My dad's father was Irish and his mother was German which made him half Irish and me a wee bit Irish.
I'm not sure who enjoys celebrating St. Patrick's Day more, the Irish or the Irish Americans. Did you know that the first St. Patrick's Day Parade was held in New York City in 1792? And that the original soda bread was made by the Native Americans right here in North America hundreds of years before it made it to Ireland? Wherever it came from the Irish have made it their own. It's just not Saint Patrick's Day without leprechauns, shamrocks and Irish soda bread.
I used to have a wonderful recipe for Soda Bread which I used to make and bring to school each year in celebration of the patron saint of Ireland, but then several years went by when Saint Patrick's day didn't fall on a school day and over time I lost my recipe. This year, I decided to revive the tradition but I needed to find a new recipe. Last night I put it to the test.
This is my loaf all ready to go into the oven. There are several traditional reasons given for why the cross is cut across the top. Some believed it was to allow the devil to escape the bread while it baked and thus bring good luck. Others say it's just so the bread can be easily broken into four pieces. Still others believe it to be the Christian cross.
Here it is all crusty and warm from the oven...
and finally all sliced and ready to share with friends. I hope you enjoy the day. Don't forget to wear green and put an O' in front of your name. After all everyone is a wee bit Irish on Saint Patrick's Day.
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
The rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.