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March 1999 Issue
March -- the month of the beginning of spring and St. Patrick's Day!
by Victoria Smith
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Now, I'm only part Irish.  My Mom, (we're adopted) is, as she says,  "entirely Irish", with all of her grandparents having been born in Ireland, both north and south.

St. Patrick wasn't Irish at all, wouldn't you know?  He was captured and sold as a slave in medieval Ireland.  Something about the Irish must have appealed to him, however, because even after he was free, he returned there to convert the inhabitants to Christianity, by, according to myth, using the Shamrock to symbolize the Trinity.

He was successful.

I heard a story, (from my Mom, who else?) about a young woman who emigrated from Ireland and arrived in New York on March 16, one year.  According to this lady, the following day, "All hell broke loose in New York City!"  Apparently Ireland doesn't get as excited as does the Emerald Society of New York. Anyway, the lady loved the parade.

My Mom's father (James Aloysuis Smith) used to say "There are only two kinds of people in the world:  the Irish, and those who wish they were."  Clearly, Mom's family never had to worry about that.

But I'm going to share an old family recipe with you, handed down from my great-grandmother.  And a few other recipes, too, of course, converted into vegetarian dishes. 

From Sara Hamilton to Emma Crawford to Jeanne Smith to Victoria Smith to you.


Soda Bread

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
Pour the flour, salt, cream of tartar and baking soda into a bowl. Stir it together dry. Make a well in the middle.  Slowly add the buttermilk and stir and knead it until you have a workable dough.  Flour a flat surface to roll it out into a circle, about 1/2" thick.  Cut it into quarters.  Flour a flat skillet and place the wedge-shaped scones on the skillet over a low steady heat, and toast both sides and the edges until they are golden brown.  Split open and serve with margarine. You never ate anything better.  Serve with tea for best results.
  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: Less than half an hour

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