We're incredibly lucky with such a mild climate that we can keep growing things alive and harvesting around here throughout winter and without cold frames or greenhouses.
(Although a greenhouse is on my 'Adam to do' list which he just found about about last week. "What to do list?" he asked. "Your list," I said. "What list??" he asked. "The one in my notebook." "Oh right," he said, "a to do list you've written for me. Maybe you should give that to me sometime."
It's quite long. I was picking my moment.)
Anyway, we've got stuff growing. We're eating pumpkins and turnips and rocket and waiting for broadbeans and beets and peas.
And I made soda bread for the first time today! What a revelation! It was 12pm and visitors were coming for lunch at 12.30 and obviously there was no time for an ordinary yeasted loaf. I grabbed The River Cottage Bread book to get their flatbread recipe and saw their soda bread recipe which took 30 mins total prep and bake time. No exaggeration.
I added golden syrup to the recipe and used half wholemeal flour and we're smitten. Lovely for lunch with wintery gardeny stuff.
I was interested that it used baking powder and not bicarb soda (although of course that's a main ingredient in baking powder) but I'd like to try it again with bicarb instead. I used raw jersey milk too, and would try buttermilk (as they suggest) next time.
I'll make it again and blog it after. (The recipe I used today is down in the house through two locked doors and a cold dark run across the paving, it'll have to wait!)
Are you a soda bread fan? Do you have a favourite recipe?
Those Irish, they were onto something… Dark beer and soda bread together, that'd have to be a winning combination. Dark beer, soda bread and a rich beef stew? Heaven on a table?