Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Maybe not quite as much as Boston or Chicago but New Yorkers definitely know how to party for St. Patty's Day. I work on a street with a few major Irish bars that are usually a first stop for most of the b&t New Jersey and Long Islander's coming off the trains at Penn. While making my lunch (a sad little vegan burger) 6 floors up I could hear all the revelry below, even bag pipes (aren't those Scottish? Does it matter today?), carried up. To top it off it is absolutely beautiful today, sunny, 60, not a cloud in the sky. Perfect to be out celebrating. But alas work calls and I cannot get away... at least not until 4p when my work is having a happy hour in the office. Did I mention I work at one of the best places ever or at least in New York City?

Today, even in the office with everyone scrambling to get 2Q ready, it looks so festive with most everyone in their green, some having even taken it to an extreme (our lone guy assistant in a green seersucker jacket for one) and another co-worker brought in some Irish Soda Bread, which I wish I could enjoy but she assured me there were definitely eggs, butter and milk in it. Sad day for vegans.
But it doesn't mean that you can't enjoy. So I'm including the recipe below because under normal circumstances I would be scarfing down some Irish Soda Bread with one hand while holding a Guinness in the other (I guess I can still have the Guinness). But Irish Soda Bread for me is just such a New York experience, almost any true Irish bar, especially the ones up in Woodlawn, will give you a bread basket full of these little treats. And never having tried it prior to moving here, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was basically liek a scone, a treat I loved as a child. But poor little pesca vegan will have to decline most all typical Irish treats this year and I can't even have fish and chips (due to using an egg batter) and that's just not fair!

Irish Soda Bread
4 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/2 c. sweet butter or shortening
1 c. plumped raisins (hydrate in cup of hot water for a few minutes to "plump" them)
1 t. caraway seeds
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs (beaten)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. In a bowl or food processor, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and butter/shortening until crumbly and butter mixed in

3. Incorporate raisins and seeds. Stir in eggs and buttermilk. Transfer to greased springform pan (dough will be "pretty wet") in a lump. Brush dough with an eggwash (mixed egg and water). Bake for one hour at 375 degrees

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