Nancy Kieran, who co-owns the Kendall Tavern Inn B&B, at 213 Main St., Freeport, with Mark Provost, shared a wonderful story and recipe that will provide warmth and comfort while we are staying at home.

“This recipe for Irish Soda Bread is from my friend Donna Wallace. Donna has known me since I was born; our families attended church together. About 40 years ago the women of the church organized a women’s group for fun and fellowship. Still meeting every first Wednesday of the month, this group, known as The Gathering, uses an online meeting until we can gather again.

“We share hosting the group and when we meet at Donna’s house she will often make this Irish Soda Bread. When we bought the Kendall Tavern Inn B&B in Freeport six years ago, I asked Donna for the recipe – it was just right for the baked goods of our three-course breakfasts.

“This is not your round, crusty Irish Soda Bread. It is moist and most like a coffee cake, with a distinctive flavor. Any dried fruit can be added. Other than raisins and cranberries, I add cherries, mango, currants, sometimes dates. Don’t forget the sugar on top! It adds a nice crunchy sweetness.”

For a different take on Irish Soda Bread, try a recipe by the co-owner of Kendall Tavern Inn B&B in Freeport. Courtesy / Kendall Tavern Inn B&B

Kendall Tavern Inn B&B Irish Soda Bread

4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
½ cup (1 stick) margarine
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 ½ cups sour milk (can add 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar to whole milk)
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries

Mix together dry ingredients then add eggs, milk and raisins. Stir until combined. Place in tube or bundt pan using non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle top with sugar. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until pick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Serves 16.

Culinary News & Notes

The Harraseeket Inn in Freeport has announced in its current newsletter that Executive Chef Bo Byrnes will conduct some “lively cooking demos” in the near future with safe social distancing. This sounds exciting. More details soon.

The Brunswick Farmers Market, held Tuesday and Friday mornings, is temporarily located at St. John’s Church, 39 Pleasant St., while the Brunswick Mall is being re-seeded and refurbished. In related news, there is a very useful tool at for locating farmers markets, seafood sellers, organic growers – even a list of takeout services.

The James Beard Foundation has announced the nominees for the 2020 Awards. Among the six nominees for Best Chef: Northeast are four from Maine: Vien Dobui of Cong Tu Bot in Portland, Ben Jackson at Drifter’s Wife in Portland, Krista Kern Desjarlais at The Purple House in North Yarmouth and Greg Mitchell and Chad Conley of the Palace Diner in Biddeford. The winners will be announced Sept. 25.

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