What to cook for St. Patrick's Day? I was stumped. That's why I checked in with Colman Andrews, editorial director of The Daily Meal and author most recently of "The Country Cooking of Ireland" (Chronicle Books, 2009, $50).
Andrews, who grew up in Los Angeles and spent a good deal of his working life here writing about food and wine for various magazines, lives on the East Coast now.
"We've had little signs of spring around here, but the weather's turning colder again later this week, and this weekend I'm going to make a pot of turnip and brown bread soup," he writes. "The recipe comes from Catherine Fulvio, who runs a small hotel and dining room (and cooking school) at Ballyknocken House in Ashford, County Wicklow, about 25 miles south of Dublin. (She's Irish, married to a Sicilian, hence the name.)
The brown bread that's going into the soup -- and will also be eaten alongside it with plenty of good Irish butter (Kerrygold, which is sold all over the country now, happily) -- is made from more or less Myrtle Allen's recipe from Ballymaloe in County Cork, which in turn is based on a recipe for a simple no-knead, one-rise wholewheat yeast bread published in 1944 by Doris Grant, a Scots-born Englishwoman who thought factory-made white bread was poison."