Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Irish Soda Bread Fail

Lunch: Beef Nachos
Dinner: Brats, Baked Beans and Salad

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m excited. I don’t know why, I just love St. Patrick’s Day. I even spent one in Boston once, of course I was under age and it was cold so we just stayed in my friend’s dorm room and played drinking games (with legally obtained orange juice ;-) wink wink), but hey, I was in Boston on St. Patrick‘s Day. Tomorrow, I’ll be going to a John Mayer Concert. It’s been a while since I attended a “real” concert or at least one where I know who the band is and am familiar with most of their songs. I’d like to go to more concerts, but they’re so darned expensive. The only reason we’re even going to this one is because I humiliated myself on the radio to win free tickets (although, I do believe I had a hilarious Oprah impersonation if I do say so myself). Because the concert is so late (it doesn’t start until 8pm) I’ll be taking Thursday morning off. I’m a little nervous about how that is going to go down. I approved it through the steward and the VP, and told them I would have something they could just throw out and help themselves. But that’s the problem… the guys are, by nature, greedy little piggies sometimes. If you put something out where they have to help themselves the first few will load up on all the good stuff and by the time 12:30-1 comes around, there’s nothing left but the rejects. Because of this I have to be careful to set out either an enormous amount so much so that they can’t possibly eat it all (and then they do anyway) or I have to give them a very defined serving size. Well, I can’t exactly tell them they can have 2 slices of cheese and 4 slices of meat; I won’t be there and I’m not going to count meat slices. I can just see the first guy coming up to the counter and plopping an inch high stack of ham on his sandwich and walking off. Then later some poor hungry guy just getting out of classes goes to make a sandwich and finds that all that’s left is lettuce and tomato slices. I wonder if I portion out the meat in serving sizes between waxed paper like they do at Subway if that will work… hmmm…

Today I will be attempting to make Irish soda bread. I’m making it for tomorrow, but because I’m hoping to skip out early I’m going to attempt the bread today. Making bread is rather terrifying, and yeast just gives me the heebee jeebies (it looks like germs plus it’s alive and smells weird). Of course, Irish soda bread doesn’t require yeast, but I’m still afraid I’ll end up with hard flat disks full of raisins. I’ve never had Irish soda bread before, but it has raisins and caraway in it which seems like a very odd combination. However, I think the raisins will go nicely with the beef and Guinness stew I’m making. No, I’m not making corned beef and cabbage because a. corned beef is not actually Irish and I’m going for a little more authenticity b. corned beef is expensive and c. while I happen to love it, corned beef and cabbage is an acquired taste and I’m not sure the frat boys will appreciate it. Ok, so it’s really more reasons b and c, but corned beef isn’t an authentic Irish dish; it became popular with Irish immigrants in America because it was cheap (back then). Besides, the guys will probably be roaring drunk tomorrow and it’s all too easy to throw around pieces of potato corned beef. It’s much harder to throw stew, not that they won’t try.

*** Hours Later***

So… I won’t be serving Irish soda bread to the guys tomorrow. I made the mistake of following the recipe. I should have gone with my instinct. I made 4 loaves of bread that was both bland and way to caraway-ie at the same time. The recipe didn’t even call for salt. I knew that was a mistake. I’ve forgotten to put salt in bread before to rather nasty results, but I thought perhaps they left the salt out because of some it would have some negative effect on the bread… I should have known better. I also thought that 3 tablespoons of caraway for small loaves of bread seemed a little overkill. Sigh, all that work for nothing. Now I’m going to have to get something to replace the icky bread which means a grocery store stop in the morning. Meh, getting up early is totally lame, especially when I know I’m going to be up way past my bedtime tomorrow night. Woe is me! (ok… that may have been a little melodramatic). So, I was planning on giving you the recipe for Irish Soda Bread, but I really don’t think you want it. Perhaps you know a better one or can find a better one out there and can share it with me. Eh, every chef has those little fail moments, even me.

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