Freckle Bread, St. Pat's and more

Irish Blessing

 May the road rise to meet you.  May the wind be always at your back.  May the sun shine warm upon your face.  May the rains fall soft upon your fields.  And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of His hand!

I couldn't resist putting some St. Patrick Day favorite quotes and recipes on my blog today. HIs story is one of my favorite biographies I read to the kids over the years. So be sure to research him and tell about him at your dinner table in the next couple of days.

Now that we have made it through the marathon of 5 conferences in 7 weeks, we are taking our own advice and seeking rest in Asheville, NC--the place that, as Sarah says, "This feels so much like home to us!" We have done this for a number of years, so we go back to all of our favorite places and rest and restore--though I think we could use a year of days and maybe just then begin catching up! Sleeping, eating, sleeping, walking, sleeping, eating--seems to be the order. As an introvert, though I love conferences, sometimes it takes it out of me--so I am grateful to be here.

The Early Girl Eatery, recommended by Rachel Ray, was a first stop--lots of great veggie dishes--black bean and sweet potato cakes, spinach salad with apples, goat cheese and pecans was the first order of our little 3 day spree. Then on to the Biltmore to hike and the next stop was crab and corn chowder at the Corner Kitchen--and splitting a Reuben sandwich. 

So, we are slowly catching up on rest and just seeking to refresh and do nothing taxing. 

Last week, the girls and I went to our friend's home for a St. Patrick Day cooking demonstration. She does this several times a year and we never miss. I wanted to pass on a bread recipe that I loved and have never had. It is Irish and if you want to delight your children, you can even put just a tiny bit--few drops--of green food coloring and make it green bread. 

Irish Freckle Bread

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

In the Bosch bowl with dough hook, place:

4 cups hot water            2 cups unbleached white flour

4 Tbsp. yeast                                    

                                     2/3 cups maple syrup or honey

Mix thoroughly.  Then add:

4 slightly beaten eggs   1 cups dried currants

2 Tbsp. Real salt              2 cups of grated carrots

½ cup oil                          1 cup dried pineapple snipped in small pieces

1 ½ cups golden raisins


Add 8-9 cups freshly ground flour to very slightly clean the sides of the bowl.  If you add too much, it will be too dry--so just slowly add it at the last until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl as it is mixing. The dough should be a bit sticky.  Knead 5 minutes.  Shape into 2 free-formed loaves or place in loaf pans.  Brush with egg was (1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp. water.)  Let bread rise until double in size.

It makes lovely, large round loaves.

Lower heat to 350 degrees.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.