St. Paddy’s Day

I don’t have an Irish bone in my body but like every other full-blooded Saint Johnner I honour St Paddy’s Day.

I remember one year Ralph attending the annual St Patrick’s Day dinner for men only. He left the house, dressed to the nines, looking forward to an evening of male comradery. Typically, about 20 or so gents would start the evening at our neighbor”s  fabulous turn-of-the-century home, complete with stunning library where the men would commence drinking and smoking cigars before they made their way to the formal dinner.

Around midnight of the same night, I started watching the clock and wondering where Ralph had ended up. By 1:30 am, I was ready to head down to the pub and drag him home! I got out of bed, got dressed and as I unlocked the front door, it flew open. Ralph, sound asleep, had leaned against it while sitting on our front step, . He fell back into the entrance, looked up at me and grinned. “I couldn’t get me key in the lock and I didn’t want to wake ye,” he said in his best Irish brogue – ADORABLE

Last night, I made Irish Coddle and Soda Bread for dinner. It was a lovely, simple meal to prepare and absolutely delicious to eat!

Soda Bread

makes 1 loaf

preheat oven 450*F

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 3/4 cup buttermilk

In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, salt and soda together.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in buttermilk.

Mix to form a soft but not sticky dough.

Knead for a couple of minutes and shape into a round flat disk 2 ” high

Cut a deep cross on top of the loaf

Bake for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 400*F for a further 30 minutes.

Loaf should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom when it is cooked.

Coddle

preheat oven 350*F

serves 4

4 slices bacon, cut into 1″ pieces

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

8 large pork sausages

4 large potatoes, peeled and sliced thin

1 1/2 cup beer

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

Heat oil in heavy casserole and fry bacon for 2 minutes

Add onion and saute for 5 minutes

Add garlic and saute for 1 more minute

Add Sausages and brown on all sides

Remove sausages from the pan and place the thinly sliced potatoes on top of the onion and bacon mixture. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and sage.

Pour beer over potatoes and place sausages on top. Cover and place in oven for one hour.

Serve with Soda Bread.

May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

I have always loved this old Irish blessing. With my beautiful girls so far away…

Thanks for reading.