Barm Brack…Challenge Accepted!

When you marry, for better or for worse, you get a whole new family.  I knew that my Grumpy had 3 sisters.  All three went on to marry and through them I inherited additional brothers/sister-in-law.  The surprise gift was the family overseas.  He has “distant” cousins living in Durham, England and thereabouts.  Mainly I’ve come to know two brothers: Hylton and Allen.  They are roughly my own age (give or take).  Hylton is a great guy.  Loves his Yve, dogs, travel, and a good Stella.  Great fella to travel with; he’s been everywhere.  I don’t suspect he’s the primary cook in the house, but he and Allen have a brotherly love of competition.  That’s where Allen comes in. Allen is forever coming up with cooking “challenges” in which we can all compete.  Hylton, usually unable to refuse a challenge, works his tail off in these trials.  Allen is a rascal.  He’s tamed a bit over the years, I suspect.  He and his bride Susan have raised 3 girls who dote on them and share their love for good, old fashioned rock music (the stuff we grew up with). Allen isn’t a professional cook.  He’s actually an officer for Her Majesty’s Prison Service.   He’s also all about cricket.   And Dr Who (we have this in common).  He probably has dozens of other hobbies, but these are big.  He writes once in a while about life at his blog (  One of my favorite posts is Church on Sunday , where he writes about Sundays with his “boys” at the local Cricket Club.  These men, all cricketers, drink and talk about all manner of things, including food.  Sometimes the boys of the Cricket Club get involved in these challenges.  We’ve had some memorable ones over the past couple of years.  One was a yorkshire pudding challenge.

Not a bad offering!

Not a bad offering!

Then, there was the “Toad in the Hole”

The sausages were overdone, but good marks for height!

The sausages were overdone, but good marks for height!

Here is the

Here is the “Hairy Bikers” rendition of Mud Pie

It’s been a lot of fun.  He’s challenged me to learn knew things, and we have other cousins, family and friends participating in 3 continents no less!

So now Allen has challenged me to bake a Barm Brack.  Stand aside Clyde, this girl is stepping up to the challenge!

I’ll let you know how it goes….after I find out what Barm Brack is! ;-)




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10 thoughts on “Barm Brack…Challenge Accepted!

  1. Pingback: Barm Brack: American Style | Bring me my coffee

  2. Dr. Who, is that a good series? I’m looking for a good series to rent from Netflix… Love this post, Sheri! Allen sounds like a lot of fun – I’ll have to check out his blog.

    • Dr Who is an amazing series! It’s been on forever, so you’ll have to figure out where to start. David Tenant is my favorite- and the new series started in 2005 so that’s probably a good place to start.

  3. Still trying to figure out what a Yve is. I had a good friend named Yves but have no idea what the non-s portion of that is. Wiki wasn’t helpful either. :)

    • Yve is short for Yvonne. In my head, when I see Yve it’s always pronounce Eveee! She’s his girlfriend of many years (smart one- not to end the sales pitch!)

  4. Your food looks really good. Barm brack is a lovely, fruity Irish bread. I guess in between a cake and bread. I made a sourdough version for Halloween when it is part of a tradition.

    • Thank you for the compliment! I’ve been reading up on the Barm Brack this afternoon. The fruit is soaking already. I’ve not heard of a sourdough version- sounds great! :-)

  5. Sheri you are a “brick” as we English say, I’m thrilled to be described as such really I am… Thank you so much, cant wait to meet you, next year hopefully. I had a crazy dream last week where we all met in Melbourne Australia, Kelly featured heavily in It; probably because she lives there… I’m sort of speechless now, Thank you…xx

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