Oh my GOODNESS! And I do mean GOODNESS. I made my annual Irish meal for the St. Patrick's holiday. This year it fell on a Saturday so I decided to make it a Sunday Supper the following day, since that is our reward day and carbs are allowed! So I went SOOOOO cabacious!! The meal started with appetizers. Sweet LAWD! Home made pretzels, beer cheese dip, cream cheese dip, and creamy mustard dip. OUTRAGEOUS! Next we had a shamrock salad - with REAL SHAMROCKS! It also had almonds, crunchy celery, Swiss cheese, and was tossed in a home made white wine vinegar-vinaigrette. Main was pulled home made corned beef, cabbage and red potatoes, side of from-skrizzatch Irish soda bread (soft, wonderful, and AMAZING slathered with Irish butter!), and for dessert - grasshopper pie, minus the grasshoppers!
Though I outdid myself - if I do say so myself, and I DO - my kitchen looked like a tornado had blown through it the next morning. But ask me if it was worth the clean up. GO on, ASK ME! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaasss!
Below, I have the recipe for the Irish soda bread. So easy you will want to make it way more often than just for March! Slainte! ('to your good health")
IRISH SODA BREAD
4 cups flour
4 tbs sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, super-softened
1 cup buttermilk (I make my own! See notes below!)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and butter. Stir in the one cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round of sorts and place on prepared baking sheet (see notes). In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush the top of your round loaf with a little of the buttermilk / butter mixture. Use a very sharp knife to cut an "x"; into the top of the loaf round. Bake about 45 minutes, or until golden brown, brushing the loaf with the buttermilk / butter mixture every fifteen minutes or so until it's gone.
NOTES: To make my own buttermilk, I pour two tablespoons of white vinegar into a measuring cup and pour milk over it until it reaches remaining one cup. Need more? for each cup of milk you add two more tablespoons of vinegar. Let sit at least 20 minutes. It's so easy and you don't have to buy buttermilk and then wonder what to do with what's left over!