Irish Bread For St. Patrick’s Day

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - March 12, 2008
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Over the past few years, Joseph Malott has rescued thousands of Oahu drivers in all kinds of weather and locations while doing his job as a highly trained roadside assistance provider for AAA.

Joseph takes his job seriously and tries his best to get to stranded motorists quickly, and provide the best service possible to help them out of their predicaments.

In his spare time, he enjoys relaxing on the beach and using driftwood that has washed ashore to make beautifully carved miniature outrigger canoes. The sails are made out of coconut husks, and the result is an entire collection of hand-made outriggers that he shows off at home and gives away to friends.


Joseph’s wife, Amanda, works from her home as a medical transcriber for hospitals and doctors. Both of their children, Kainoa, 5, and Kayla, 12, attend St. John Vianney School, where Kayla dances hula and takes karate lessons.

This column is dedicated to Joseph and his loving family.

What would St. Patrick’s Day be without Irish soda bread? In honor of St. Patrick’s Day next week, I devised a variation on Irish soda bread to lower the fat content. There are scores of Irish soda bread recipes available and depending on your particular taste, the addition of raisins, nuts and caraway seeds make tastier versions. You can mix and match ingredients to create your own special version, too!

The person who was to become St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born in Wales about A.D. 385.

Patrick was appointed as bishop to Ireland, to convert the native pagans to Christianity. He traveled throughout Ireland, established monasteries across the country and set up schools and churches, which would aid him in his conversion of the country to Christianity. His mission in Ireland lasted 30 years.

He died March 1, A.D. 461, and that day has been commemorated as St. Patrick’s Day ever since.

The St. Patrick’s Day custom came to America in 1737. That was the first year St. Patrick’s Day was publicly celebrated in this country in Boston, which was the port of entry for many Irish immigrants who fled Europe in search of a better life.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


IRISH SODA BREAD WITH RAISINS

This makes two loaves. It is a sweeter version and the sour cream makes this a moist bread.

* 4 cups unbleached flour

* 3/4 cup granulated sugar

* 1 teaspoon baking soda

* 2 teaspoons baking powder

* 3/4 cup golden raisins

* 5 beaten egg whites plus 1 tablespoon water

* 1 pint low-fat sour cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees; coat two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans with cooking spray.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder until well-combined. Toss in raisins until coated with flour mixture. Add the egg whites and sour cream and mix until just combined. Pour batter evenly between the two pans.

Bake loaves for about 1 hour ( tops should sound hollow when tapped and cake tester should come out clean from center). Makes 20 slices.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Slice:

Calories: 200
Fat: 3.9grams
Cholesterol: 12 milligrams
Sodium: 102 milligrams

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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