Teaching Irish Soda Bread
Irish Soda Bread taught
The smell of the Irish Soda Bread wafted through the lower school hall. The ancient ovens were transforming the fifth-grade creations from unlikely lumps of dough into soon-to-be consumed delights.
Surprised that I would be asked to share my rather limited cooking talents, I approached the task with enthusiasm.
St. Patrick's Day was looming so my Irish Soda Bread was a logical choice. For years my soda bread and the little green cupcakes with plastic shamrocks were the heralds of March 17.
My fondness for St. Patrick went beyond the soda bread, cupcakes, rivers flowing green, festive parades, and the ever-popular green beer.
As a chaplain and CCD teacher, I am challenged regularly to explain the trinity in a readily digestible fashion.
"Is it one leaf or three?" St. Patrick challenged, holding up a three-leaf clover. This simple question provided a tangible explanation of the Trinity, a concept that boggles many Catholics. Something to hold on to - literally - while swimming the seas of theological inquiry.
The big day arrived. I came armed with flour butter, raisins, buttermilk and sugar. Not much to it but it was fun to see my daughter's classmates surrounding the various bowls I scarfed up in the school's antiquated kitchen. The gas ovens roared, lit with a match, ready to accept our offerings.
It was a happy day filled with smiling faces, intoxicating smells and the sounds of a good saint, celebrated well.
FIFTH-GRADE SUPER DUPER IRISH SODA BREAD
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Sift together in a large bowl:
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Cut ¼ cup chilled butter into the flour with a pastry blender or two forks, until the mixture has the consistency of coarse cornmeal:
½ to 1 cup raisins
1 beaten egg
2/3 cup buttermilk
Add to dry ingredients and stir well. Knead briefly and place in a greased 8-inch round pan. Press down so dough will fill the pan. Cut a bold cross over the top and sides.
Brush the top with milk.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes until nice and golden. Enjoy!
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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