Monday, February 21, 2011

Instead of Deep Thoughts, A Party

I had planned to wax philosophical in praise of quitters and to pontificate on the financial markets today, and I may yet.  However, it is already Monday and I haven't completed the thought.  This is because I went to a mother-to-be ceremony yesterday for a dear friend.  

For the gift, we had been asked to bring some recipes that make us think of mothers, and to include some anecdotes. I brought two. Here they are, exactly as they appear in the compendium:

I know it might seem like cheating to include a recipe from a cookbook, but this one has a double mom-story for me. After Wallace was born, Megan and Toby and Rosalee and Robin came over to cook us dinner. Along with polenta and veggies, they made a wonderful soda bread. I asked Megan for the recipe, and she presented me with a lovely hand-written note entitled “G-Ma Clark's Soda Bread.” Naturally, I assumed I had been made privy to a wonderful family recipe from a revered matriarch.

Then I came across it in a cookbook:) Now Megan's a mom, too!

  • 4 T (½ stick), unsalted butter
  • 3 C unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 T aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • ¾ C sugar
  • 1 ½ C (I use less, more like ¾ C) dried currants
  • 1 ¾ C buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, well-beaten
  • 2 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 T caraway seed (optional)

  • Smear 2 T of butter on the bottom and sides of a 10 inch cast-iron skillet. Line the bottom of the skillet with a circle of waxed paper (I usually don't bother with this).
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the currants and toss well to coat.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter. Add this to the dry ingredients along with the caraway seeds. Blend but do not overmix.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared skillet, and smooth the top gently with a spatula. Dot the top with the remaining 2 T butter.
  • Place the skillet in the oven and bake until the bread is puffed and golden brown, about 1 hour. Cool in the skillet for 10 minutes and serve warm, or transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling. 

    This one amuses me.  It is hard to read in the scan, but the notes that my grandmother included were some pointers on how to manage the kitchen at the start of a cooking project, and instructions on making perfect meatballs.  There is also a recipe for Sarah's favorite meatloaf, which I did not include.  I have no recollection of a favorite meatloaf.
    This is the recipe box she put them in:

    My pithy observations on matters of high finance and contrarian decision-making will have to wait for another day.

No comments:

Post a Comment