February is now upon us, but based on today’s fine weather it’s easy to think it is April. When my Grandma told me that February 1 is St Brigid’s Day, the Celtic celebration of the arrival of warmer days and the early signs of spring, I felt my spirits rise. Winter will end soon enough, and while we wait for spring we’ll enjoy the bursts of warm sunshine as they come. Like today, when the kids and I soaked up the rays on our city balcony. Look mama, no sleeves!
St. Brigid represents the lighter half of the year and the transition from the dark season of winter into spring. As I thought about her, I reminisced about the trip to Ireland I took a few months ago with Evie and Ben. We traveled there to lay my grandma’s ashes to rest, and even though the trip was a whirlwind it was a lovely reminder of where I came from.
During the trip we stopped in a small village outside of Dublin, the kind of place where daydreams about trading in big city living for small town life run wild. We stepped into a friendly bakery stocked with local dry goods and freshly baked treats. The Irish flapjacks displayed behind the counter looked interesting – kind of like a granola bar. They tasted subtly sweet and delightfully buttery – a perfect tea time snack! I bought a package of organic Irish oats, knowing I’d want to bake my own Irish flapjacks once back home in Chicago.
Today seemed like the perfect day to test out homemade Irish flapjacks. Not only was it the Celtic celebration of spring, but the kids were asking for cups of Irish tea all morning!
Homemade Irish Flapjacks
2 cups oats (not instant)
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-9″ square baking tin with butter.
In a large bowl, mix oats and salt. Set aside.
In a small sauce pan, melt brown sugar and honey with butter. Stir until smooth and sugar is dissolved. Pour over oats and stir together until the oats are coated. Press mixture into the tin.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Turn out onto a platter or parchment paper. Cut into squares. Serve.
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