Irish soda bread isn’t just for a St. Patty’s day celebration anymore. It is a great addition to your meals when serving pork, chili, stew and any kind of meal with gravy. It’s a great balance to your meal but it still is my favorite in the morning with a slap of soft Kerry Gold Irish butter and a good cup of coffee. It’s Heaven!

My cousin Maureen Meahan Kvam gave me this recipe for a great Irish Soda Bread. I adore my cousin Maureen whose great spirit and humor made it so enjoyable to hang out with her. My cousins lived in a large house in Atlantic Highlands that Maureen’s father, our grandfathers and uncles helped build.

I was five or six at the time and living in the Bronx when I would gladly hop in the car with my grandfather, uncles and Maureen’s grandfather, Pop, to head to Atlantic Highlands to build the house. Those days of hanging out listening to my grandfather and Pop and Maureen’s Nana tell stories were priceless

I loved coming to Atlantic Highlands to see Maureen and her brother, Chip, and their sisters but it was always a bonus when Pop and Nana were at the house. You knew you were going to eat well and you knew you were going to laugh, and laugh hard.

My Aunt Maureen, Maureen’s mom and her grandmother Nana were great in the kitchen serving up simple comfort food that was so good. I remember well when Nana would make her Irish soda bread; you’d better hurry and grab a piece because it would be gone in seconds.

Maureen writes of this great relationship:

"My mother’s parents, Nana and Pop, would come down on the bus from the Bronx to Atlantic Highlands for a visit. I eagerly awaited their arrival because they always brought along those lollipops from the 5 & 10 that were packaged in the long string of cellophane. Many nights were spent sitting around the dining room table my Dad had made; having tea and conversations that ultimately produced uncontrollable fits of laughter. I am now my grandparents’ age, living in Minneapolis, sitting at my Dad’s table, drinking tea with family and friends, and still falling into fits of laughter! What a gift!"

Take the time to make this bread, share it with your family.



3 ½ cups sifted flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups seedless raisins
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 ½ cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons melted butter

How to put it together:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a bread pan (or cake pan for a round loaf). Into a mixing bowl, sift all the dry ingredients. Add raisins and caraway seeds, mix to coat.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, and butter. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix lightly.

Turn batter into pan. Bake for about 1 hour. Its great warm out of the oven or sliced and toasted with a wee bit of butter and sugar. Serve it with a strong cup of tea and good conversation.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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An amazing NJ restaurant in a historic building

If you've never been to Lambertville, you're really missing out on a true gem of a town in New Jersey.

And if you've never been to Lambertville Station you're missing out on a really great restaurant in a truly historic building.

It's housed in the building that acted as the Lambertville train station dating back to 1867.

The building and the town went through its tough times, but for the last 40 years, Lambertville Station has been serving diners in a casual upscale atmosphere with excellent food.

Last year a prominent restaurant group called Genesis Hospitality took over the historic dining spot and they've continued the excellence that has made this place a must-go-to spot anytime you're in town.

The menu consists of varied contemporary American favorites with plenty of options.

The food and the service are excellent and are a good fit for couples, families, and special occasions.

There is a first-class Inn on the property on the river across the parking lot if you want to stay over.

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