The loaves and the cushions

Since having my baby Juliet, there have been quite a few special moments when I have truly felt like a mother. When she beams at me first thing in the morning, or when she sees me after a spending a little time away from me and smiles. Funnily though, the other moments can be very random.

I baked soda bread for the very first time this week, and really did feel like a proper Mammy. The house smelled delicious and the bread was mouth wateringly gorgeous if I do say so myself.

I can’t believe how easy it is to make and that I haven’t made it before! Since making the first loaf I’ve been experimenting by adding different bits and bobs of the edible variety. I made a cheesy version yesterday. Why don’t you give it a try? The recipe is below.

White Soda Bread Recipe
50g (1lb) plain white flour, preferably unbleached
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
400ml (14fl oz) buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 230º Centigrade/400º Fahrenheit /Gas Mark 9.
2. Sift all the dry ingredients into a large, wide bowl, and make a well in the centre. Pour in the milk. Using the fingers of one hand, stiff and oustretched like a claw, stir from the centre to the edge of the bowl in concentric circles. The dough should be softish, but not too wet and sticky. When it all comes together, turn out on to a well-floured work surface.
3. Wash and dry your hands. Pat the dough into a tidy shape and flip over gently, then pat it into a round about 4cm (1 and 1/2 inches) thick. Gently transfer to a floured baking tray. Cut a deep cross into the loaf and prick the centre of each quarter to ‘let the fairies out’.
4. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200ºC/370ºF/Gas Mark 6 and bake for a further 30 minutes or until cooked. If you are in doubt tap the bottom of the bread: it should sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack. Soda bread is best eaten on the day it is made.

The second Mommy moment happened today when I was making some cushions for the garden swing. I was sitting at my Nana’s sewing machine and Juliet was sitting on my Nana’s lap beside me. Juliet was following my every movement and was fascinated. I felt like I was passing on the skills my Nana had taught me on to my little girl. We brought the new cushions home and had a swing in the garden before bed.

The fabric I used was the gorgeously colourful print from Ikea that I mentioned here

What skills and traditions have you learned or passed on?

Posted in at home, baby
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