Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Irish Soda Bread



It turned out two of the books we checked out for Saint Patrick's Day, Ann Heinrichs' Saint Patrick's Day, that I mentioned already...


...and Happy St. Patrick's Day by Abbie Mercer, a very similar, simple, non-fiction, from past-to-present look at the holiday for children...


...both contain recipes for Irish soda bread. Heinrich's recipe is a sweet version, with raisins added, while Mercer's book includes the simple, straightforward, 4 ingredient (flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk), traditional version, meant to be eaten as an everyday bread.

We opted for Mercer's recipe, and followed her instructions for mixing the dough by hand...


...at least C (age 5) did. D (age 9) declared it too messy, A (age 11) claimed flour dries the hands, and E (age 7) thought the buttermilk smelled bad and didn't want to touch it. The older two children were out at the time, or I'm sure they would have had some excuse to keep their hands out of the dough, as well.


C, however, had a great time, mixing and kneading the dough, and helping to shape it into a ball on the cookie sheet, for me to slash open with a couple of "X" shaped cuts.

We enjoyed the bread (which really tastes more like a biscuit), with hearty bowls of Irish stew - or vegetable beef soup, anyway, about as close as we're going to get to Irish stew anytime soon, while watching Nature's "Ireland" episode on pbs.org, about the wildlife and natural wonders of the country.


I thought it would all make for a very nice, geography themed, lunch. But, for the sake of "keeping it real", I should mention, that neither the bread, nor the video received rave reviews from the children. Though, we did enjoy learning about a few new-to-us animals like stoats and gannets, that will be worth further study. And, the children agreed that soda bread, while not their favorite food, isn't too bad with the addition of a little jam or honey. So much for our Irish roots.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

Linked with Watcha Making Wednesday at the Ramblings and Adventures of a S.A.H.M.

and

The Geography and Hisory link-up hosted by All Things Beautiful, every Thursday.

6 comments:

MamaTea said...

Looks like a great experience, even if flour does "dry the hands". :) Kudos to you for keepin' on, even if the attitude is less than excited!

Melanie said...

Totally making this! Thank you:). I may even feature it on my blog! If you don't mind...

Kendra said...

The sweeter version with dried fruits in it gets bigger raves around here. ;)

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Melanie - Not at all :)

Kendra - We might have to try that kind, too.

Phyllis said...

My kids don't always like our geography meals either. Have you ever tried a sweet Irish Soda bread? We make ours with a little sugar and currents and/or raisins. Pretty much like raisin bread meets biscuits. Perhaps your kids would like that version better?

Ticia said...

Awwww, it's a shame it didn't go over well.

I still am thinking it sounds simple enough I might give it a try......