…And the Craic Is Good

‘Tis the season. The season of parades and pipe bands, of sweaters and shillelaghs, of smiling Irish eyes. It’s such a beautiful time to me, when good friends and family meet in good cheer and revelry to celebrate our Irish roots.

 West Orange Parade Through the Years

There is such a feeling of togetherness at these gatherings. Everyone is jovial and spirited, simply happy to be alive. We rejoice in good health, good times, and good fortune to be Irish Americans!

In addition to the parades, a corned beef and cabbage dinner has always been a staple for our family, along with Irish soda bread. Throughout the month of March, Granny would bake loaves and loaves for each one of our homes. She even would make a special loaf for me, free of caraway seeds. I decided to try out Granny’s recipe for the first time today as a test-drive for our family’s feast tomorrow afternoon.

This is one recipe that I never actually watched Granny make, so I was not sure what to expect out of the dough. I sure do wish I had her around to ask her advice! Since I only have one loaf pan and was running low on all-purpose flour, I cut the recipe in half and used 1/2 cup whole wheat flour. I, of course, left out the caraway seeds. Made with buttermilk and shortening, it is a very thick dough, much like a scone or biscuit. It took a bit of muscle to come together and had to be spread out into the pan.

My finished product was pretty good, but definitely could be improved. Next time I will make the entire 2 loaf recipe and use all-purpose flour alone. Hopefully I can turn out a decent couple of loaves for dinner tomorrow.

Granny’s Irish Bread

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
5 cups flour
caraway seeds
Mix together – ( 2 loaves)
Grease pans
Bake at 350º – 1 hour

Make a loaf, don some green, get your Irish eyes to smile and have a great weekend!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Sláinte! 


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