Odds & ends.

Just a couple of things happening at HQ…

For Mother’s Day I made my mother a loaf of Irish soda bread. Since I wrote these posts, I’ve tried several traditional bread recipes—for both brown bread and soda bread—and I’ve finally arrived at my favorite of the lot. It’s this one, with a few modifications: namely, subbing 1/2 cup Irish wholemeal flour for 1/2 cup of regular flour, and if you’re feeling fancy, ditch a couple tablespoons of that wholemeal flour and sub it with toasted wheat germ. (I’m having a toasted wheat germ moment, mostly brought about by needing to get rid of it, but I’m sure I’ll eventually add it to something with disastrous results and leave that particular obsession alone for a while, so no worries.)

I’m also getting better at not losing my temper and going Mommie Dearest rageface every time I make a loaf of this stuff and the dough seems too sticky or too clumpy or just overall not the way I envision it in my soft-focus, flour-dusted baking daydreams. Soda bread/brown bread is actually pretty forgiving, and plunking it into a Kerrygold-greased loaf pan usually results in a truly fine finished product. I still cut a cross in the top and brush it with buttermilk, just as I would a round loaf, but the loaf pan makes slicing it 100 times easier.

Anyway, here is a picture of a lemon I used to clabber the milk for my Mother’s Day loaf.


I have also recently endeavored to make coffee ice cream, using coffee my parents brought back from Costa Rica and the vanilla they brought from Mexico. I got through the whole summer last year without once using the ice cream making attachment for my KitchenAid, and that cannot happen again this year because ICE CREAM.

beans measured

You get the coffee flavor by steeping the beans in cream and milk.

beans steepingThe coffee flavor came through very nicely but I made a substitution I shouldn’t have, which was swapping half and half for heavy cream. I had the half and half in the fridge, but lesson learned: next time make a trip to the store for full-fat cream because the texture of this batch is a bit icy and crumbly. I got blueberries in my produce delivery this week, so I’m thinking of making this next.

About that produce delivery: I can now order produce online prior to Tuesdays at 7pm and it will show up at my office on Wednesday morning. I find this simply amazing and thus far I’ve done two orders. The only thing I have to be careful about is over-ordering…not so much because we won’t use the items, but because it’s difficult to carry a huge unwieldy box down three flights of stairs after work. I learned this the hard way.

Here are some rainbow carrots from my last order. They were delicious roasted!

rainbow carrots


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