My mother was never the kind of mom who baked cookies or had a special meal that we remembered fondly.* But we knew another Irish family whose mom made the best Irish soda bread I ever had. I just remember the bread had this wonderful clean taste.
Since we didn't have any family recipes to pass down, I've tried a lot of recipes over the years, but until tonight, I never found a recipe that had that clean taste of Mrs. Joyce's Irish soda bread.
*There are a number of meals that we remember not-so-fondly - the overcooked flounder on Fridays....we were always thrilled when my mother made fishsticks instead of actual fish. The boiled chicken - yes, you read that right - boiled effing chicken, taking an already bland meat and blanding the fuck out of it. The cabbage, oh mercy, the cabbage, those watery, nearly translucent leaves that stank to high heaven. Any beef was cooked well past done, potatoes would often be slightly undercooked and still hard in the middle, and all vegetables were boiled till every last bit of nutrition was gone.