Life in Wales

Posted on May 2, 2013

Categories: What Passes For Real Life, Winter Witch

Thought I'd share with you a few things Welsh today. We're a little late for the traditional celebration of St David's Day, which is March 1st, but spring has been held back here this year due to prolonged cold weather, so the daffodils, our national flower, are only just out now in our mountain garden.

First up, in The Winter Witch, Mrs Jones cooks Welsh cakes, or 'picau ar y maen', which, if you get it right, look like this...

For those of you who'd like to have a go at cooking them, here is a recipe. I'm giving it in ounces, so I'm afraid you'll have to do conversions to cups or grammes if you prefer those.

You will need: 8oz plain flour, 4oz butter, 3oz caster sugar, 2oz currants, 1 teaspoon baking powder, half a teaspoon of mixed spice, pinch of salt, 1 egg.

Sift flour, baking powder, spice and salt together.

Rub in butter to get a mix that looks like breadcrumbs.

Add sugar and fruit.

Beat the egg and add to dry ingredients with enough milk to make a firm paste.

Roll out on a floured board to quarter inch thick and cut into 2inch rounds.

Grease (lightly!) a griddle, hot plate, or frying pan. Cook cakes over a gentle heat, about 3 minutes each side until golden brown.

Cool on wire rack and sprinkle with caster sugar.

Good luck!

And here, for those of you who weren't sure, or who were but would like to see one anyway, is a Welsh corgi:

It's hard to imagine these stubby little dogs herding huge hairy cattle, but they were very effective 'heelers' nipping at the heels of any cows that thought they might wander off or not move along with the others. They are cheerful dogs, much more active than their shape suggests, and now make good family pets.

And a view of the Brecon Beacons, showing the sort of landscape Cai would have taken the drove through:

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