St. David’s Day (incl. Welsh cakes recipe)

Today is the 1st of March, which means that Welsh people all over the world will be celebrating St. David’s Day to remember the patron saint of Wales. Saint David, who lived near the end of the 5th century, was a Welsh teacher and ascetic and founded a monastic community at Glyn Rhosyn, which – although it started out Celtic – later became an important Christian shrine.

One of many traditions on this day is baking Welsh Cakes, buttery tea cakes with spices and currants. Here’s a recipe if you fancy trying them out:

Ingredients:

  • 225g plain flour
  • 85g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 50g butter, cut into small pieces
  • 50g lard, cut into small pieces, plus extra for frying
  • 50g currants
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • splash of milk

Method:

  1. Tip the flour, sugar, mixed spice, baking powder and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Then, with your fingers, rub in the butter and lard until crumbly. Mix in the currants. Work the egg into the mixture until you have soft dough, adding a splash of milk if it seems a little dry – it should be the same consistency as shortcrust pastry.
  2. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to the thickness of your little finger. Cut out rounds using a 6cm cutter, re-rolling any trimmings. Grease a flat griddle pan or heavy frying pan with lard, and place over a medium heat. Cook the Welsh cakes in batches, for about 3 mins each side, until golden brown, crisp and cooked through. Delicious served warm with butter and jam, or simply sprinkled with caster sugar. Cakes will stay fresh in a tin for 1 week.
Welsh cakes
© zingyyellow / flickr.com

Burns Night

Tomorrow is Burns Night, so get those neeps and tatties ready! For the haggis you might want to try this recipe. Might be a bit late to learn ‘The Address to a Haggis’ off by heart, though, so why not just play this great rendition of it at supper? As for the beverage of choice I’d recommend the Talisker 10 Year Old, which is not too pricey and goes very well with haggis.
After supper how about joining hands with your guests and giving the Auld Lang Syne a go? Here are the lyrics:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll take a cup o’kindness yet
For auld lang syne

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp
And surely I’ll be mine
And we’ll tak a cup o’kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae rin aboot the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d i’the burn,
frae morning sun till dine
But seas between us braid hae roar’d,
sin’ auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere
And gie’s a hand o’thine
And we’ll tak a right gude willie-waught
for auld lang syne.