I don’t know why it takes March coming around again to remind me that an Irish soda bread is a good and simple thing to make, as versatile as a scone (which essentially it is), and the perfect, craggly-edged sort of thing to mix together and serve with soup or stew or chili, or in wedges slathered with butter and jam on weekend mornings. I am an enormous fan of raisin toast in all its forms, and of chewy oats, particularly when you get the satisfaction of kneading them into a loaf. For some reason, I forget all this for approximately 11 1/2 months of the year.
This is one of the recipes from Out of the Orchard, which came out a little under a year ago; apples (or pears) add nuggets of sweetness, and just about anything with apples and cinnamon in it is worth baking just for the way it will make your house smell. I like to time my baking so that people wake up to it or come home to it, because there’s not much more comforting than walking in the front door to the smell of something baking, and I hope that W remembers coming home from school to good smells, or having them waft around on Sunday mornings.