how was your st. patrick's day? did your neighborhood turn into a green-tinged frat party like mine? the gloriously summer-like weather brought out all kinds of leprechauns.
after downing more than my fair share of a pitcher of strawberry margaritas, i felt old in the best possible way heading home at about 8 pm to continue celebrations on the couch with ryan reynolds, a bottle of bubbles and the yogi.
this soda bread came together in a snap for lunch the next day.
never one to leave a perfectly delightful, four ingredient recipe alone, i added cheese.
gloriously vibrantly orange sharp cheddar. i wish i could say it was of irish origins, but my corner grocery really just doesn't have that type of selection. all their irish cheddar was white.
and as far as we're at it, cheddar isn't really proper cheddar if it's from anywhere other than somerset england.
and their cheddar isn't usually orange anyway. you have to dye it to get it that bright.
but then, traditional soda bread isn't supposed to have cheddar cheese in it.
not even currants and caraway. that's totally american.
kind of like st. patrick's day.
wait, where was i?
non-irish cheddar. at least it lowered the bread's carbon footprint, right?
anyway, i threw tradition to the winds, added orange cheddar for those lovely streaks and then a bit of caraway for a pop of anise flavor. i'd recommend the combination, but if i made this again i might be tempted to veer even further off the usual soda bread path and add onions and maybe even poppy seeds for crunch.
as an added bonus, i think the fat and moisture of the cheese helped the bread stay fresh a bit longer than advertised by the recipe, which promised the bread would go stale within hours.
i had some for breakfast and dinner the following day and it remained delightfully rich and dense, made even better by toasting to firm up the crumb. and then i finally pitched into the freezer to save myself from eating nothing but soda bread for the remainder of the week.
all in all, a winner of a st. patrick's day weekend.