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Irish Soda Bread

Patti Leonard shares her grandmother's recipe for Irish soda bread. She recommends serving the bread, which is a long-standing tradition in Irish culture, warm with a slab of butter.

Patti Leonard of Sacramento, California has deep Irish roots from both sides of her family and she keeps their traditions alive by cooking a few dishes that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Patti starts by sharing her grandmother's recipe for Irish soda bread, which is very dense and heavy bread. Patti's mother typed her grandmother's recipe up on an old typewriter and Patti has it framed in her kitchen.

"This soda bread recipe is so important to me because it was passed down from my grandmother. I don't know where she got it -- she probably got it passed down to her. It is also typed by my mother on an old typewriter that lived in our kitchen. You'll see how the aroma of the bread just fills the house," said Patti.

Patti recommends serving it warm with a slab of butter. She says it's the best comfort food!

Soda bread has a long-standing tradition in Irish culture. In Ireland when yeast baking wasn't as common the use of baking soda as a levying agent was a quick and effective way to create the Irish staple that we see today.

Patti's recipe for blackberry and apple crumble is sweet and delicious. She uses oatmeal to top the dessert, which is the Irish touch, and serves it warm out of the oven with a little ice cream.

Kelly, Patti's daughter, is the baker in the family. She discovered her love for cooking with her mother by her side.

"I think meals are the best way for families to get together, so cooking and helping prepare the meal and sharing the meal with a family is the best way to be social. So I just like to have my daughter raised that way," said Patti.

Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish that consists of potatoes and cabbage and a lot of butter. When the dish is done, Patti hides a ring wrapped in parchment paper inside. Whoever finds the ring, is supposed to be the next one to get married.

"The story goes that whoever finds the ring will be the next one to get married but I like to play it for the children so we won't say it for getting married because they are too young. I say it will bring them really good luck. It's always fun to find the surprise in the potatoes," said Patti.

To complete the meal, Patti makes an easy baked salmon with olive oil, lemon and dill and roasted beets topped a lemon dressing and goat cheese.

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