Enthused by the season I have been making barmbrack or bairín breac- see not very good photo in extras just to show you what I made.  which roughly translates as spotty bread. It's traditionally eaten around Halloween and is a rich fruit loaf but what's interesting are the things that go into it and what they mean:
fáinne - the ring, who ever cracks their teeth on this will be soon to marry
piseán - the pea, get this and you won't be marrying this year
brat - the cloth, get this and you might become a nun
an méaracán agus an cnaipe - the thimble and the button, more teeth crackers: the thimble predicts spinsterhood and the button the vain life of a bachelor
réal - the old name for a sixpence, or a coin, promising riches in the future!
I couldn't find last year's ring (all commercial made loaves will at least include this) so added a 10c. We've just had hearty slices, still warm so I'm predicting severe indigestion shortly! And one of us is bound to crack a tooth on the coin.

And a rather snazzy little gate plus spiral, the old homestead behind long abandoned.
And there is the odd stripe for Mono Monday. 

And a new blog

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