Stout, Stew, Luck, and Bread of the Irish


I hate using the word “hate”, but I hate writer's block. Those days where inspiration, like Elvis Presley, has simply left the building. Where any amount of creative efforts seems to be chained down by a one-hundred pound cement block. When the soothing sounds of BeyoncĂ© Knowles can’t lift your spirits, we have a major crisis. This, my friend, has been one of those weeks. I hate having a creative block.

Frankly, I can’t particular think of anyone ever saying “Oh boy, writer’s block here I come!” No one says that. Having a lack of creativity feels like you've lost a really important item, something sacred and special to you. What do I do about it? I rant about it to strangers on the Internet.

A quick post for today everyone. This past Sunday, Momma Crawford and I spent the whole afternoon together  eating brunch at a farm-to-table restaurant called The Big Grove Tavern, making Irish Soda bread with Amish orange marmalade butter, cooking some aromatic Irish stout stew, messing around with a little photography, and writing a YouTube video script for her management class. That video will be coming very soon, so look out for that. Thanks a million to Momma Crawford for being my lovely bread model. Great fun and good memories. New recipe next week. The Irish Soda Bread recipe is adapted by the recipe from Chef John at Food Wishes.com 




3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup quick-cooking oatmeal or regular rolled oats
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, fresh
1 teaspoon baking powder, fresh 
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
3 tablespoons honey
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
1 cup raisins
1 stick Butter, room temperature 
2-3 tablespoons Orange Marmalade   


Pre-Step: Prepare your vocal cords for a rousing old Irish drinking song. Ooooooh!

Step One: Pre-heat the oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flours, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Take the cubed butter and cut it into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or two forks. In another medium bowl, combine the honey, buttermilk, and egg until well incorporate. Slowly mix the dry with the wet ingredients until a rough, sticky dough forms. Add in the raisins.

Step Two: On a well floured surface, knead the dough slightly until it begins to come together. Divide the dough in half and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Take a serrated knife and make about ½ deep “X” cuts on the top of the dough.  Allow the dough to set for 15 minutes. This will allow the buttermilk and the baking soda to chemically mingle. Bake dough for 45 minutes at 375°F.

Step Three: After the bread is done making, take it out and let cool completely before cutting. Take a brush and paint 4 tablespoons of melted butter over the bread. In a small bowl, combine the butter and orange marmalade. Serve immediately. 

1 comment :

  1. That looks delicious Nate!