I was about to peek in the oven when I noticed them, the raisins on the counter that were supposed to be inside my soda bread. Oh, shit.
This was in the middle of a busy morning of baking for the annual soda bread contest at the Irish American Heritage Museum. This loaf, one of two for the “family style” competition would not do. I needed to start over.
My wife was like, what? How could you forget the raisins?
I didn’t have a good answer for that one — and I hustled into mixing my ingredients.
Everything was under control — until later in the morning when I got a sick feeling about my traditional loaf. I peered in the oven and saw that things were not right. I forget to add the baking soda to the soda bread.
These traditional loaves only have four ingredients — flour, buttermilk, salt and baking soda — and without the baking soda, you have something that’s inedible, like a big white hockey puck. What kind of idiot leaves out an ingredient that’s right there in the name?
This kind of idiot.
The wife eyed me suspiciously. Was he finally losing his shit, she must have thought, giving in to the early effects of dementia?
I assured her that I was not incompetent — or senile — and pushed ahead. Even with the delays, my loaves made it into the contest with five minutes to spare.
They say all’s well that ends well, and after all the trouble, my family style bread won second place. Nevertheless, I’m beginning to think that I may need to keep better track of what’s going on while cooking, the way I always go to the grocery store with a list these days. When I remember to bring it.