Saturday, February 1, 2014

Brigid's Day

Today is Brigid's Day (pronounced BREED's Day), a Celtic holiday. Brigid is the Goddess of Poetry, Healing, Smithcraft, and Midwifery. If you can make it with your hands, Brigid rules it.

The Goddess image of Brigid.

According to a pin on Pinterest, "Saint Brigid (6th century) is the patroness of Ireland along with Saint Patrick, who converted her family. She was an extremely beautiful noblewoman. At 16, her father wanted to marry her to the King of Ulster. She prayed to become ugly so she could be a nun, and soon lost an eye. The day she took her vows she was miraculously healed.

"Near Dublin she built a cell under an oak, Kill-dara - Cell of the Oak. It became a monastery and soon the cathedral city of Kildare. She is celebrated February 1st."

An image of St. Brigid.

There's another pin that leads to Squidoo that shares about how to make Brigid welcome by "having some bread and fresh butter, home made butter if possible, on an outside windowsill, together with some wheat, barley or oat grains for her cow. Also we had to remember to lay down a mat of rushes for Brigid to safely kneel down on while she blessed our home."

So, today I made Irish Soda Bread. The recipe came from All Recipes.

Irish Soda Bread that I made.

1/2 cup white sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour (I ended up using 5 1/2 cups)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups raisins (I used 1 2/3 cups of raisins)
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup sour cream (I used 7/8 cup buttermilk and 3 tablespoons butter since we didn't have sour cream on hand)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch round baking or cake pan.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour (reserving 1 tablespoon), sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, raisins and caraway seeds. In a small bowl, blend eggs, buttermilk and sour cream. Stir the liquid mixture into flour mixture just until flour is moistened. Knead dough in bowl about 10 to 12 strokes.

Dough will be sticky. Place the dough in the prepared skillet or pan and pat down. Cut a 4x3/4 inch deep slit in the top of the bread. Dust with reserved flour

Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 65 to 75 minutes. Let cool and turn bread onto a wire rack.

Slice of bread in the bird feeder.

After the bread cooled, we put out a slice near the bird feeder as a symbolic gesture for putting out bread for Brigid.

A blue jay checking out the bread.

The birds were curious as to what the slice of bread was doing in their feeder. Once they tried it, they kept coming back for more.

The blue jay enjoyed the bread the most.
The woodpeckers also seemed to like to eat pieces from the slice of bread.

The rest of the bread we will eat. I like the idea on Squidoo that the bread also could be "available for friends who may also pass by .... [and to think about] sharing some of your food with those near you who do not have any."

In honor of Brigid's Day, I found a pin that has a nice blessing:

May Brigid bless the house wherein you dwell
Bless every fireside every wall and door
Bless every heart that beats beneath its roof
Bless every hand that toils to bring it joy
Bless every foot that walks its portals through
May Brigid bless the house that shelters you.


Heidi Lyn Burke said...

I actually have an important character in the series of novels I just finished named Brighid, so I'm really fond of the name. (I'm self-publishing. I've released book one but Brighid is introduced in book two, so people don't get to meet her until April, but I'm excited nonetheless)

Rita said...

So interesting! I had to chuckle at myself because I wondered if she pretended to be blind until daddy agreed she could go to the nunnery--LOL!

The bluejay looks like he really enjoyed the bread. I've never tried making soda bread. You guys are always busy making and doing such interesting things. :)

Padmajha PJ said...

I love reading about the history behind each food / cultural relations. I learnt something new today.Thanks for sharing...