Traditions especially around food are cherished in my large family. Large is an understatement as most people are baffled by the amount of aunts, uncles and cousins I have. My mom was called in to my grade school to discuss my family tree project as the teacher thought I was hyperbolizing.
Each family gathering has always been like clockwork – the same dishes prepared by the same people, who hosts which occasion, who provides the extra chairs and spare silverware. While it sounds rigid, we welcome and adapt to new traditions constantly especially now as all of the cousins have graduated from the kid’s table and are now even having kids of our own.
St Patrick’s Day
While we do celebrate a lot of Greek and Venezuelan traditions, I am predominately Boston Irish on both sides which made St Patrick’s Day an absurdly big deal. Growing up, I would receive gifts in the morning like A Field Guide to Irish Faeries and invite my friends over for my mom’s corn potato chowder and bangers while being slightly mortified of my parents speaking partial gaelic in terrible accents. My friends always loved it.
Irish Soda Bread – Traditional & Non-Traditional
Irish soda bread was the one part I never really looked forward to. My mom would make it the way our family has always made it – low sugar and dry. While I enjoy the flavor in small amounts, we would have nothing else in the house for breakfast for weeks and there is nothing worse than stale soda bread when you are out of jam and butter.
This year, I decided to keep up the tradition of making soda bread but wanted to bring my own definition to it. I decided to make one loaf true to form and one loaf non-traditional. I was surprised that I could only find three recipes straying away from the timeless raisins and caraway seeds so I invented my own.
Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Soda Bread
Makes 2 loaves.
1 quart buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups raisens
5 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour
1/2 cup Wild Chocolate Powder
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup Big Tree Farms Organic Coconut Sugar
1/2 cup grated zucchini
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix buttermilk, eggs, baking soda. Add the rest of ingredients. Divide batter in two and put in 8″-9″ round pans, which are already greased and floured.
Bake for 90 minutes.