I can’t thank you all enough for all the support I received after my last post. Making life decisions is scary and it is so nice to know that I have friends out there who support me. I am really excited for this new venture in my education and I am also pretty damn excited to have an actual graduation date on the horizon!
Today I want to talk about Ireland. You know how some kids grow up dreaming about moving out West to California or East to the big city? I dream about moving to Ireland. In the summer of 2008 I was in the grips of my depression and the only solution seemed to be getting out of San Diego. At the time, I was working as a nanny to a set of triplets (worst. job. ever.) and being paid obscene amounts to do the jobs their parents didn’t want to do. I was living at home, going to community college, and was without a boyfriend or social life. Essentially, I had piles of money gathering in my savings account. I wish I could say that, in retrospect, I would have saved that money, but what I did with it ended up being much more valuable than saving.
In mid-June, my Dad and I boarded a plane set for Atlanta. We were finally going to fulfill our dream of going to Atlanta! Okay, we were finally fulfilling our dream of having a layover in Atlanta before we made it to Dublin, Ireland. After 17 hours on a plane and 24 hours without sleep, we landed in the most beautiful country I have ever set my near-sighted eyes upon. You have heard about Ireland being called the Emerald Isle. You have heard rumors about how green it is. Let me be the first to tell you that the rumors are all true, but even more so than you could ever imagine. The greens of Ireland are like no greens you have ever seen before. Oregon looks like the desert in comparison to the Irish countryside.
Most cities are like the ugly stepsisters of the surrounding country, but Dublin is completely different. Dublin is vibrant, colorful, and full of life. The people are as kind and lively as you would imagine and their accents make every person and every place seem even more welcoming than it already does. After spending a week in Ireland, I came home to inform my new boyfriend (and current boyfriend) that I would be living in Ireland some day, so he better get used to the idea. Ireland isn’t necessarily in my five, or even ten year plan, but I will live there before I die. Ireland is my ultimate goal. The same people who dream of moving to California dream of living on the beach. The people who dream of New York City dream of glamorous high-rise apartments. Me? I dream of cottages in the Irish Countryside.
A small taste of the beauty of Ireland.
In honor of the most beautiful country in the world, I want to make one of my favorite foods. Irish Soda Bread is deceivingly simple. You would never imagine that a recipe with such plain ingredients could be anything less than boring, but in reality, this bread is flaky and full of flavor.
Mini Irish Soda Breads
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 10 oz buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 450F degrees and prepare a baking sheet by dusting it lightly with some flour.
- Sift the dry ingredients together at least once or twice to make sure the baking soda is evenly distributed. Put the sifted dry ingredients in a big bowl and make a well in the center.
- Pour about three-quarters of the buttermilk and start stirring. The dough will be soft but lumpy. Add more buttermilk if needed.
- Blend quickly being careful not to mix too energetically or the breads will result too hard.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead very very briefly.
- Divide the dough into 6 balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet, flattening the tops. With a sharp knife, cut a cross across the top of each circle of dough. The cut should go halfway down through the sides of the circles.
- Bake at 450F degrees for the first 10 minutes. Afterwards, lower the oven temperature to 400F degrees and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
- Let the breads cool on a cooling rack before serving them.