, March 17

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day (or weekend, as it has been this year) is always a big event in Chicago. My German-born mother once told me that her father claims Oktoberfest is a bigger deal in Chicago than in Germany, and I wonder if the same might be true of St. Patrick's Day here vs. Ireland.

I am exactly 0% Irish, but my husband embraces his part-Irish-ness and I get to play along. I have my mother-in-law's recipe for Irish soda bread and I gave it a whirl this year. It is actually fake soda bread since it contains raisins, sugar, baking powder, and butter. (Hmmm... I really don't think I can call it soda bread at all after looking at traditional recipes. I guess we can just call it a good quick bread recipe. But we'll just keep that between us - no use spoiling my hubby's fun!)

fake soda bread

It came out very tasty, even if the loaves aren't the prettiest things in the world. The recipe is actually supposed to make one larger loaf, but I split it in half since I wanted to give some to my Dad.

(Let's Pretend This Is) Irish Soda Bread

3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter
1 and 1/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup raisins

Sift dry ingredients together. Cut in margarine using a pastry cutter or food processor until crumbly. Add raisins and mix well. Stir in buttermilk.

Knead gently on a floured board for about 30 seconds.

Place in a greased loaf pan or shape into a round loaf on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 55-60 minutes, or until the top is a golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.


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