Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Colin's family has a fair bit of Irish in them.  My side has a little too.  So to celebrate, here's a recipe for Irish Soda Bread.  It was given to me as a 'old family recipe', but I think it's not as old as my friend thought.  It uses baking powder and that was only available late 19th century.  But it does stick to traditional ingredients with modest use of fat and sugar.
Irish Soda Bread -makes 2
4 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 T bk powder
1 t bk soda
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 c butter
2 c currants
1 egg
1 3/4 c buttermilk
Combine all the dry ingredients.  Cut in butter.  Mix in currants.  Combine egg and buttermilk, then add to dry ingredients.  Knead dough gently until combined/smooth.  Divide dough in half and shape into rounds, flatten a bit and cut a cross on top.  Place on a lined cookie sheet.  Bake 350F for 35-40 min.
Those of us up here in chilly Canada are starting to crave fresh fruit, especially if you don't buy fruit and vegetables from questionable countries.  When I saw some yummy strawberries on sale I had to buy them.  They are from the US, but I don't have much options for that yet.

We eat our strawberries with real shortcake, not angel food/sponge cakes.   This recipe also makes a very yummy tea biscuit.  1 cup of currants can also be added.

Shortcakes -makes 18 (depending on size)
4 c flour
1 c sugar
1 T bk powder
1 t bk soda
1 c butter
2 c buttermilk
coarse sugar for sprinkling
Combine dry ingredients.  Cut in butter.  Add currants (if using) and stir in milk.  These are a drop biscuit, so stir just until combined.  Drop onto lined cookie sheets and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake 375F for 15 minutes.
For really good shortcake, use them warm from the oven.  And of course real sweetened whipped cream on top.

How's this for an amazing sign of spring?  Last week, the garden was under 2 feet of snow.  Today we found this!!

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