When most people think of St. Patrick’s Day, four leaf clovers, leprechauns, the color green, and Ireland come to mind, but not many people think of the food. Whether it’s traditional Irish food or festive desserts, there are many possibilities to enjoy Irish culture through food. Food and family recipes are a central tradition for many families around holidays, but for St. Patrick’s Day, this rings true for those surrounded by Irish culture. In a mission to delve deeper into food related to this holiday, I interviewed Santa Barbara High School English teacher James Claffey, who is originally from Ireland.
“It’s a weird holiday for me. It’s different in Ireland than it is here. Here, it’s just over the top. You know, green beer and dyeing rivers,” he commented when asked about his opinions of St. Patrick’s day. When asked about the food, Claffey said, “Soda bread and butter has to be my favorite. I don’t do the corned beef and cabbage,” he said with disgust, “my father loves it. He makes it every year and he always invites us over and I’m like, ‘I don’t want to go! I don’t want to eat that!’”
Heeding Claffey’s advice, I stayed away from the corned beef and cabbage and instead made the traditional Irish soda bread, as well as festive green velvet cake truffles. I included the recipes below so you can make them as well!
Soda bread recipe:
1 and 3/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
4 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled), plus more for your hands and counter
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 cup raisins
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Whisk buttermilk and egg together. In a separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together, and after that add the butter and stir in raisins. Pour the buttermilk and egg mixture in and fold the dough. On a lightly floured surface and with floured hands, work the dough into a ball and then knead for 30 seconds. Transfer the dough onto a pan and score a ½ inch deep X into the top. Bake for about 45-55 minutes.
Green velvet cake truffles recipe:
Vanilla cake mix
Green food dye
Cream cheese frosting
Green/St. Patrick’s day themed sprinkles
Make vanilla cake according to cake mix instructions, and don’t forget to add the green food dye. When the cake is done, cut it all into slices small enough to fit into a bowl. Using a fork, turn the cake slices into a crumb-like texture. Add a few spoonfuls of cream cheese frosting and mix until you can roll the cake into balls. Melt the white chocolate and dip the cake into chocolate. Add sprinkles and wait for the chocolate to dry.