Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Green Paintings, Celtic Art and Irish Soda Bread

copyright 2010 Jan Blencowe

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Today is the day for all things Celtic & green!

detail from the Tully Lough Cross 8th or 9th century

Christ in Majesty, Book of Kells.

First, check out this side show of amazing contemporary Celtic art by Jen Delyth at KelticDesigns.com

Next, I'd like to share with you a painting by my friend and fellow Connecticut artist
Roxanne Steed. Roxanne travels to Ireland every year and has many beautiful paintings of the Irish countryside. Below is one of her recent ones, which I absolutely love!

Grazing Near The Cliffs, (Culoo, Valentia Island, Ireland)

Please check out Roxanne's blog to see more of her beautiful palette knife paintings and tell her I sent you!

I look forward to Irish Soda Bread all year long! Here's my best recipe, this makes a smallish loaf but can be doubled easily.

1 cup low-fat buttermilk

2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons honey

1 1/2 c white flour

1/2 c whole wheat flour

1/2 cup raisins ( I like lots in my soda bread so I go heavy w/ the raisins)

2 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp granulated sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, spray baking sheet w/ non-stick cooking spray

In a small bowl combine buttermilk & honey. In a larger bowl combine white flour, wheat flour, raisins, lemon zest, baking soda & salt.

Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir just until flour disappears, do not over blend. Sprinkle work surface with flour; turn out dough and w/ floured hands lightly knead dough 7 times. Form into a 7" round loaf and place onto prepared baking sheet. Slash a cross on the top with a sharpe knife and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake in the oven for 40-45 min. until nicely browned. Cool on a rack and serve room temperature.

May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow & may trouble avoid you wherever you go.-Irish Blessing


AutumnLeaves said...

I love this post, Jan. All the greens do my heart good! I tried making soda bread once and it was so heavy and not at all tasty. This recipe sounds yummy though! I may have to give it another go!

Jan Blencowe said...

The key to a great soda bread is to handle the dough gently. Don't over mix, and knead it lightly only 7 times just like the recipe says, that's the bit o Irish magic that makes it wonderful!