Friday, December 24, 2010

Ahhh… Don’t You Just Love A Fanatic?

I do.  This year we’re having a smallish Christmas with (as far as I know) just the immediate local family—which is to say myself, The Husband, The Evil Monkeys, The Parents and The Grandparents (the only two of my original six that remain).  We hold all such gatherings at The Parents’ house because, quite frankly, their house is a veritable mansion and mine, veritably, is not. 

We’re having a very casual meal for Christmas Eve Dinner and I decided to bring some additional sides.  So I chose green bean casserole and ‘some type of bread product’.  I had originally intended to just make my standard (albeit tasty) whole-wheat loafs.  I even contemplated making lefse, inspired by Joy’s fabulous foray into the making of krumkake.  But then it occurred to me that I hadn’t made soda bread in a long time.  A really long time.  So long a time that I couldn’t remember the recipe.  And thereby discovered that I also couldn’t remember where I’d put the written version.

Doh!  And yet…. there’s a reason Google was put on this earth, right people?  Surely I could find a nice, simple, traditional soda bread recipe.  We just put “soda bread” into the search engine and….

Good.  Grief.

I have never seen such a jumbled and confusing mess of useless links.  Maybe nobody makes real soda bread anymore.  Perhaps they’ve all been seduced by the siren-song of “honey-glaze” and “dried mangos”, which seemed to crop up disturbingly often in my search results. Perhaps we were doomed, doomed to eat plain old yeast-risen bread after all.   I despaired. 

And then, I saw it.  A web address tantalizingly called  Wow.  Seriously?  They have their own website?  This I had to see.  And I was not disappointed.  I now have proof that there is someone emphatically-to-the-point-of-bordering-on-maniacally endorsing literally every possible thing on the face of this planet.  So meet my latest discovery: The Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread.

You heard me.  A flippin’ society, people. 

Now I will say, they do have a point that some of these new-fangled ingredients (Sun-dried tomatoes?  Garlic? Chiles??) are not traditional.  Plus, they provide a seemingly exhaustive quantity of information about the history of soda bread.  I personally never in my life expected a soda bread to be desert, but apparently there are heretics out there who do.  And the Society does have a nice, simple, traditional soda bread recipe.  Which I fully intend to desecrate by –gasp– adding raisins.  And possibly a tablespoon of sugar. 

Don’t let the SPISB know.  They’ll probably hunt me down and beat me with a ten-day-old loaf wrapped in a sock.sodabreadwhite

I’m so glad I didn’t decide to make lefse after all.  I shudder to think what a Society For The Preservation of Norwegian Lefse website would look like.  There’s only so much gastronomic zeal I can take in one year, however well-intended.  Plus, I’m too lazy to rice all those potatoes.


  1. They have a Facebook, too. I'm so "liking' them!

  2. Nice looking bread! I just finished baking Lebkuchen and had my mom "yes, chef!"-ing me! ha ha Next up spiced squash soup, with some very non-trad chiles included, egad. Lefse, probably tomorrow at Dad's. And yes, there will be Rommegrot. Do you know that one?? !! Happy holidays!

  3. The King Arthur Flour website has some recipes. And I put cranberries in mine - don't tell :)

  4. Sadly (perhaps) my knowlege of traditional Norwegian christmas foods stops with lefse and lutefisk. Well. In the case of lutefisk, clearly it's not sad that my knowlege stops. -shudder- Since my mother is, as she delights in reminding us, not one tiny little bit Norwegian, we do not typically imbibe in traditional Norwegian foods at the holidays. The lefse we always got from our neighbors, to be honest. My mother, whilst only genetically 1/2 Irish is nonetheless 100% Irish in her heart and so we tend to eat traditional Irish foods if we eat traditional at all. Such as it is. Soda bread, in all honesty, is about as far as we take that. But we do like our soda bread. After all, what's not to like? (Especially when it's been defiled by raisins and sugar.)

  5. I just found or something like that. I ended up making cooked eggnog from another new to me site, Hillbilly Housewives: simple, cheap home cooking. Luvit. It's made with 4 eggs to a liter of milk, rather than the 6 that's usually called for in other sites. There is more sugar but I didn't add the extra. It's chilling in the fridge and in the snow now. Soda bread! Eggnog! Nutty.

  6. Merry Christmas! I always enjoy reading your posts. I don't always comment, but I always read. Thanks for the smiles! Blessings in 2011!

  7. That website is a little bit awesome. Eggs (see definition of cake). HA.

    Merry Christmas!

  8. Ah, soda bread. I haven't made that in a while. I'm also blessed to have some Irish blood; it's not all Viking.

    My in-laws called to make sure we knew (so we didn't worry, I suppose) that THEY were bringing the lefse. AND the rommegrot. Two versions of it, no less (one with wheat, one without...)


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