The Maasai and The Soda Bread

This is actually a re-post of a piece I had on my recipe page. St. Patrick’s Day is big here in the Boston area so I thought I’d share it again. The recipe is still on the page and I invite you to take a look. 

When my children were small we belonged to a multi-racial family group because that’s what we are. It amazes me how many of these families there are these days but back then there were only half as many. As a group, socializing together was just one of the strategies we used to make sure our children felt comfortable in their own skins.

One March, right around St. Patrick’s Day, one of the families hosted a visit by a Maasai tribesman at their home. The mother of the family took great pride in telling the story of how her mother-in-law had taught her the recipe for THE best Irish Soda Bread. I marveled at the scene, watching her wave a piece of soda bread around as she boasted, Kenti cloth around her head and a Maasai guy standing next to her. It was an unusually warm day for March in Boston so we were out on her lawn and all these little different hued kids were running and tumbling around her. It was a very good day. Please enjoy her recipe and happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Moon Mania II

I guess I’ve been thinking about the moon because at this time of year it’s “going and coming” is so important to how we human beings mark cycles. (Maybe that’s why it seems so natural to me to factor the moon into my personal cycles.) For instance, Easter is next month. Do you know how the date of Easter is determined?  Easter Sunday is the Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon date for that year. In June 325 C.E. astronomers approximated astronomical full moon dates for the Christian church, calling them Ecclesiastical Full Moon dates. From 326 C.E., the PFM has always been the EFM date after March 20th (the vernal equinox date in 325 C.E.)

Today is the waxing gibbous moon. As I mentioned in my previous post, the best time to clean is right after the new moon but anytime during the waxing phases is good. Now, we could argue all day long about the need for clean. But to paraphrase character Marie Barone of the old “Everybody Loves Raymond” TV show who was speaking about those how argue against cleaning; you know who says that, people who don’t like to clean. And so you’re just going to have to give me that cleaning is good and I’m going to give you some great (organic/natural) cleaning recipes, applicable only if you’re the one responsible for cleaning where you live. Don’t blame me, blame Marie Barone and please go to the Recipe page.

Today is, of course, St. Patrick’s Day. I remember the March I was introduced to Irish soda bread. I’ve put the story and the recipe on the Recipe page.

Spring starts this coming Sunday, March 20th . Although the moon doesn’t determine the seasons, the sun does, it’s worth noting that this month’s full moon is on Saturday. Spring equinox marks the first day of the spring season and the beginning of a long period of sunlight at the North Pole. In the northern hemisphere, usually March 20th, the sun crosses the equator moving northward. March 20th seems to be a circled on the moon and the sun’s calendars!  And spring is like that, isn’t it. The factors that were dormant or distant last month are acting on us at a fever pitch now. I can see it where I live. The crocuses are coming up and today marks the start of 12 hours of sunlight in my area. And oh, that moon. Is there anything more beautiful than a spring moon after a long day of sun? What a blessing! And that’s why I have moon mania.