Monday, March 20, 2006

Luck O' the Irish . . . and Chinese.

So, in the midst of all of the gunk that happened in my life at the end of last week, I somehow forgot that Friday was St. Patrick's Day! Now, while I'm not a major holiday-celebrater, one of my rituals is to make myself a loaf of Irish Soda Bread each year, to enjoy on St. Patty's day, and beyond. (And yes, I have some Irish ancestry -- about a quarter, I think.)

So, this year, I took a little belated luck, and made myself two mini-loaves of Soda Bread yesterday. I wholegrained it and veganized it and I have to say, it's really not nearly as good as the original. But it's still pretty good -- I had two slices for breakfast today, among other things. (I think that, because the bread is quite neutral/delicate tasting in its original form, the whole wheat flour overpowered the loaf.) I'll have to try making it again some other time, and continue to play with the recipe. Here's the non-vegan, less healthy version:

1. Combine 2 cups of AP flour, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cut in 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
2. Combine 3/4 cup plus two tablespoons of buttermilk with 1/2 cup golden raisins. Stir the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients just until everything is combined.
3. Shape the dough into a round on a greased cookie sheet. Cut a cross shape into the top of the dough, about a quarter-inch deep, then bake the dough for 40 minutes at 375.

(I used whole wheat pastry flour, natural granulated sugar, nonhydrogenated shortening, and 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of soy milk mixed with 1 teaspoon of white vinegar to replace the buttermilk. I also used regular raisins, since I didn't have golden raisins.)

After I enjoyed a little Luck O' the Irish, I enjoyed a little Chinese good luck as well. Chelsea, Olivia, Jon, and I ate at LeeAnn Chin for lunch today, and my two fortunes were as follows:

"The only certain thing about luck is that it will change." AND,

"Your plans are going to succeed."


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