As the leaves on the trees are turn brown, they abandon their boughs, and swirl into the autumn breeze. The distain of getting dressed for work and school in the dark is a reality, and the stressful argument between families of whether to stick the heating on or not, is being had acrossthe country. The auld lad tells the grandkids that when he was a young fella, a black sack was fashioned into a multitude of Halloween costumes, a ring found in the barm brack was a sign you were going to get married, how they would only trick or treat to two or three houses in the area for a couple of apples and nuts, and how they had one eyebrow between ten of them after the bonfire that ‘got a bit too big’. As with many ancient Irish celebrations, food and Samhain go hand in hand. Here are some traditional Samhain foodie ideas for you and the family to enjoy, as we look towards this celebration of abundance before the long cold winter ahead. Col Cannon (Irish: cál ceannann,meaning ‘white-headed cabbage’) is a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes with cabbage or kale.) This traditional vegetable dish is a one pot wonder, has only 6 ingredients, and is sure to warm the even the chilliest oftoes. Ingredients: · 3 Onions, chopped · 3 Parsnips chopped (you can use turnip also) · 10 Potatoes, peeled · 1 head of cabbage (roughly chopped, but keep the bigfleshy outer leaves as they are.) · Water · Butter (and lots of it) Method 1. Heat a large pot with a knob of butter, add theonions, and allow to sweat for a couple of minutes. 2. Layer the parsnip on top of the onion along with the choppedcabbage. 3. Layer the potatoes on top. 4. Add half pint of water 5. Cover the pot using the fleshy outer cabbage leaves. 6. Allow to simmer until the spuds are done 7. Mash the potatoes and add salt and pepper to taste,plus a generous knob of butter. 8. Serve and enjoy. Saváiste Cabaiste The common cabbage is certainly something to be celebrated during Samhain. Years ago, a single lady looking for love wouldenter a cabbage patch field, to predict their romantic future. The woman was blindfolded and would walk through the field, and then picked the first cabbage she could find. She would then remove her blindfold and examine what her future marriage would behold. If there was soil stuck to the undercarriage of the cabbage, she would meet a man with lots of money. After this, the woman would eat the cabbage to determine if the marriage would leave a bitter or sweet taste in her mouth. How do you like them apples? The Apple holds huge significance throughout Irishhistory, and during Samhain, they were even used to predict a persons love lifeby peeling it, dropping the peel to the floor, and assessing what initial itresembled, which would indicate the individuals next love. After bobbing forapples, the apple with the first bite would be placed under the pillow on Halloweennight to ensure sweet dreams, as the veil between our world the next is at itsthinnest. Another tradition involving apples involved an apple being hung by astring, with the arms of the player restricted, and would have to try and bitethe apple. The apple itself had a coin inserted into it, and the first biter,would go on to be rich. Dumb Supper Halloween is a time to remember the deceased,so the Samhain night feast was often held in silence, with photos of the lovedones on the table, a place set for them, and a meal offered. The meal wasforbidden to be eaten, and was buried the following day. Barm Brack One of the most common Samhain dishes is BarmBrack, that is made from flour, eggs, and fruit. Things like coins and ringswere often cooked into the loaf and is said to have predicted the events of theyear ahead. · 225g/8oz Self Raising Flour· 200g raisins or sultanas· 75g candied orange· 75g candied lemon· 300ml/½pt Cold Tea· 125g/4oz Golden Caster Sugar· 1 Egg, beaten· Good pinch Mixed Spice· Ring or other Charms 1. Place fruit and tea in a bowl and leave to soak overnight.2. Add sugar, egg, flour and mixed spice and mix well.3. Wrap ring and any other charms in greaseproof paper and stir into mixture.4. Transfer to a greased and base lined 20cm/8″ round cake tin or 900g/2lb loaf tin.5. Bake in a preheated oven 170°C/325°F/Gas 3 for approx one hour or until risen and firm to the touch.6. Cool on a wire tray. When cold, wrap in greaseproof paper and keep for two days before cutting.