Last year they made Irish soda bread, so I volunteered to make it this year. I bought currants rather than raisins, although they turned out to taste about the same. I did search for a recipe that didn't require buttermilk. I didn't think vinegar in milk would taste the same, and I didn't want to pay a hefty price. I used powdered milk.
The bottom of the bread was insanely smooth, almost like tile.
For our potato dish, we had champ. Last year we had coddle. Champ is basically mashed potatoes with green onions in them and a pool of butter on top to dip each bite into.
Dessert was apple-barley pudding. I substituted home-canned apples but there was no way around buying the cream to go on top.
Let's just say it was authentic, but not really tasty. Nathan pointed out that it tasted like oatmeal, so the next morning I heated it up with brown sugar and vanilla and that was okay. I was more grossed out by the cream than the pudding.
Our friend's toddler first thought the pudding was beans. I told her it was dessert, but that she probably wouldn't like it. As we were all eating some, she tasted a bite and then wanted her own bowl. They dished her a small bowl and put her in her highchair. A minute later, she said she wanted dessert. We told her it WAS dessert, the same thing she'd just tasted. Her comment was, "This isn't dessert. I LIKE dessert." Even as we were leaving, she was convinced I still had something luscious in the pan and we had just tricked her when dishing up her serving.
Overall, our meal was much better than last year's and we plan to keep up the tradition.