St. Patrick’s Soda Bread

Up early this morning, to prepare the St.Patrick’s Day table and bake soda bread for breakfast. There are many choices, and this recipe (below) is my current favorite. But I was out of wheat germ, so I substituted bran, resulting in a gutsier product. Great with Irish cheddar, or yogurt and jam (or all of the above, if that is to your taste). Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Irish Brown Soda Bread

1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ (or bran)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 T cold unsalted butter cut into bits
1-1/3 cups buttermilk or plain yogurt (I’ve tried both)

Preheat oven to 425º.

Sprinkle baking sheet with a little flour.

In a large bowl whisk together flours, oats, wheat germ/bran, baking soda, and salt. With fingertips rub in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk/yogurt and mix quickly until dough is evenly moistened. DO NOT OVERMIX.

Turn dough onto floured surface and shape quickly into neat sphere, sprinkling with more flour as needed. On prepared baking sheet pat dough out into 7-inch round. With sharp knife cut shallow X in top.

Bake 25 minutes or so (depends on your oven) until bread looks set in center. Cool before serving.

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Simone

Ancient Treasures from the Sea

Gaulish, Greek, and Roman civilizations intersected in this region, as we were reminded on a rainy Sunday spent among their sculpture, tools, and pottery, rescued by 20th-century divers from two-thousand-year-old Mediterranean shipwrecks, and now installed in the stunning Musée de l’Éphèbe in Cap d’Agde.

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Matthew

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Holiday Bazaar

On Saturday, November 19th, the Washington Waldorf School in Bethesda, Maryland will hold what is probably the most unusual holiday bazaar in the Washington area, reflective as it is of the artistry of Waldorf education.

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Adults with an eye to gift-giving appreciate the wide range of beautiful handcrafts, from pottery to woven scarves to toys to jewelry.

Younger children enjoy the storytelling and puppet shows, candle-decorating, visiting the Magical Maze of evergreens and twinkling lights, making an excursion to the Children’s Shop for their own secret purchases, and taking a peek into the pockets of the wandering Pocket Wizard or Pocket Lady. Older children like making wooden toolboxes, or copper lanterns, or ornamenting themselves with a henna-tattoo.

All will happily sink into a seat at the Bazaar Bistro for a truly delicious homemade lunch, a special dessert, or a cappuccino, where they can listen throughout the day to live musical offerings.

Admission is free, but, although it runs from 10 to 3, arrive promptly, because handmade goods and puppet show tickets sell out EARLY.