Halloween originates from the traditional Irish harvest festival, or 'samhain'. On 'oíche shamhna', or halloween night, it is traditional to bake a barm brack, a bread made with lots of dried fruit.
The bracks are baked with traditional charms inside, which will fortell the fortune for the coming year for the finder of each charm. To this day, even supermarket bracks will contain a charm.
Barm brack is simple to make and delicious eaten thick with good butter and a hot mug of tea. It is a nice tradition to carry on, for those who love halloween, are of Irish descent, or who mark the oíche shamhna.
I have put together a little kit to make your halloween brack, which includes:
-the barm brack recipe and list of the meanings of each of the charms
-a set of seven charms: a coin, a pea, a stick, a rag, a button, a thimble, and a ring
-an individually wrapped teabag of Barry's Irish tea, to use in preparing your brack
-a hand stamped muslin bag to hold it all in.
I have gone to great effort to put together this little kit, from designing and printing the recipe card, collecting all the charms (including real Irish coins and a real Irish marrowfat pea), and hand-stamping each muslin bag with the words 'oíche shamhna' (or 'halloween night') with a punched paper shamrock glued on.
Each charm should be wrapped in a square of greaseproof paper before adding to the batter, so they can be easily found--make sure to find all the charms before tucking in to the brack! You can save the charms and store them in their little bag for next year, too.
This would make a great little present for halloween, even better if you bake the brack first!
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