This past Monday was the thirteenth anniversary of Father D's ordination to the priesthood, so like all good church ladies would do, an email went viral amongst us on Saturday asking that everyone bring in some kind of home-baked yumminess to eat for breakfast after Mass on Monday morning.
I wracked my brains to think of something interesting (well, okay, and easy) to make and came up with the Irish soda bread I made for St. Patrick's Day, only in muffin form for easier serving. I made two dozen out of the linked recipe, eschewing the use of currants and caraway seed (which my friend Katie H. told me is actually called "Spotted Dog"), adjusting the cooking time to thirty minutes instead of sixty. I made some whipped honey butter with a touch of almond, made what I felt was an attractive presentation with a bowl, a basket and a couple of cloth napkins, and headed off to church feeling pleased that I could pitch in at a moment's notice. Doing stuff at a moment's notice is not one of my strong suits.
So after Mass, we were all milling about what Father calls the "doughnut slash conference room" (I don't know who he thinks he's kidding; Anyone in the church could tell you what room is designated as the doughnut room, but ask them where the conference room is and watch them flounder) and the organizer of the little feast, a woman named Elizabeth, came up to speak to me.
"Did you make those Irish soda muffins?" she asked. "They're so delicious."
"Why, yes I did," I responded, pleased as punch.
"Well, there's a woman over there," Elizabeth discreetly pointed, "and she was born and raised in Ireland and she'd like to meet you."
"Oh, how nice!" I said, but inside my head, I was thinking, Wow, that sounds ambiguous. Does she want to meet me because she thinks the muffins were good? Or is she going to berate me publicly for calling my silly little quick bread "Irish"? Is she going to say, How dare you call these muffins Irish, you imposter You are clearly not a descendant from the oulde sod.
I never found out. She left before I got a chance to talk to her, not that I went and hid out in the sacristy or anything. My muffins had a very satisfying dent in them and I got a lot of compliments, so I know that the Americans liked them. But whether they're actually Irish or not, I may never know.
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