Growing up with a mixed background (Irish, Scottish, Ukrainian, German…), I felt slightly disconnected from culture. I had a lot of Ukrainian influence from my Baba, but on my Dad’s side, there wasn’t a ton of culture in my life. St. Patty’s dad was really only the day for green mashed potatoes and beer, which looking back seems kind of lame. Couldn’t I have gotten my yellow#5 and blue#1 any day of the year? Whatever, chocolate-green milk was pretty kick ass.
Now the holiday in college has taken on this whole new persona. People go crazy for those tacky light up necklaces (that sometimes would make anyone go in epileptic shock) and anything green. The weather also has this ridiculous effect on people. They wear less clothing, which causes them to drink more, remove more clothing, and then drink more because they realize they’re half naked. It’s this vicious cycle of shit-show-ery, that can start at 8 a.m. because it’s St. Patrick’s Day! Fortunately I was lucky enough (and c’mon I should’ve been as an Irish gal) to witness some drunk messes in my classes. It’s the Michigan difference!
Anyway I decided to celebrate my making a little thing called Irish Soda bread. I’ve had it numerous times before, but always felt like it lacked moistness that made it worth my time. I got inspired last night, and hit up the People’s Food Co-Op for some last minute ingredients (apple cider vinegar, raisins). They were out of caraway seeds (apparently everyone else had the same brilliant idea that I did to make Irish Soda Bread…), so this recipe lacks ‘em. Next time I will likely put them in, just to see if I like it.
In slightly other news, I tested out my new camera! The bread pics are from it, and I’m pleased. It has a food setting. For nothing else, this camera is winning (Charlie Sheen style).
I also dabbled with a Seitan recipe. Seitan is this great protein source that is made from viral wheat gluten. For me it tastes less like eating a sponge than tofu. My recipe is a work in progress. I’ll keep you posted.
Here’s the Irish Soda Bread:
2 c. soymilk
3 T apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
2 c. unbleached flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 sugar (turbinado or evaporated cane sugar works well)
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 cup raisins or currants (I used both)
2 T Earth Balance
Preheat oven to 350.
1) Combine soymilk and vinegar in a small bowl.
2) Whisk together dry ingredients, saving a little flour on the side.
3) Mix the raisins with the reserved flour until they are coated (this helps them keep their shape!), and add them to the dry ingredients.
4) Add Earth Balance and break it into small pieces in the dry ingredients.
5) Add the wet to the dry and slowly knead until just combined.
6) Dump the dough onto a greased pan and form into a circle. Place an “x” across the bread.
7) Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until done!
Irish Soda Bread!