Traditional Irish Food, Soda Bread and Corned Beef Alternative

In case anyone is interested in having some traditional Irish food on Saturday, here are a couple of recipes.

IRISH SODA BREAD

4 Cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
3 TBS. sugar
4 TBS cold butter
1 3/4 cups of buttermilk
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease and flour a round cake pan. Or use nostick.

Combine all dry ingredients in pan.Using a mixer, a pastry fork or blender, or your fingers, cut in the butter until it’s evenly distributed and no large chunks remain. Whisk together egg and buttermilk in separate bowl.

Make a well in center of dry ingredients and add buttermilk and egg mixture. Stir to form sticky dough. If it’s too crumbly to form together, add another tablespoon or two of buttermilk at a time. Place on floured surface and lightly knead a few times.

Shape into a round ball and then flatten the ball and cut  a cross in the top of dough with a knife. The closest a person can come to the traditional pan, is to put another cake pan over the top as a lid.

Bake 30 minutes. Remove the top pan and bake another 15 minutes.

Cover the bread with a damp cloth to keep it from drying out. Or if it gets eaten as fast as it does at our house. Spread some butter on the top of it.

Traditional Irish Soda Bread does not have eggs, or sugar in it, and if youadd currants or raisins to this, it is basically scones.

If you can’t find a corned beef, and you don’t have 3 weeks to do it yourself, here is a recipe for an alternative.

BRINED BEEF

1 gallon of water
1 cup of kosher salt (1/2 cup table salt)
1 cup of brown sugar or molasses

Take the large stockpot and place the beef inside. If there is not at least an inch of water covering the meat, mix up another half a gallon of water, with the salt and sugar measurements at half and pour over meat until it is an inch above the meat. Heat the brine water until boiling point is reached or until all of the salt is dissolved. Remove the brine water from the heat and allow to cool.

Once cooled and if the beef is not completely covered, add further cold water until it is completely submerged. Place a cover over the container and place it in the refrigerator. Allow the beef to tenderize for up to 12 hours. After the 12 hours, remove the beef from the container and thoroughly rinse.

Discard the brining solution; this will not be suitable for use. The total preparation time of the brining recipe is 1 hour. Proceed to cook as you normally would a roast.

This works for other meats, like turkey. And meat that has been marinated this way is excellent on the grill. You can also add herbs and spices like Bay leaves, Pickling spices, cloves, garlic, thyme, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, paprika, Onion, Chilies, Peppercorns. Poultry seasoning is good for turkey.

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The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.
– Douglas Adams, 1952 – 2001

Why do some insist upon doubting the existence of our Creator?

The fact that we live at …

March Weather and Rain

Yesterday was such an unexpectedly warm day for March. Spring appears to be
coming a little early this year. The temperatures were actually much more
like summer, near 80 degrees.

Today, the difference is dramatic. Rain, rain and more rain. I received these
quotes concerning rain in me inbox. They had a rather profound effect on me.

At once I felt, both uplifted and dejected after reading them; particularly after
reading the one by W.Somerset Maugham.

However you feel about rain, read these and then go to your window, watch the
rain and see if your perspective is changed.

Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
– Susan Ertz., 1894 – 1985

The rain fell alike upon the just and upon the unjust, and for nothing was there a why and a wherefore.
– W. Somerset Maugham, 1874 – 1965

Methought it lessened my esteem of a king, that he should not be able to command the rain.
– Samuel Pepys, 1633 – 1703

It’s raining again and once again I have had to put the studies I started to one side…. I am witnessing a complete transformation taking place in Nature, and my courage is failing as a result.
– Claude Monet, 1840 – 1926

If I were running the world I would have it rain only between 2 and 5 a.m. Anyone who was out then ought to get wet.
– William Lyon Phelps, 1865 – 1943

I see no wisdom in saving up indignation for a rainy day
– Heywood Hale Broun, 1918 – 2001

Journaling Inspiration?

I sometimes have so much bottled up inside of me and so many simultaneous trains of thoughts that I have no idea where to begin when I want to journal.

I recently found a good website for inspiration. There are good suggestions here whether you journal in the traditional manner, or you journal for scrapbooking.  http://debbiehodge.com/2012/03/keep-a-5-year-journal-progress-to-date-and-prompts-for-april/

There are suggestions here for 365 days of the year.