Oatmeal Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Neh 8:10

Every St. Patrick’s Day dinner is a mirror image of the preceding year – New England Boiled Dinner with Corned Beef & Cabbage, along with freshly-baked Oatmeal Irish Soda Bread. The conversation is pretty much a mirror image of the year before, too, now that I think about it. The first question asked of me by my family, their mouths still full from their first bite of bread is usually, “I’d forgotten how good this is! Why don’t we have this bread all the time?”

Healthy Gray Corned Beef

Gray Corned Beef 200 Touring Ireland, introducing myself, “Hello, I’m Sharon Kathleen”, the responses were often, “Odd, really, ahmmm, you don’t look even a wee bit Irish….”. True, and that’s because there’s not a single drop of Irish blood in me. My mother, raised in a Twin Cities German-Irish immigrant neighborhood, borrowed my names from the Irish culture, equating them with being “good, strong American names”.

She also borrowed the Irish tradition of serving New England Boiled Dinner every St. Patrick’s Day, but in reality, the potato, cabbage and corned beef combination has nothing historically to do with Ireland.

My favorite part was always the corned beef, which isn’t actually corned, but is instead brined in a salt water solution. The addition of saltpeter, potassium nitrate, gives corned beef its rosy-color.