Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Hibernians Mix Up Charity Cookbook

By GRETCHEN KEISER, Staff Writer | Published March 18, 2010

The St. Patrick’s Day tradition of serving homemade scones and soda breads after the saint’s day Mass on March 17 has now birthed a cookbook.

“Tasty Traditions,” a 350-recipe compilation of favorites of Atlanta-area Hibernians, has been produced in time for this year’s feast day. The $15 book is entirely a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House in Atlanta, where children facing serious illness and their families can stay at little or no cost while here for medical care.

Cookbook chairwoman Ellen McDermott Anastasio said donated recipes, which are not exclusively Irish, include appetizers, beverages, vegetables and side dishes, entrees, breads and scones, cookies and other desserts. Examples include corned beef and cabbage, sweet brisket, Guinness beef, brown bread, traditional Christmas cake and Irish cream.

The Hibernian Benevolent Society of Atlanta cookbook is a first for the organization, formed in 1858, which sponsors the St. Patrick’s Day parade, St. Patrick’s Day Mass, a ball and the annual wreath-laying at the Father Thomas O’Reilly memorial. Recipes came from HBSA members, their friends and families, she said. The cause is close to her heart as her grandson, Tristan, has undergone three surgeries in his first year and a half of life.

At an HBSA monthly meeting, the idea was born that “it would be a great idea to have a cookbook with Irish recipes in it and the history of Atlanta.” Turning it entirely toward a good cause is the nature of a society that is called benevolent, she said. Committee members were Ed Moran, Carol Fitzpatrick, Josephine Hadelman, Ronnie Healy, Pat Joyce and Mary Ann McLoughlin.

To order a copy of “Tasty Traditions,” visit or contact Ellen Anastasio at or (770) 641-7556. Below is one of her recipes.

Blueberry Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar, plus extra to sprinkle on top
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick unsalted butter cut into pieces
1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries, picked over and rinsed
1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated
1/3 cup heavy cream, plus extra to brush on top
2 large eggs, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray triangular scone pan with cooking spray.

In large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. With pastry blender cut in butter until mixture resembles small peas. Stir in blueberries and lemon zest. Using a fork, whisk together cream and eggs in a liquid measuring cup. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the cream mixture. Stir gently with a fork just until the dough comes together.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to mix well. Pat the dough into the triangular scone pan to form 16 triangles. Brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for approximately 22 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.