Thursday, May 13, 2010

Soda Cookies and Potato Salad

Tonight I'm celebrating my heritage. No, there is no holiday today that only I know about. I'm half Irish and a quarter German. The other quarter is a mix of French and Luxembourg. Tonight I made Irish Soda Bread cookies. I've tried to make actual soda bread in the past and failed... horribly the first time, not so horribly the second time. The first time I made soda bread was for my church. My priest hosts a holy hour in March for all the local priests. Soda bread is always served along with other appetizers. I signed up to make the soda bread. A few of the older ladies at church asked if I had ever made it soda bread in the past. "No but my uncle is three-fourths Irish. I'm sure I'll be able to find an authentic recipe," I said with confidence... stupid confidence but confidence none the less. I got a recipe for soda bread that came from Ireland. The bread was awkward. There is no other way to describe it. I signed up for 2 loaves of bread so I had to double the recipe. The bread was a huge mound on the cookie sheet. It looked strange. I can't serve this to a bunch of priests! They're going to think I'm trying to kill them! I thought to myself. My husband agreed the bread was strange looking. I started over. I had no choice. Fast forward 2 months to the Irish soda cookies. Everything went smoothly! I did however wish I had a pastry cutter when I was cutting the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork. I made a not so subtle suggestion to Steve that a pastry cutter would make a good gift. OK, I told him that I want one! I was able to knead the dough (which wasn't possible for the soda bread) and cut it into squares. The cookies turned out awesome!

The other half of celebrating my heritage was the potato salad. Tonight Steve asked me if I knew how to make potato salad. Of course! It's one of my favorite foods and one of the few ways I will eat potatoes. Yes, I'm half Irish and I don't eat potatoes. I'm aware of the irony. However the next time the potato famine comes around, I'll be the only one not affected. I actually grew up eating more German food than I did Irish. My mom was taught to cook by her mom who is not one tiny little bit Irish. We love her despite this fact and have dubbed her an honorary Irish woman. But back to the potato salad. Somehow we had all of the ingredients on hand for potato salad: potatoes, eggs, celery, onion, mustard, mayo and paprika. Eggs and potatoes were boiled and left to cool while I worked on the Irish Soda Bread cookies. Steve was nice and agreed to slice the potatoes. I hate cutting the potatoes for potato salad. The potato always got all over my hands and I can smell the potatoes. It's just a bad scene. I sliced the eggs and celery. Everything went in a big bowl. Some onion was added, along with mayo and mustard. A few taste tests and some additions of mayo and mustard and the potato salad was ready! Sprinkle paprika over the potato salad because I like my food to be fancy.