Each year St. Patrick’s Day in our family, like most Irish-American families, is a big deal. As I mentioned last year the wild and crazy leprechauns come and play a trick on the kids (and no, two-days before St. Patrick’s Day I still have no idea what mischief they plan on causing). This year, St. Patrick’s Day has a different tone than it usually does. Typically, we gather at my in-law’s home and enjoy each other’s company and partake in some merriment for a leisurely afternoon that consists of a feast of corned-beef and cabbage, along with a gluten-free Irish Soda bread that my father-in-law makes. This year however, with our move to North Carolina just 2.5-weeks away, we knew this year was to be our last St. Patrick’s Day in Rhode Island.
Instead of gathering in cheer at my in-law’s home, we instead gathered at our home, where I cooked the meal (three cheers for the Polish girl cooking an Irish feast). The overall mood was a bit more subdued than usual—the writing clearly on the wall that our days, where we easily gathered for a family dinner on a whim, were in fact numbered. Next year, instead of sharing a meal of “Irish chicken” with my in-laws, we will likely just gather as a family of four, in a small intimate meal…waiting for those pesky leprechauns to fool us again.
As I was hosting our final St. Patrick’s gathering, the making of Irish soda bread fell to me. I’ve made one in the past—however, it was gluten-filled, as it was in my pre-Paleo days. I decided to wing it and give it a shot, going by feel…somehow the dough felt just right when I placed it in the cake pan to bake. The result was a bread that, while not as light as the one I used to make years ago, remained fairly true to the flavor that my father-in-law’s gluten free bread does year after year.
We sat as a family, and broke bread—sharing a meal that will always bind us together no matter how many tables (or miles) it may be split across. Each time I make this Irish soda bread in the future, I will think fondly of our last St. Patrick’s Day here at home. In Rhode Island…”and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
- 2 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoon raw honey
- 2 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup raisins
- In a bowl mix together your dry ingredients, sifting the almond flour to ensure it is lump free.
- Add your eggs, honey, and vinegar to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly with your hands, ensuring that you incorporate all the ingredients, carefully forming a ball.
- Gently fold in the raisins to the dough. Form into a 6-inch round disk, approximately 1.5" tall.
- Place dough in a 6" round cake pan lined with parchment paper. A cookie sheet would work just as well in this situation.
- Bake in a 325-degree oven for approximately 15-20 minutes depending on your oven until the center is cooked through.
- I typically would use baking powder in a baking recipe, however baking powder is not Paleo (check out The Paleo Mom's blog for an explanation). Instead, I opted to use a small amount of cider vinegar in my mix. Think back to high school chemistry class--remember what happens to baking soda when you add vinegar to it? It rises and expands--my theory us that this gives your dough a similar effect and helps to leaven the soda bread without using baking powder.