Irish Soda Farls

One of the best parts of St. Patrick’s Day  is the outpouring of Irish recipes. We recently came across a traditional Irish breakfast bread called Soda Farls. Best described as a cross between a scone and an English muffin, they are quick and simple…and delicious with butter and jam.

Irish Soda Farls

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2/3 cup Buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients, and stir in buttermilk. Mix to make a thick knead-able  dough.  Turn out to a lightly floured surface and knead lightly into a round ball.

Roll dough into a disk about 1/2″ thick and divide into quarters (“farls”) or eighths.

Lightly flour a griddle or heavy skillet and heat on a medium burner. Cook the farls for 10 minutes on each side until brown (reduce heat if they brown too quickly- the middle won’t cook completely). Test with a toothpick or skewer for doneness.

Serve warm with butter and jam (Los Gatos  B&B jam, of course!)

Irish Soda Farls
Irish Soda Farls

Hungry Foxes

This has been a hard winter for much of the area’s wildlife. The extended deep cold has taken a lot of energy, and the deep soft snow has made foraging difficult.  We finally had a thaw earlier in the week that thinned the snow pack and made a glaze that allowed  travel over the snow instead of through it.

We are seeing red foxes hunting in the hay field at the edge of our property. This is the ideal habitat of voles, the fox’s favorite prey. Voles burrow along the top of the soil, under the snow, gathering grass. The foxes listen for the sound of burrowing, then with a cat-like pounce they crash through the snow to snap up the hapless vole.

Mini Moon Rise

Much ado has been made over the last year or so about so-called “supermoons”, where the full moon appears slightly larger  because it is at the near point of its orbit. Last night’s full moon must be a ‘minimoon’ because it occurred when the moon was very near the farthest point in its orbit. How big a difference is the apparent size? Not much… less than 10%. I will try to get a photo of the next ‘supermoon’ next September 27th  to compare.

The Finger Lakes region has enjoyed warmer days and the snow pack is dwindling. The cold nights refreeze the surface of the snow making a shiny glaze, adding to the beauty of the rising moon.

Moon rise over snow.

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