Barmbrack is the center of an Irish Halloween custom. The Halloween Brack traditionally contained various objects baked into the bread and was used as a sort of fortune-telling game. In the barmbrack were: a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a small coin (originally a silver sixpence) and a ring. Each item, when received in the slice, was supposed to carry a meaning to the person concerned: the pea, the person would not marry that year; the stick, would have an unhappy marriage or continually be in disputes; the cloth or rag, would have bad luck or be poor; the coin, would enjoy good fortune or be rich; and the ring, would be wed within the year. Other articles added to the brack include a medallion, usually of the Virgin Mary to symbolize going into the priesthood or to the Nuns, although this tradition is not widely continued in…
• 1 lb potatoes
• 1 lb kale or cabbage
• Onion or leek
• 1/4 cup milk
• Butter, salt and pepper
First peel and boil the potatoes. Then chop the kale or cabbage up small. Steam cabbage until tender, about 8 minutes. Then saute the onion until golden. Mash the potatoes well, and mix with the cabbage and onion. Add a wee bit of milk and butter to get that creamy consistency. Then salt and pepper to taste. Bake in a medium oven for about 15 minutes.
4 tbsp plain flour (corn starch if you want it to be gluten free)
1 ½lb stew beef, trimmed and cut into chunks
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 onions, diced
2-3 large carrots, sliced
1 ½ cups beef stock (from a stock cube is fine)
1 cup of Irish Stout (omit for gluten free and increase beef stock by 1 cup)
dash of Worcestershire sauce
2 lbs even-sized peeled potatoes
3 tbsp (1 ½oz) Irish Butter
salt and pepper
Coat beef with corn starch. Brown stew beef in a pot with butter and onions. Add carrots, thyme, potatoes, stock, stout and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours until beef is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
After you feast on traditional Irish foods on Halloween you will need to wash it down with an old drink called Lambswool. The name Lambswool is believed to be derivative of the Irish Gaelic, “La Mas Nbhal” meaning ‘Feast of the Apples. The Gaelic saying was pronounced “Lammas-ool”. This ultimately evolved into Lambswool. There are several of recipes for Lambswool that exist. But the drink basically consists of baked crushed apples(cored and crushed without skins), which are added to milk, and hot spiced ale, hard cider and or wine. Grate in nutmeg and some ginger. Add sugar according to taste.
About This Recipe
“This is a traditional cider drink that was made and enjoyed on Twelfth Night (January 16-17) in Elizabethan England. It is said that it gets its name from the whiteness of the roasted apples as they fluff out of their skins while they cook. I haven’t made it yet, but I cant let go of the recipe every time I go to clean out my recipe box.”
4 pints real ale ( Newcastle or similar)
2 -3 large apples
1 cup hard alcoholic cider ( such as Woodchuck or Hornsby’s)
1 cinnamon stick
Preheat oven to 180°C: 350°F: Gas 4.
Core the apples and bake in 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes until very soft.
Squeeze all of the pulp from the apples and discard the skins then fluff the puree with a fork.
Heat the ale and cider with the cinnamon stick and cloves.
Our traditional Irish Christmas Plum Pudding has had humble beginnings. Plum pudding was originally a porridge flavored with scraps of meat or fish, thickened with bread crumbs and bound together with eggs, fruit and spices. During the Tudor and Stuart period dried prunes were added to the pudding which became known as plum porridge.
Today it is simply known as Christmas Plum Pudding. Although Plum Pudding is not the type of food generally thought of as a pudding today by commercial standards. It is exactly what one would expect of a traditional old fashioned Irish pudding. Plum Pudding drizzled with Brandy Butter is the essence of Christmas in Ireland and is deliciously served with a fresh cream sauce or Brandy Butter.
Irish Christmas Plum Pudding Serving Ideas…
2/3 cup sugar*
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add boiling water and cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes until ingredients are well blended.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric beater until smooth and well blended. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until firm. Brandy Butter may be sprinkled with nutmeg before serving.