Now that I’m married to an Irishman, people keep asking me what I’m doing for St. Patrick’s Day. I admit that my plans are modest, since I tend to spend most of this part of the year hiding from all the Americans that take one look at my green winter coat and feel the need to explain their ancestry to me and inquire after mine.
I am not Irish. I have some Scots-Irish heritage, which is a bizarrely named ethnic group which managed very little Irish influx before emigrating to America, and quite a bit of Cornish, so I look like a Celt, despite my generations of German forebears and that splash of native ancestry that all good American mutts have. So I get mistaken for Irish all the time, particularly with the mister with the brogue on my arm. So sometime around the 14th of March each year, I concede defeat and change my favorite coat out for a different one that is not green.
Clearly I need to move to the tropics, where I don’t need a coat at all and can neatly side-step this problem.
All the same, I felt a need to properly take care of my Irishman on International Irish Day, so last night I made my first attempt at soda bread. The soda bread we buy here is quite different than the soda bread my mother-in-law makes, so The Man has been asking me to learn how to make it for years. Given the high risk of failing expectations, I keep insisting that he’s of a better ethnic heritage to attempt such a thing, but today I gave in. The important distinction is that it is pan-fried in a cast iron griddle, not baked. I followed this recipe to make the farls and let them sit overnight. This morning I fried them up and ended up with one very happy husband. It’s a quick recipe, if you’ve got buttermilk to hand.