Irish Soda Bread

Kiss the Cook; She’s Irish

St. Patrick’s Day is a great occasion to establish a family dining tradition. Just as many Southerners would not let New Year’s Day pass without a meal of collard greens and black-eyed peas, many Irish descendants would not let St. Patrick’s Day pass without corned beef and cabbage. Your family will look forward to the annual meal.

The menu:
• corned beef – available in food stores and cooked according to package directions
• carrots (optional) – add to the corned beef 45 minutes before it is due to be done
• cabbage – cut a head into 8 pieces and add to corned beef about 30 minutes before it is due to be done
• Irish soda bread – see the recipe below
• green beer and for the younger ones, dye the milk or serve green Kool-Aid
• dessert can be a simple sugar cookie, drizzled with green frosting

Erin go bragh! Ireland will live forever in your home (or at least once a year)!

Irish Soda Bread

4 cups white flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. butter, chilled
1 cup raisins (optional)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl..
Cut in the butter until it is pea-sized. Stir in the raisins and buttermilk . Turn the dough onto a floured surface, knead 1 minute, and shape into a flattened ball.
Cut an “X” in the top and bake on a greased baking sheet for 40 50 minutes. Bread should sound hollow when tapped.

Serves 4-6.