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I'm originally from Chicago, where St. Patrick's Day is considered a pretty major holiday and celebrated with zeal. The river is dyed green, everyone gets out of work early (if they went in at all), parties abound, and gallons and gallons of beer are consumed. During my first year in LA, I actually didn't even realize that it was St. Patrick's Day until I streamed my beloved Chicago radio station (XRT for those who might know it) and heard them gearing-up for a live broadcast at a Wrigleyville pub. Nobody in LA was talking about it! And it was even a Friday!

Even though St. Patty's Day is not really LA's thing, we still celebrate. I usually make corned beef. We drink beer. We wear green. But my FAVORITE thing is this Irish Soda Bread. It's made with lots of creamy buttermilk and baked in a rustic cast iron pan to golden perfection. It yields about 8-10 servings so it's great for crowds and it always impresses. Best served with honey butter or jam. Recipe follows. Enjoy!

Adapted slightly from Bon Appetit, October 2002


  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins
  • 3 tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg


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