Cooking Post: St. Patrick’s Day and the Author is Amiss

Spring is here, it only awaits the official moment of the equinox in a few days. With the lengthening and warming days comes the happy celebration of the Irish. Long-time readers of this blog will know I hold no esteem for St. Patrick himself, but I love the Irish from deep in my soul. There is no way I can ignore the day (tomorrow) when everybody in the world claims the bit of Irish blood coursing in their veins or imaginations.

My own claim is somewhere around half, with that part of me sharing a small mixture with Scots, English, and um, Cherokee. Very sparse, that last one.

Like any special day, my celebratory bent is toward food and drink. Decorations are nice, but mostly beyond my ability. So I set the table with my Irish lace tablecloth (we bought it on our first trip to Ireland in 2003) and the shamrock napkins leftover from some party many years ago. Then I concentrate on food.

The happy day itself is tomorrow, but we have non-Irish plans previously made, which is okay, it just means I must celebrate early. And twice, since I can still wear my Irish socks and earrings tomorrow. It’s the little things.

So today I’m cooking, and that’s where I made a disconcerting discovery. I somehow misplaced the recipe for my very favorite Irish Soda Bread. I discovered this late last night and simply could not go to bed until I’d found it. How could I lose it? My mind was blank. I couldn’t even remember where the recipe originated. I was pretty sure it wasn’t one of my cookbooks, although I did look through my Irish Food and Cooking and Celtic Folklore Cooking. Of course, I got caught up in all the great recipes in those books, so it took me a while to escape them.

Was it in my file cabinet of recipes from my chef days? That felt right, but when I looked in the Bread file, it was empty, due to a frustrated purge of paper I engaged in a year or so ago. Seriously, if you saw this place you’d understand.

Well, I couldn’t believe that under any circumstances that I would have thrown away that recipe. It was here somewhere. Or on my computer, which was my next attack.

Nope, not on Evernote. Well surely, I blogged about it at some point. But a search of my blog did not yield anything for terms of soda bread. How could that be? I’ve been blogging for over ten years and I don’t have a single post on Irish soda bread?

Yes, this is why I’m posting now. How dare I fail to do that?

But… not on my blog. Did I get the recipe from Bob’s Red Mill? Cooking Light?

Cooking Light was a possibility – I had a vague impression of holding a torn-out page from a magazine. But that page would have been in my Bread file. Sadly, Cooking Light’s website is a nightmare to navigate due to all the ads, and I didn’t feel strong enough to tackle it last night.

But THEN I remembered! The bread recipe was part of a St. Patrick’s appetizer page along with a salmon topping. As such, it wouldn’t have been in my Bread file – it would be under Appetizers. So back to the file cabinet and YES – there it was! Whew!

It is indeed a Cooking Light recipe and you can find it here, although they may demand that you join up or sign your life away or something. Truly awful website. The bread’s True Name is Brown Soda Bread, and it’s made with whole wheat flour, steel-cut oats and a bit of brown sugar. It’s AWESOME bread and it makes great toast, too.

So that will be my Irish treat today, along with a simple braised chicken more-or-less taken from Irish Food and Cooking. This will not be a Vegan day. After dinner libations will be an Irish Flag Shooter.


Oh, and now I have soda bread, and the LINK to my favorite soda bread recipe, right here on my website. I will now be able to find it, always. But since I don’t trust Cooking Light to always let me access this particular recipe since I no longer subscribe to their magazine, I’m scanning said recipe into my computer. It will be on Evernote. I’m also adding it to my Yummly account.

And I’m keeping the torn-out page in my file forever.

Happy Spring, and may your souls always be Irish!