It occurred to me that the gift of time during ’physical isolation’ and challenging time for many, it has in fact given me the chance to re-connect with important food, local food with a story and a heritage.
Homeschooling has combined the necessity to eat all meals together along with subject delivery for ages 8 and 12. This has stimulated the daily process of cooking all meals mostly from scratch, handing over essential and inherited recipe and cooking skills as well as exploring the rich heritage story of certain locally sourced foods.
Yes, many of us our cooking but are we telling the story of the food and he recipe? Are we laying the foundations of shopping local, using locally sourced ingredients from ‘yer man’ from down the road or the next county? it is important, not only to support our farmers and producers but to instill that sense of pride and tie down the long line of heritage from a young age. in fact it is your duty. Local food and local people are the key elements to why Toast The Coast Food Tours started and if you have ever met me you will see my Irish Sea coloured eyes light up and sparkle when you talk about food, I can’t help but add in my thoughts.
On Wednesday my daughters and I made Soda Bread Farls and we covered many educational subjects in the process, we had a great breakfast and great classroom – who knew? – I give you….
Soda Bread Farls
180g Plain Flour mixed with a good teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda.
Mix to a consistency of thick porridge but with a light hand so as not to overwork the mix to ensure that air remains for the rising.
On a well-floured surface turn out the dough mixture into a ball and cut evenly into 4 Farls.
Lift with a flipper/slice and place on the griddle or flat pan.
Check after about 4 mins and as turning brown, flip over and cook the other side.
When both sides are done turn on each side to brown all edges for about 20 seconds each (Harning).
Maths: Quantities and comparing weights, multiplication to make additional amounts of Farls. Cutting one mass into 4 covered our fractions.
English: Research of recipes, we referred to 3, just to compare and then wrote out our own in excellent handwriting for our recipe collection. We explored the meaning of ‘Harning’ and had a go.
Science: What do the ingredients do, why do they need to be added in an order. What temperature would the Farls cook in, what shape cooks best, can we make sure they would rise? We learned about reactions and heat radiation.
Geography: Where are the ingredients from, why is it important to buy local. Northern Ireland food ingredients are some of the best produced in the world. Let’s never forget that Northern Ireland won the BEST FOOD DESTINATION IN THE WORLD 2018/2019 as voted by the World Travel Market. Why is our Dairy produce and climate so important. We used Dale Farm Buttermilk and Neill’s Flour. Our serving was with Dromona butter, Dromona Cheese, and local jam. Where are they grown and why to they taste so good. We had raspberries too, not local, they aren’t out until late Summer, so we touched on importing and the power of the sun.
Business: How did we get the ingredients, how are they made in production from the farm to my fork. What was the process, how much would it cost? How much do the Farls cost to make and what is the difference in price to the shop.? Who gets what portion of the money from the sale?
History: Where did Soda Bread Farls come from and why were they first made? Agriculture, farming, and the story of our country and coast influence our local food. I shared stories of olden days passed to me by my grandparents and of course my own stories from childhood. We referred to a few books, The Scullery, and The Irish Pantry by Noel McMeel and his short story on the history of Soda Bread in the book suited all 3 of us.
Art: Colour and texture helped us judge the cooking process, too early to turn or leave them a few seconds more? The ‘Harning’ made total sense (lifting and placing the Farls together and browning each edge for about 20seconds each).
Life Sciences: Patience in the waiting and the effort to make something from scratch we take for granted, resilience when the first batch went a bit off course, pride in the near-perfect Farls we made and thanks for an unforgettable taste and memory of my daughters cooking their first Soda Bread Farls.
Our Soda was enjoyed in the sun with butter, jam, cheese, and my personal favourite, topped with crushed raspberries.