From the "Celtic Book of Days" [June 12]:
The baking of bannocks or cakes had a particular folklore: for ritual eating, at the festival times, bannocks had to be shaped on the palm of the hand and the loose meal from the shaping might not be put back into the meal-chest or else the Cailleach was believed to come and sit on the chest and eat up the family luck. On completion the, the bannock is laid on the left palm while the right is turned deosil through the centre.
Many heroes and heroines, setting off on their adventures, are asked by their mothers whether they will take a large bannock and no mother's blessing, or a small bannock and a blessing. Those who choose the latter achieve their quest, sharing their bannock with hungry strangers or animals who later help them in turn.
Respect for bread, both fresh and stale, remains a strong part of domestic folklore: the woman of the house will never cast bread away unused lest want come upon her family.