Well my Mum’s apple brack went down a storm today and a miracle did happen, I refrained from cutting into it just to make sure that it was cooked through. It did actually arrive at the studio in one piece but it left in the bellies of today’s workshop attendees.
Before I say anymore, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Vicki Woods for coming and delivering a fabulous morning of Qi Gong. Vicki drew our awareness to various joints and how our conditioning can tighten and tense our muscles and making life difficult for ourselves in the long run.
Vicki gave us simple techniques to help us open our bodies and our energy pathways so that we feel balanced and in the flow of life.
I certainly left with a greater awareness of how I am moving in everyday activities even in the simple act of sitting down and getting up out of a chair. I learnt a beautiful sequence to help balance my bodies Qi and that of the Qi of my kidneys. This was of particular interest to me because of the stress I have been under in the past number of months, so I am looking forward to putting this into practice and seeing the unfolding benefits in my own body.
Some of you I know expressed your disappointment at not being able to make the workshop today but I am delighted to say Vicki is going to be returning in the near future for another workshop so if it is meant to be you may make the next one. I am looking forward to learning more valuable techniques to keep me youthful and alive.
I am always surprised at how hungry I get when I am working with energy and today was no different. During our break today the topic of discussion turned to Mum’s apple brack recipe. I am delighted to say that it went down a storm with everyone and I ate a little piece of cake for each of you that were unable to make it today! I promised that I would post the recipe here for everyone to enjoy so I am delivering on that promise with this yogi moment.
Maybe it is the energy of what we did today but I began reminiscing about my childhood this evening and how cooking was a huge part of growing up for me. I remember both my Grandmother’s baking on a weekly and sometimes even daily basis and I remember well the mouth-watering treats we would get to devour as a result of their endeavours… scones, apple tarts, queen cakes, sponges, fruit cakes and madeira cake. Food I grew up on and to this day still enjoy.
It reminded me of how traditions get passed down through the family line sometimes unknowingly. I was mentioning today how Mum had this cook book which we removed out of the house after she died, not because it had any value except that of sentimental value to us. The food of my youth was held within the recipes of this falling apart navy cook book. Each of us photocopied or hand wrote out our own favourite recipes into our own little book. The cake I baked for today was one of those hand written recipes I took from mums cook book and placed into my own. It hit me today that without realising it that by doing so I was keeping a family tradition alive and strong. Mum was forever cutting recipes out of newspapers or magazines and trying them, if they turned out well they got put into her “navy cook book”. This was the ultimate seal of approval if a recipe made it into this book, the unfortunates got binned.
Like many Irish household’s Mum had recipes written on the back of used envelopes, thorn out pieces of paper, on grease proof paper, on a pull out page of a copy book, basically anything she could lay her hands on when she was trying to collect a recipe. Some recipes were copied from her Mum’s cook book and stored in this same book.
So, I have no idea where the origin of the following recipe came from, if it is years old or a relatively new recipe, but I do know it is packed with flavour and sweet scents of my childhood and simple to make. Where ever it originated from I know this much, it passed mum’s taste bud test and made it into the family navy cookery book.
One other important factor to remember and in my opinion is a secret ingredient to everything you bake is this…. NEVER bake a cake when you are angry as this energy passes into your mixture. So always include plenty of love and smiles for those who will eat the fruits of your labour as you mix your ingredients together, it does make a difference to the end product. Trust me!
Mum’s Apple Brack
1lb cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced and a little lemon juice.
1/2lb brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp mixed spice
1/4lb chopped walnuts
12ozs plain flour (I used spelt )
Stew apples, sugar and lemon juice, stirring whilst cooking.
Add the butter and stir until melted. Leave aside to get cool.
Stir in remaining ingredients.
Stir in a generous amount of love and smiles for the hearts of those who will consume it.
Line a 2lb loaf tin and pour the mixture in.
Bake at 150 for one and half / two hours depending on whether you use a fan or conventional oven.
Remove and let cool.
Boil the kettle, make yourself a cup of tea, sit and enjoy a generous slice of brack. It tastes even better when shared with a loved one or friends. Enjoy you guys from our house to yours a little bit of tutti fruity.