Posts Tagged ‘Tea Brack’

I’ve mentioned before how I am a girl who just can’t say no!  Yes, that is the title of a song…. and I am that person.

Despite being hectically busy over the summer with AirBnB guests, and Alfie in and out of hospital, when our friend and neighbour, Margaret Hickey, asked if we’d help with some recipe testing we jumped at the idea.

Margaret has written a book on the history of food in Ireland from the perspective of the ‘peasant’ food.  I must say we love the title : Ireland’s Green Larder

The first lot of recipes we were asked to test were scones, ‘curranty’ cake,  boxty and a boiled fruit cake.  As it happened we had AirBnB guests staying who were delighted to jump in and work with us on the scones and ‘curranty’ cake.  The boiled fruit cake was easy to do too.

I’m afraid we let the side down on the boxty recipe… we just ran out of time.

Boiled Fruit Cake

Then last week, in the final moments before the ‘go to print’ button was pushed, Margaret asked if I’d test a tea brack recipe.  Again ‘no problem’.

However…. I made a bit of a mess.

The recipe called for the fruit to be soaked in scalding hot tea and left overnight. As I headed to bed I wondered why ‘scalding’ hot tea?  Any time I make tea brack, it’s just tea leftover in the pot that I use.

It pays to read the instructions properly!!!

The reason for the ‘scalding’ hot tea was that you put the sugar in with the fruit! Doh!

Day 2, recipe test 2.  This time I did put the sugar in with the fruit, and of course, the reason for the ‘scalding’ hot tea was so blatantly obvious!

So over one weekend – we had two tea backs – just as well we had a couple of food bloggers visiting who were more than willing to ‘taste test’!!!

Margaret’s book, Ireland’s Green Larder, is a history book.  It is not another recipe book.  However, there are some recipes scattered throughout.

Ireland’s Green Larder

If you are interested in the development of the Irish food culture and how our eating habits have changed, you will love this book.  For instance, in the not too distant past offal was way more popular than it is now.

Did you know that the pig was referred to as ‘the gentleman who paid the rent’? There are many other interesting facts and stories.

Margaret is into the final few days for you to ‘pledge’ your support for her book. Check out this video where Margaret tells you more about her book, and while there you can pledge from as little as €15.00.  Pledging closes at midnight tomorrow, 27th.  The book will be published between March and May next year.

Another great idea for a Christmas gift for the history buff or foodie in your life?

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I was clearing out a drawer recently and came across a bunch of scraps of paper with recipes on them.  Among the scraps was this handwritten one ….. I had no idea where it had come from, but thought I recognised the handwriting.!

Well what would you do but make the recipe anyway?  So I did and it was on tasting that I remembered where I’d had this before.  A former work colleague used to make it, and bring it into work for a treat to us on occasions…. thank you Geraldine!  And it was her Mum’s recipe.  So thank you so much to Geraldine’s Mum in Donegal.

This is such a quick recipe…. and the end result is so delicious you just must try it.

Honey Tea Bread

Honey Tea Bread


  • 8 oz raisins
  • 3 oz honey
  • 1/2 pt Hot Strong Tea
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 10 oz wholemeal flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teas mixed spices (I used cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves)


Place raisins in bowl, stir honey into your hot tea and pour this over raisins.  Leave for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 170 deg. (fan)

Stir beaten eggs into raisin and tea bowl.

Mix flour with spices and baking powder in separate bowl, and then add to raisin mixture.

Transfer mixture to lined 2 lb loaf tin.

Bake for between 50 minutes to 1 hour…. timing depends on your oven.

Put the kettle on, and enjoy 🙂

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