Sunday, December 13, 2009

Season's Eatings... from across the pond

There are definitely more food blogs than ever out there these days. Which delights a food lover such as myself. I love it when I stumble onto a food blog I've never visited before. It's really neat to get a glimpse into someone else's kitchen.  Thyme for Cooking is one of my more recent discoveries. It's owner Kate is an expat living in France and her blog is packed with amazing food and funny stories. She is also the host of Season's Eating's, a blogging event that has bloggers from all over the swapping ingredients from their part of the world. Each person sends a small gift of a local herb, spice, or other food that is unique to or characteristic of where they live, along with a recipe using it, to another blogger. Sounds fun doesn't it?? So I decided to join in the fun. I had no idea who would be sending me a package or what it would contain.

Then about two weeks later I got a package from Rosie of Bakes and Books. My package came from clear across the pond and was filled with all sorts of wonderful goodies from her part of the world. There was a packet of Bonfire Toffee, very tasty candies that are eaten during the Bonfire Night celebrations. She also sent a box of Jaffa cakes, sort of cross between a cake and a cookie, and a box of Yorkshire Tea. Along with the tea was a recipe for a tea bread called Bara Brith. I'd never eaten or even heard of Bara Brith but Rosie described it as "a scrummy fruit cake choc-full of gorgeous spices and tea". With an introduction like that, of course I couldn't wait to make a loaf. 

 It's fantastic and I can't believe I've gone my whole life without eating this before! It the perfect companion to a cup of hot tea. Thank you Rosie!!! I loved it all especially your hand written descriptions of all the items! Hubs and I are addicted to the Yorkshire tea and I'll be making another loaf of the tea bread very soon.

Bara Brith (Tea Bread)    
300g assorted dried fruit (1 1/2 cups mostly raisins/golden raisins) I used golden raisins, currants, and dried apricots.
2 teabags
250ml boiling water
225g self-raising flour (2 cups)
2 tsp mixed spice (ie. cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger) I used mostly cinnamon and about a 1/4 tsp each ginger/nutmeg.
150g brown sugar (I used about a half a cup)
1 egg, beaten 
3 TB milk

Make up 250ml of tea. Put the dried fruit in the tea and let soak overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 F or 180 C and grease a 1 lb loaf pan.
In a mixing bowl, sift together, the flour, spices, and sugar.
Mix in the soaked fruit along with the excess tea, the egg, and the milk.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour.
Rosie recommends making a double batch and baking "one humongous" loaf. I think I'll do that next time!!

Thanks Kate for putting this event together. I can't wait to see all the other Season's Eating's participants entries.
There will be a round-up of all the participants posted on Thyme for Cooking on Dec. 28. So be sure to check it out!


Kate said...

Bara Brith? Oh my goodness. That is the food of my home - Wales. So glad you enjoyed it.

Zoë said...

This looks so good! I grew up eating Bara Brith at home in Wales – when I moved to the north of england the local equivalent was Parkin, a sticky, treacley, gingery dark cake, also essential on Bonfire Night. Could be your next "across-the-pond" project!

Anonymous said...

never tried this before.
with how you described it..
sounds like ive to give this a try!
love the photos.
looks awesome!

kellypea said...

This really does sound like a fun event. Las year I'd have been able to participate, but this year I'm completely crazy. The bara brith sounds so wonderful and makes me remember the tea we enjoyed after visiting the castle at Harlech. Wales is such a beautiful place...

katiez said...

That sounds so good... Perfect with my cuppa!
I even have the ingredients in my pantry>

Grace said...

i just love getting packages in the mail, particularly when they contain food. :) this is a great-looking bread--dense and hearty and full of good stuff!

ostwestwind said...

I should try this, this looks so appetizing. BTW: Southern American Cuisine in Northern Germany. That was fun!

Ulrike @ Küchenlatein

Kelly @ EvilShenanigans said...

I had something like this when I was in the UK last year and it is lovely! How neat to get a package from the UK, too! My best friend lives over there and I get care packages from time to time. Love them!

Bob said...

Ok, that sounds spectacular. I need to make it.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I have never heard of this, but I'm certainly interested in baking a loaf myself.

Bellini Valli said...

Seasons Eastings is such a fun event. Bara Brith also sounds like one of those things we just need to try!!!

Barbara said...

I've never heard of Bara Brith but I want some!
I love posts like this...Kate's event sounds like such fun.

Anonymous said...

That tea bread looks fantastic! I love the dried fruits here!