Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day! And now a lesson in being Irish.

....It always seemed a little odd to me that there is a holiday that celebrates being Irish. I mean yeah we are actually that awesome that I can understand wanting to be Irish, but other people are awesome, too. Like Norwegians (Vikings ruled), or Australians

or Brazilians

but we don't have holidays where everyone pretends to be Brazilian. 

Whatevs, that is not the reason for this post. 

The real reason is the massive misconception that Americans have regarding soda bread.

Every year on St. Patrick's Day (or maybe St. Paddy's, but it is NEVER EVER EVER "St. Patty's." Patty is a woman's name. Patrick is shortened to Paddy), I see people making this thing that they call "Irish soda bread."

I understand how corned beef became known as an Irish thing*, but not this. Mainly because

1. Irish people are the pickiest eaters I have ever met. They do like strange things in their food, such as weird seeds that do not belong in bread, or raisins that also do not belong in bread. I am considered a freak in my family because I eat "weird" food and enjoy it, and because I put veggies like peas and carrots in my shepherds pie (this is a huge no-no in my family, shepherds pie should contain meat and potatoes only).


2. Irish people are poor. Raisins are expensive. Perhaps not here and now, but way back when in Ireland, they were expensive.

If you went to Éire and asked for soda bread, you would receive this:

Plain brown bread. 

But just because it's plain, doesn't mean it isn't delicious. Especially slathered in butter, or dipped in soup. So here is great-granny's recipe.

You will need:
- 4 cups flour
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. baking soda (where the name "soda bread" comes from)
- 2 cups buttermilk

To make it:
Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda together. Make a well in the middle of the mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Mix it all together until well blended. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface, and then press into rounds that are about 1 - 2 inches thick. Use a butter knife to cut crosses into the top. 

Traditionally, the bread was baked in cast iron pots over a stove. You can do that if you like--put a little flour in the pot or pan and bake the bread over medium-low heat, 10 - 15 minutes on each side. I've never had success with that, and neither did Granny. You can bake the bread in the oven at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes.

It tastes even better the next day. I made those two massive loaves and they're already gone....

Enjoy your St. Paddy's days, kids! Try not to get too drunk. 

*We do not eat corned beef in Ireland. No one in my family even knew what it was until I explained it to them. It was something Irish immigrants  in the US made because the meat was cheap and Irish people are poor.


  1. I actually didn't know corned beef was an Irish(-American) thing. Oh the things I learn. I'm not even being sarcastic; I love the stuff. I don't quite understand the concept of not wanting peas and carrots in a shepherds pie either. I don't think I've managed to encounter one without them in. A cottage pie maybe, but not a shepherds pie. I also remain adamant that there is a difference. The difference being that cottage pies have beef and shepherds pies have lamb. I think Wikipedia backed me up on that claim when I finally looked it up.

    1. The cottage pie vs. shepherd's pie debate has been raging in my family for decades.

    2. LMAO in your family too? It must be an Irish thing, my dad's fam is the same way. Most of them believe the opposite of Mark though. Cottage pie is lamb, shepherds is beef. We put carrots in ours, but no peas.

  2. PELE *_*

    The american version of soda bread is nasty. I hate raisins. I have cousins that put cranberries in it as well. NO THANKS. Thank god grandma makes it the right way

  3. About the only good thing about my first two wives is they made great soda bread.
    Soda bread is really good...but not that good.

  4. 'Straya - where the spiders are so big that have health bars.
    Ooh, thanks for the recipe. Kinda reminds me of damper. Mum and I debate over shepherd's pie vs. cottage pie too. She generally uses the terms interchangeably.
    Happy St Patrick's Day!

  5. I'm not sure I've ever tried it, but I still wonder why the soda part on the name. Esp. if there is no soda flavor in it. Hmm, It kind of feels like I just left a pretty blond comment right there.

  6. This confuses the fuck out of me, too.

    I'm a little confused as to why the USA in particular would want to celebrate 'being Irish', espeically after the way Irish immigrants were treated.

    Brain. . . just doesn't understand.

  7. P.S.
    Lol, yes that makes you sound like a Colossal Yank. (Picture a 30-foot tall DragonMich stomping all over the place. THAT is what I mean by Colossal. Really tall/long)

    You managed to get home yet or are you still snowed in? Let me know when you're home. I keep getting more threads for your package instead of saving up postage money. (Retail therapy after therapy, Needle'N'Thread helps more than Kerys atm)

    Hmmm good point. Anti-accidental-demon-provoking. Gonna do that.

    Take care, Dragonmich <3

  8. I've never heard of Irish Soda Breat. Hmm, must try it one day.


We say whatever we want to whomever we want, at all times.