Pretending to be Irish
Sometimes, when we are studying the history of a particular country, I try to also plan a food to make from that country as a kind of cultural experience. We have made lamingtons while studying Australia, all kind of Italian breads for Italy, Aloo Gobi for India, and lots of dim sum for China.
Recently, my oldest son and I learned about the Irish potato famine that happened way back in the late 1800’s. This past weekend, of course, was St. Patrick’s Day. This day usually kind of passes us by. Most years I forget to even wear green. This year was going to be different. I planned to make a whole dinner of corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew and serve it with our TWD recipe for the week, Irish Soda Bread. The next day, I planned to make corned beef hash, one of the husband’s favorite brunch dishes.
Unfortunately, almost none of it happened. The boys were sick last week and we were busy getting ready for our trip out west. At the last minute, I was reluctant to make a huge meal that would leave use with too many leftovers that we would not be able to eat before we left. So, it turns out that the only thing I made for St. Patty’s Day was the Irish Soda bread.
It’s a ridiculously easy recipe and I would have had the boys help me if they weren’t coughing and hacking all over everything. So, I made it myself. I replaced half of the white flour with whole wheat flour and added 2/3 of a cup of currants and golden raisins.
I also added the zest of one orange to the buttermilk. Not wanting to get out my pastry board, I just kneaded the dough in the bowl. Just before I put it into the oven, I brushed it with some more buttermilk and sprinkled some rolled oats on top.
The husband was a little surprised when I told him there was no added fat in this recipe. No butter? Nope. I think he was also really skeptical that it would taste any good.
But it was good. Really good. Especially with some butter spread on top. The edges were nice and crunchy and lent a kind of nutty flavor. The fruit was a great addition–I’m not entirely sure I would like it plain, but it was really delicious with the fruit. I think it might be good with some lemon curd and a really good cup of tea, of course.