Thursday, March 4, 2010

Top O' the Day to You

March came in like a lamb this year with balmy 40 degree days and mostly sunny skies. After the last week of horrendous snowstorms of upwards of 30 inches, these days are a welcome respite from the gray wintry weather. The Inn was buried under those 30 inches of snow but that didn't stop our guests from braving the icy roads and the huge snow drifts to get to us to spend a cozy night at theirfavorite B and B.

As I mentioned in previous posts, March is going to be an exciting time for Bill and I at the Inn. Our chickens are going to be delivered on March 8th and our friend Mark is going to begin work on the hen house. We are hoping by late summer to start serving fresh eggs at breakfast. We are going to begin by acclimating the chicks to human touch by handling them everyday and getting them used to us. This way they won't give us a hard time when we go down to collect the eggs.

March is also a month of wonderful holidays. On March 17th of course we have St. Patricks Day and I am going to share a great recipe for Irish Soda Bread with you later on in this post. On March 19th, we Italians celebrate St. Josephs Day which celebrates the saint's name day. All us Joes get delicious pastries called Sfingi and Zeppole. '(I guess I will have to share some with Bill). Very delicous and very fattening. And then of course on March 20th we have the first day of Spring. Ahhhhh. Can't wait. On the 28th is Palm Sunday which is the beginning of our Holy Week and the countdown to Easter. But the two days this month I am looking forward to are March 7th when we baptize my new little grandson, Joseph and March 14th when we move the clocks ahead.
Then it won't be long before we can start working on the gardens (both rose and veggie) and start getting the Inn ready for the warm weather. We have lots of plans for our guests and I will tell you about them in upcoming posts.
Now for that recipe. This is a great recipe that I got from a good friend of mine. Cindy, who is a wonderful baker and an even better cook shared this with me and I will tell you, it is the best Irish Soda Bread you have ever had. Just follow the directions carefully and if at first you don't succeed, try..........well you know the rest.

Irish Soda Bread

2 cups flour
3 tblsp shortening or margarine
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk (or sour milk..add 1 tblsp vinegar to 1 cup milk)
3/4 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup raisins (reg or golden)
1 tsp salt
1 tblsp melted butter
4 tblsp sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 8 or 9 inch round pan.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt and 3 tblsp of the sugar.
Add shortening and cut into flour until mixture is in fine pieces.
Make a well in center of flour mixture. Pour in milk and raisins.
Mix until combined.
Turn onto a floured board and knead 3 to 4 times.
Shape into a ball and place into the greased pan.
Cut a slit in the top of the dough crosswise.
Brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining sugar and cinnamon.
Bake 35 to 45 min. until golden brown.
Delicious warm.

Well folks I guess thats it for now. Look for the next posts when I will tell you whats coming up at the Inn and how well we fare with our new feathered friends.

Hope to see you soon from Joe and Bill at the Inn at Stony Creek.