Irish Proverb ( Also Soda Bread With Scotch)

St. Patrick’s Day. Memories of presiding over a sea of green in the classroom. The absolute necessity of a dinner of corned beef and cabbage. A day when everyone is just a little bit Irish, in spirit if in no other way.

This day always reminds me of one of my favorite Irish proverbs:
Better one good thing that is, rather than two good things that were, or three good things that might never come to pass.

First a disclaimer. I bought soda bread this year. We’re also meeting friends for corned beef and cabbage at a local restaurant. Not much holiday related cooking going on around here today. I had the good intention of making soda bread, and actually pulled four different recipes out of Aunt Helen’s collection.

One of the recipes just has to be shared, even though I’ve yet to try it. It includes 1/4 cup of Scotch. I need to make this some day to see if that addition adds anything to the bread. The recipe is called Patty’s Soda Bread. Not sure if that’s a reference to St. Patrick, or if Aunt Helen had a friend named Patty who gave her the recipe.

Patty’s Soda Bread


2 C flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 TBS sugar
6 TBS shortening
1/2 C raisins
1 TBS caraway seeds
1/2 C buttermilk
1/4 C Scotch
2 TBS milk


1. Sift together into a large bowl: flour, baking soda, salt, sugar.
2. Cut shortening into the flour mixture until the consistency of corn meal.
3. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds.
4. Gradually mix in buttermilk and Scotch.
5. Knead briefly and shape into a round loaf.
6. Place on a greased baking sheet and cut a deep cross in the top of the bread.
7. Brush with milk.
8. Bake in a pre-heated 375 oven for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.

Thanks, Aunt Helen and Patty!

About Mary Jane

I am a retired English teacher. My husband, Frank, and I have lived on Cape Cod since 2000. I am a lifelong bread baker and writer and have been posting a blog on Falmouth Patch for the last few years. Savory Seasons has been largely devoted to recipes and food in general. I am hoping to expand my focus in this new blog.
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