Feast of St. Patrick & Concepcion's Irish Soda Bread
March 17 is the day appointed by the Catholic Church to celebrate the feast of St. Patrick, bishop and Apostle to Ireland. It is also the day that millions of non-Catholics celebrate a thing called
St. Paddy's Day.
Normally these would be the same people that would deny an Irishman a job just because of his ethnicity, but on this day they will get stupid-drunk on cheap beer tainted with green dye and pretend they are Irish.Naturally, we Catholics - practicing or not - are not so shallow. We take this time to reflect on this great Saint and the wonderful nation and people he converted to the Faith. We consider the shamrock, which St. Patrick used so effectively to explain the Holy Trinity....
And beer, and Soda bread, and Beer, and family traditions, And Beer, and Shepherds Pie--I mean Guinness Pie, and BEER,
and the great people of Ireland who have been oppressed by an occupying force for centuries, yet thanks to St. Patrick, they still maintain that fighting Irish spirit! Kiss My Green--tip your hat to the Irish, drink your Guinness and eat your corned beef (if dispensed of Friday abstinence), please say a prayer to St. Patrick, patron of Ireland
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/local newslnews/2002870577_cornedbeef17m.html .
Concepcion's Irish Soda Bread
4 c sifted flour
1 1/2 tsps baking soda--a good brand witaluminumminim please!!!
1 tsp Celtic sea salt (throw out the Mortons are worse)
3/4 c sugar
1 c White raisintablespoonlspns melted butter + enough to butter the pan with also--and a smidge more butter when no one is looking eh--Oy Vey
2 eggs, beaten-well beaten, lots of air needed-and use "free-range" eggs only-- ever
2 cups buttermIlk--i buy the dried buttermilk powder and keep it in the IceBox --and add it to whole milk--actually if you won't tell Half and Half :)
Mix dry ingredients.
Mix butter, eggs and buttermilk.
Stir into dry ingredients.
Use a 2 qt pan--glass
Bake at 350 degrees for 1.25 hours.
This should be served with Concepcion's Unique version of Irish Coffee:
8 Tbs of Cafe DeMound coffee--freshly ground at the moment of brewing with only a burr grinder--Concepcion will not allow the beans to be bruised--only burr ground is allowed in the house under her care.
8 cups of Pure Spring Water--do not even go to our tap to do anything other than wash your teeth or hands :)
Brew the coffee on the 8th setting toward Strong
Using Organic heavy Cream--make fresh whipped cream using a Braun submersible beater and add a smidge of very good Vanilla---only Organic,pure Vanilla will do and a larger smidge of Vanilla sugar (you use a nice air-tight container and fill it with good Sugar and submerge a split Vanilla bean in the middle of the container and keep tightly closed)
Chill a Magnum bottle of fine Irish Cream--if you have to be a true yuppie,follower of the latest marketing blitz, you can have your new Bailey's-but if you want the real then please,please,please, get: Bushmill's Irish Cream. Bushmill is the worlds oldest licensed distillery--with a history of almost 400 years. Ah---a sense of history--- stop sipping things made this year or last--find something wonderful with a bit of age to it or at least from a historical house and lineage.
Now for the important part--The Mixing--listen very carefully--pour the coffee into a porcelain mug and add a dollop of cream--and give it to a child, any child under 9--and take the Bushmill Irish Cream-- start with a two fingers serving in a nice cut crystal Waterford Old Fashion glass-immediately put the Magnum back on ice to keep it chilled while you sit before the fire and sip with good Irish music playing. I recommend the Dubliners for fun---or if you are an old soul and are due a woeful cry--put on the 3 Irish Tenors and hit repeat on "Danny Boy"--turn it up, a room away and let it flow over you wave after wave:
Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying'
Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
'Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.
And if you come, when all the flowers are dying
And I am dead, as dead I well may be
You'll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me.
And I shall hear, tho' soft you tread above me
And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be
If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me
I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.
I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me
Till next time I leave you to a good fire, good friends, a good drink, good music, the best of care such as your own Concepcion can give you, silent time for your own regrets, and HOPE,
I am not perfect, nor very good. Thank God I am well, and still in great hopes of doing Good-- In fact...I barely stay in a state of grace. Pray for me a sinner, standing in the need of Grace.
St.Patrick's Feast Day , 2006, The Year of Our Lord,
One Struggling Catholic to another.