St. Paddy's Day

by Maria Elena Rodriguez
Print Email

st-patricks-day-dancing.jpgI used to hate St. Patrick’s Day.

I grew up with working class Irish-American kids in one of the biggest Catholic parishes in San Francisco. All the nuns and the priests were Irish. They spoke with thick Irish brogues. Many of my classmates’ parents had brogues. On St. Paddy’s Day everybody else faked a brogue. They’d play that grinding fiddle music and make us do these silly step dances. Then somebody would pass the hat for the IRA.

If you weren’t Irish, you couldn’t wait for this holiday to be over.

Years later I visited Ireland. I found that St. Pat’s Day wasn’t as big a deal there. In fact, St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish. He was a Roman taken slave by pirates or some other “pagans” and brought to Ireland. Corned beef and cabbage was not the national dish. As a B&B owner explained to me, a true Irish dinner was probably potatoes and seaweed. A poor family in Ireland couldn’t afford meat. Only in America would they be so lucky.

One thing they always had was soda bread. Tonight I cranked up my Irish playlist (The Chieftains and Van Morrison, The Waterboys, Donal Lunny, U2) and baked a loaf. It’s the best non-yeast bread around. It makes great toast in the morning.

QUICK IRISH SODA BREAD

Sift into a large bowl:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbls sugar

Cut into flour mixture with fork or food processor:

1/4 cup chilled shortening

Stir in (optional)
1/2 cup currants or
2 tsps caraway seeds

Mix flour/shortening mixture with:

1 beaten egg
2/3 cup buttermilk

Stir well. Knead briefly with hands. Place onto a greased 8-inch round pan. (Press down dough until almost flat.) Cut a cross into the top. Brush the top with milk.

Bake 35-40 mins in 375 degree oven. Check doneness with a knife.

 


Maria Elena Rodriguez is a writer who lives in California and has her own blog about food and travel called Madriguez.  

 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

 

restaurant news

Letter from Palm Beach: Renato's
Florida
by Nancy Ellison

el_mirasol.jpgPalm Beach is different from other tidy resort cities that line the Florida Coast. While remarkably tidy, it is also both eccentric and pretty, and I do believe it has its own wacky, elegant soul.

... Read more...
An Evening at Trois Mec
Los Angeles
by Lisa Dinsmore

ludoBefore Trois Mec opened, being able to claim you attended one of Chef Ludo Lefebvre's infamous LudoBites pop-ups was sort of a badge of honor amongst Angelenos. An elusive and super cool...

Read more...
Hel's Kitchen: I Itz at Mugaritz
Europe
by Bruce Cormicle

mugaritz.jpgThe 3-star Michelin restaurant Mugaritz (rated 3rd in the Top Fifty Restaurants of the World) is high up in hills of Errenteria, Spain twenty minutes outside of San Sebastian. It is...

Read more...
A Lingering Lunch at Terzo Piano
Chicago
by Lisa Dinsmore

chicago03.jpgWe usually go to Chicago once a year to see my husband's family. We rarely get into the city since they live in the suburbs, but this time around we got the chance to spend a few days downtown,...

Read more...