To acknowledge St. Patrick’s Day, Jackie and I wanted to cook something this morning that would celebrate the holiday but that would also be well received by our kids. For me, corned beef was out of the question, since I spend the dinner hour on New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway on Tuesdays. (Yes, we’ve eaten many things during our rolling all-you-can-eat buffet, but corned beef and cabbage would be pushing it!)
We talked about making traditional Irish Soda Bread with caraway seeds and raisins, but remembered the luke warm reception we got last year from everyone except Simon, Jackie’s mostly English but teeny part Irish husband. That’s when we decided to improvise; to do something a little different this year; something sure to please the kids — (drumroll…) Chocolate Chip Irish Soda Bread!
With my well used, cast iron skillet loaded with ingredients, I made my way over to Jackie’s house. We got our 3-year old sons involved before they went to pre-school, letting them add the buttermilk and eggs, knead the dough and of course, nibble on some chocolate chips.
As the breads baked in their skillets, Jackie and I chopped vegetables — asparagus, onions, celery, carrots — threw them in a pot with some broth, beans and stewed tomatoes and created a quick and simple soup. (We call this a “throw-as-you-go” soup. It’s the perfect soup to simmer while hanging with a friend since it uses up what needs to get eaten quickly, costs practically nothing, is super healthy and yields a ton — 6 quarts!)
It was a great cooking morning. In just an hour and half, Jackie and I made something to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, used up all our almost-finished veggies — all while talking, laughing and having fun together.