Enter your e-mail address to receive our weekly e-Newsletter:
THE IRISH KITCHEN
is perhaps the most prolific Irish-American writer of topics
dealing with Irish food and drink.
Holding dual citizenship in
the US and Ireland, Margaret is the author of ten Irish
Cookbooks, An Afternoon Tea cookbook titled 'Tea and Crumpets'.
Her most recent Irish books are 'Flavors of Ireland' (2012), 'Christmas Flavors of Ireland' (2013) and Favorite Flavors of Ireland (2015). She
has authored more than 200 food and travel articles in a number
of publications, including the "Irish Echo," "Irish America
Magazine," "CARA," "Intermezzo, " and Dublin's "Food and Wine"
To see what else Margaret has to offer or to order signed copies of her cookbooks, why not visit her website
The word Halloween owes its origin to the ancient Celtic harvest feast called Samhain (pronounced "sauin"), which occurred on the eve of the Celtic New Year, November 1, a time when the departed souls were allowed to walk the earth. With the arrival of Christianity to Ireland, this was later known as All Souls Day, a time to remember the dead. Several foods are traditionally eaten on All Hallow's Eve, especially colcannon and barmbrack. Bracks (from the Irish breac, meaning "speckled") are cakes studded with dried fruits and raisins which create a speckled effect when sliced. Those that are made with yeast are called "barmbracks," and those that use baking powder and fruit soaked in tea or cider are called "tea bracks" or "cider bracks."
According to tradition, hidden in the Halloween barmbrack were tokens to foretell the future--a ring for the bride-to-be, a thimble for the one who would never marry, a coin for the one who would be wealthy, and a small piece of cloth indicating the one who would be poor. Fortune-telling aside, barmbrack is delicious anytime of the year, and is best when served warm with butter.