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ANN BAILEY: Irish goodies for St. Pat’s

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ANN BAILEY: Irish goodies for St. Pat’s
Grand Forks North Dakota 375 2nd Ave. N. 58203

As someone whose grandparents and great-grandparents had last names that included Foley, Sweeney, Kelly and Barrett, I knew from an early age that my ancestors came from the Emerald Isle.


My parents encouraged me and my brothers and sisters to be proud of our Irish heritage and St. Patrick’s Day was always celebrated. In the morning, we were sent off to school wearing something green and with a shamrock pinned on our shirt. For supper, my mom made food that was either green — lime Jell-O or pistachio salad — or a traditional Irish dish such as corned beef and cabbage.

Even if I wasn’t particularly fond of some of the food, especially the corned beef and cabbage, I enjoyed my family’s celebration of our heritage. Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day nurtured my pride in my Irish roots. As an adult, I continue to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day and cook an Irish dish or two to share with family and friends.

Three of my favorite “go-to” recipes for St. Patrick’s Day are Irish Soda Bread, Wearin’ of the Green Cake and Irish Coffee and Cream. Years after I graduated from UND, people who worked in the English Department still reminisced with me when I saw them about the Irish Coffee and Cream, a homemade version of Bailey’s Irish Cream, that I gave to some of my professors as gifts.

Since St. Patrick’s Day is next week, I thought this week I would share these favorites of mine with readers in case they want to celebrate the day with an Irish dish or just enjoy some good food.

Super Irish Soda Bread

4 cups flour, plus 1 teaspoon for dusting the bread

0.5 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

0.75 teaspoon salt

3 cups raisins

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1.25 cups buttermilk

1 cup sour cream

Combine the 4 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, raisins and caraway seeds in a large bowl. In another bowl, blend together eggs, buttermilk and sour cream. Stir wet mixture into flour mixture until flour mixture is moistened.

Knead dough about 10 times; dough will be very stiff. Shape into a dome shape and cut a 3- to 4-inch deep cross on top. Place dough on pan or cast iron skillet. Dust with remaining flour. Bake in 350-degree oven for 65 to 75 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Turn bread out onto wire rack until completely cooled.

Wearin’ of the Green Cake

Cake: 1 box white cake mix

3 –ounce package lime Jell-O

1 cup boiling water

0.5 cup cold water

Topping: 1 cup cold milk

1 package instant vanilla pudding

1 8-ounce container refrigerated whipped topping

Green sprinkles

Prepare cake as directed on package. Cool on a wire rack for one hour. In a small bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in cold water. Set aside. Poke holes in cooled cake. Pour gelatin over cake. Cover and refrigerate. In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for five minutes. Let stand until soft set. Fold in whipped topping. Spread topping over cake and decorate with green sprinkles. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Irish Coffee and Cream

4 eggs*

1 can sweetened, condensed milk

1 cup blended whiskey

0.5 teaspoon instant coffee

0.5 teaspoon coconut extract

1 tablespoon chocolate syrup

1-third teaspoon almond extract

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for two minutes. Pour into a glass jar or bottle and store in the refrigerator.

*This recipe was developed before raw eggs became a health concern. Instead of using raw eggs, I now use a pasteurized egg substitute.

 Reach Bailey at or (218) 779-8093.