Written by Marykate O’Malley, mother of three wonderful children, Gladwyne, PA
‘Cead Mile Failte’ means a hundred thousand welcomes. This saying embodies my grandmother, or Nana, and her spirit. She welcomed everyone, old and young and relished their company. She had a cookie jar, always filled to the brim, for her youngest visitors. And for everyone, after one of her most delicious dinners you truly couldn’t eat another bite for she would insist you have seconds, and thirds, followed by dessert, and then more dessert. She was genuinely interested in others, and that sincere affection won absolutely everyone over. She was everyone’s Nana and if you called her Peggy or Mrs. Meagher, she would pat your hand and say with a twinkle in her eyes, “Dear, you can just call me Nana”.
This was her mother’s recipe, and has been passed down for generations. I can’t say it is low in fat but so worth indulging. I have no willpower when it comes to my Mom and Nana’s soda bread, and really don’t try to hold back. There is a little taste of history and family in every bite.
Happy baking, and eating, and wishing you and yours a most Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Cead Mile Failte!
Preheat over to 350.
4 cups flour
2 stick margarine (better than butter for this!)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 3\4 cup buttermilk
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional)
- Take the flour and soft margarine and using 2 butter knives break the margarine into the flour until it forms course small pieces
- add sugar, eggs, buttermilk, salt, baking soda and powder
- add raisins
- best to stir by hand, when using a Kitchen Aid mixer for example the consistency is different, and not as good a consistency than by hand
- The batter should be stiff
Grease 2 loaf pans, bake at 350 for an hour, check with toothpick if done.
We love our with butter!