Irish Bread

Mother's Day in Ireland In Ireland, Mother's Day is not celebrated on same day as in U.S. Mother's Day celebrations in Ireland takes place on the fourth Sunday in the Christian fasting month of Lent. This corresponds to the day on which Mother's Day or Mothering Sunday is celebrated in UK, a close neighbor of Ireland. While in the US Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in the month of May. But just as in scores of other countries, people in Ireland honor their mothers on the occasion of Mother's Day for all their love and affection. History of Mother's Day in Ireland The history of celebrating Mothering Sunday or Mother's Day in Ireland can be traced to the medieval practice where children from poor families were send to work as domestic servants and apprentices to work with the rich. Once in the year in the middle of the Lent these children were given a day off to visit their 'Mother Church' and worship Virgin Mary. After visiting the Mother Church or Cathedral of their home town these children visited their mothers and presented them with flowers they picked along the way. Girls bake special Mothering Cake on the day. Pattern of living changed after the Industrial Revolution and Mothering Sunday celebration almost lapsed. The custom was revived after World War II. Americans too helped to bring back the charm of the festival in European countries as their tradition and way of celebrating Mother's Day spread far and wide. IRISH BROWN BREAD Baking this Irish brown bread is a cherished family tradition. Like the simple recipe, the old-fashioned method they use - measuring and mixing ingredients with their bare hands - has been passed down through the generations. The resulting bread is rustic and hearty, delicious whether served with butter or a favorite jam. INGREDIENTS 2 1 / 4 cups whole wheat flour 2 1 / 4cups all-purpose flour 1 1 / 2 cups rolled oats 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon sugar 2 1 / 2 cups buttermilk METHOD Heat the oven to 400. Combine everything but the buttermilk in a large bowl and stir the ingredients with your hands. Make a well in the mixture and pour in 1 cups of the buttermilk. Continue mixing with your hands, adding the remaining cup of buttermilk as you combine the ingredients. The resulting dough will be wet and very sticky. Dust your hands with flour, shape the dough into a ball, and place it on a floured cookie sheet (we used a nonstick baking mat). With a knife, score a deep X in the top of the ball, widening it with the sides of the blade as you cut. Bake the bread until its golden brown, about 50 minutes. Transfer it to a wire rack and let it cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Makes a crusty, dense loaf about 7 inches in diameter. AND FINALLY... A Letter from an Irish Mother Dear Son, Just a few lines to let you know I'm still alive. I'm writing this slowly because I know you can't read fast. You won't know the house when you get home, 'cos we've moved. Your Father has a lovely new job with 700 men under him - he cuts grass at the cemetery. There was a washing machine at the new house, but it's not working too well. Last week I put in 12 shirts, pulled the chain and I haven't seen them since. Your sister, Colleen had a baby this morning, but I haven't found out if it's a boy or girl, so I don't know if you're an uncle or aunt. Your Uncle Mick drowned last week in a vat of whiskey at the Dublin Distillery. His mates tried to save him, but he fought them off bravely. He was cremated and it took four days to put the fire out. I saw the doctor last week and your Father went with me. Doc put a glass tube in my mouth and told me not to talk for five minutes. Your Father wanted to buy it from him. It only rained twice this week, first for four days the second for three days. We had a letter from the undertaker. He said if the final payment on your Grandmother's grave wasn't paid in seven days - up she comes. Your loving Mother XXXX P.S. I was going to send you 10 Euro, but I'd already sealed the envelope. And to all Irish mothers, wherever you are: L? mh?thair shona dhuit - God bless you on Mother's Day.