My happiness with avoiding fast food last week was replaced by all of the fast food this week. It was a rough one.
On Saturday I went with the Instant Pot pulled chicken standby. It has rescued dinner at least five times in the last few weeks. Last Sunday was St. Patrick’s Day, I’m the daughter of a Barry and a Carey and married to a Burke, so Irish Traditions are a thing in our house. I have never been on the corned beef and cabbage train, so I went with stew for dinner — beef rather than lamb, with lots of potatoes and carrots. I also made Irish Soda Bread, a recipe from my mom, who got it from her grandmother. I have vivid memories of baking it with mom as a kid. She’d pull out her weathered and worn recipe notebook and tell us stories about Great Grandma Peg. I just learned, in researching for this article, that Soda Bread recipes are often unique to a family, passed down through the generations, with different fruits and spices added as available. Ours is a fairly standard version, though I guess it qualifies since I got it from my mom. It’s a little late for the holiday this year, but we always made it whenever the mood struck.
Irish Soda Bread
2 cups flour
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Baking Soda
½ cup Raisins
1 Tbsp Caraway Seeds
1 Cup Buttermilk (I have never in my life used buttermilk, I make sour milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice mixed with enough milk to make a cup. Let it sit for a few minutes, then add it)
Mix all ingredients until combined, pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.
Thus ended the week’s real dinners. We went with Publix chicken on Monday, Pizza on Tuesday, Happy Meals Wednesday, and my kids were fed by my friend on Thursday while I had a bowl of cereal. Friday I made pancakes because it seemed on-brand for the week.
I would love to do better this week, but it seems unlikely with all of the work I have to do. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, however, and then I think there will be an explosion of food at our house. Maybe I’ll throw a party, Irish hospitality lasts year-round.