Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread and Don’t Forget the Butter! Part 1
Irish kitchens are not only known for their wholesome, delicious, and what I call comfort foods, but also for gatherings of friends and neighbors to share their, laughter and joy, their music, song, dance and stories.
I grew up in Ireland, and had the good fortune of visiting many an Irish kitchen with breads and scones constantly in the making, and a pot of tea brewing morning, noon and night on the hearth. I can happily and honestly say I ate the best Irish soda bread and the best tea-scones from here to God knows where.
My scrumptious delights went down a treat as I listened to Our Daily Bread Today Devotional (just to mention a few) the O’Learys, the Kellys, the Doyles and the Connolloys, share the good fortunes and misfortunes of anyone from the President of Ireland to the Queen of England.
On those cold and bleak winter nights, as we hugged the hearth sometimes in conversation and sometimes in silence, I enjoyed many mouth-watering simmering soups and stews, and snacked on sweet and savory rustic flavors that would certainly warm the cockles of your heart and cure all ailments.
Speaking of Ireland, its people, the food and the hospitality, is so natural for me it’s like exhaling after inhaling. Those salivating moments and warm hospitable gatherings I certainly enjoyed.
As I look back and go down memory lane, I realize even at an early age our taste-buds were already set and our rustic palates were defined.
There is a great satisfaction formed when the wonderful warm aroma from Irish soda bread is spreading through your kitchen. And a greater soul deep satisfaction formed while indulging in its mouth-watering disappearance.
When you familiarize yourself with this tactic, there is no turning back.
In my younger days, at eleven years old and shortly before my confirmation, a very good classmate of mine borrowed two loaves of soda bread from his mother’s hearth to take with us on a much anticipated blackberry picking excursion.
Needles to say, the group of us were delighted to have warm soda bread to enjoy for lunch, but the only thing missing was butter and a knife to spread it with.
“How come you didn’t steal butter and a knife while you were at it?” another friend asked, as she longed for the warm crusty soda bread and butter sensation. Once you are used to this taste it’s not easy to ignore it.
My dear friend answered without blinking an eye and giving much thought to his answer, “because the butter and knife always sits in the middle of the table for everyone to use, and me ma would notice they were gone.”