Did I tell you I gave the mister a DNA kit for Christmas? I ordered it from Ancestry.com. The mister is always blathering on about how he's 1/4 Scottish, 1/4 Irish, 1/4 Cherokee, and 1/4 Mystery Meat. It was $100, well worth it to find out if the mister is indeed William Wallace's great-great-great-great-great-great-etc.-son. I personally think he is as the resemblance to the real William Wallace, not the Mel Gibson version, is striking! Or maybe we'll find out the mister is related to Arthur Guinness? If so, the Guinness family would be proud of his support all these years! If the mister is indeed 1/4 Cherokee then that opens all kind of opportunities for his Golden Years...he could go live on the reservation, get a job in one of the casinos and spend every lunch hour dining at the buffet - bland food as far as the eye can see! We are still waiting for his results to come back - but one thing is certain, with his ancestry - Irish, Scottish and Cherokee - I should probably get him in for a liver check soon!
Since St. Patrick's Day is tomorrow, I thought I would remind you to wear green and you have 24 hours to build a Leprechaun Trap, that is, if you want to try to catch a Leprechaun - like duh, who wouldn't?!? You also have time to make something festive for tomorrow, like this Irish Freckle Bread. This bread gets it's name from the currants, raisins and dates that freckle the bread - lending it a sweetness that makes it perfect for an afternoon snack or for breakfast with a cup of your favorite morning mocktail.
This is a quick bread, meaning the dough doesn't need to rise. But it does take some time to make, the fruit needs to soak in hot tea for about an hour and then the bread itself takes an hour to bake...but don't let that scare you away - your home will smell wonderful and you'll have a wee bit of Ireland to enjoy!
This recipe is from the King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion cookbook. It's a really moist and tender bread and even though it's made with whole wheat flour you won't notice it much, the sweetness from the fruit is the star of this bread. Oh, if you want to make it even more Irish...substitute Irish Whiskey for an equal amount of the tea!! Faith and Begorrah!!
Irish Freckle Bread - Adapted from Kind Arthur Flour Baker's Companion (aka Tea Brack)
1 cup brewed hot tea; Irish breakfast tea is recommended but I used Rooibos Herbal Tea
1 cup raisins, packed
1 cup currants, packed
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 1/2 tablespoons coarse sparkling white sugar
Pour the hot tea over the dried fruits in a medium-sized bowl. Set the mixture aside to cool to lukewarm, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-inch round cake pan. In a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dried fruit, and any remaining liquid. Stir till thoroughly combined. The batter will be thick and stiff and it will look like it won't come together but just keep stirring. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top evenly with the coarse sparkling sugar. Bake the bread for 60 to 70 minutes, till a cake tester inserted in the center comes out moist, but without clinging crumbs. Remove bread from the oven and turn it out onto a rack to cool. Serves 8.
If you need any other suggestions for St. Paddy's Day, click on my link for St. Patrick's Day below left - you will find all kinds of great recipes to help you celebrate being Irish - even if you're a wannabe!