Tastes And Tales From Wales II.
Good day one and all and here's hoping you are all well.
I wonder just how many of you have noticed that some meals or dishes remind you of happy days !!!
I am often transported back to the days of staying on Mamgu's farm when I was a little girl.
Oh what adventures I used to get up to in my dungarees !!! To this day I am happiest in the heart of Mother Nature's kingdom dressed in my jeans or shorts and never reaching for the very few skirts I have in my wardrobe !!Ha ha!!Some things never change.
This hub is the second in this series ; my first was Baked Apples.
Today I proudly share my Mamgu's(Grandmother) recipe for her delicious Welsh Cakes.
Sadly Mamgu passed away when I was only 12 yrs. old but she left me with some wonderful memories and today I proudly share another of them with you all.
My music choice for today is a welsh hymn which I loved dearly and especially this version played on the organ.
I hope you enjoy!!!
Mi Glywaf Dyner Lais(I Hear A Tender Voice).
When my six children were growing up I used to cook and bake all the time. Baking days would very often include Welsh Cakes and I would make from 70 to a 100 of them.
They will stay fresh in a tin for 1 week but they were all devoured well before then.
I used to bake cakes of all description;shapes and sizes but probably one of my firm favourites were Welsh Cakes they being a traditional Welsh snack.
In our mother language they are known as 'pice bach' or 'teisen radell' and are traditionally cooked on a bakestone; which is what I use on my gas hob to this day.
Recipe for Welsh Cakes.
- 225g plain flour
- 85g castor sugar
- 0.5 tsp mixed spice
- 0.5 tsp baking powder
- 50g currants
- 50g butter cut into small pieces
- 30g lardcut into small pieces, plus extra for frying
- 1egg beaten
- splash of milk
- Tip the flour,sugar,mixed spice,baking powder and a pinch of salt into a bowl.
- With your fingertips rub in the butter and lard until crumbly.
- Mix in the currants,
- Work the egg into the mixture until you have a soft dough, adding a splash of milk if it seems a little dry- it should be the same consistency as shortcrust pastry.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to the thickness of your little finger.
- Cut out rounds using a six inch cutter, re rolling any trimmings.
- Grease a flat griddle pan or heavy frying pan with lard, and place over a medium heat.
- Cook the welshcakes in batches,for about 3 minutes each side, until golden brown,crisp and cooked through..
- Delicious served warm with butter and jam,cream or simply sprinkled with caster sugar.
- Cakes will stay fresh in a tin for 1 week.
- Another tip which some people I know use, is to add grated apple to the mix and this helps to keep the cakes moist for longer.
Happy days on the farm.
There was only one little girl of my age who lived anywhere near Mamgu's farm and sometimes she would be away on her holidays so at times like this I would play at being George (Georgina ) the tomboy from my childhood heroes 'The Famous Five with their dog Timmy. '
They were of course created by my favourite childhood writer being 'Enid Blyton' who in her lifetime published hundreds of children's story books.
They are still popular to this very day !!!
The first book in this series i.e. 'Five On Treasure Island' was published in 1942.
Armed with their maps, packets of sandwiches, torches and plenty of Ginger Beer, Julian, Dick, Anne, their tomboyish cousin George and Timmy the dog spent every school holidays hiking , biking, camping and you could guarantee that each time they would fall into an adventure.
Julian ,Anne and Dick were regular guests at Cousin George’s home where the tomboy lived with her loving mother whom they called Aunt Fanny and her father the grumpy Uncle Quentin who was a scientist and usually locked himself in his study.
He also owned Kirrin Island a wondrous Island where many of these adventures took place.
Enid Blyton always said that 'George' was based on a real girl she had once known: In her later life, she admitted that that girl was actually herself.
Armed with my bottle of Orange Squash and a pocketful of Welsh Cakes I'd go down into the farm yard to find Pero. He was by now was a fully grown and well trained sheepdog, which meant that I could take him for long walks.
"Come on Pero!!" I call and in a flash he was at my side.
"Now then today you are going to be Timmy!" I tell him in my very important little voice.
He gives me a look that seems to say "Oh no we are in this mood again are we??!!"
However he followed me with no coaxing needed, so he obviously enjoyed our adventures.
So with Pero by my side , we got caught up in so many adventures!! Oh what fun we had, and even though they were made up adventures and we were three people short of the real five, none of it mattered because I have always had a great imagination anyway !! Ha ha !!
Pero never left my side and his look said "Don't you worry I will protect you from these nasty people!!"
I often wondered as I got older whether the poor dog had ended up a little confused after coming on all these make believe adventures with me!!
Anyway after we'd solved the crime and all villains carted away we would both flop down in the hedgerow to drink the squash and devour the Welsh Cakes. MMmmm Bliss!!!
My clothes were in quite a state when I got back to the farm but did I care ??
Well no I had had too happy a time to worry about that and Mamgu used to pretend to tell me off but I knew she wasn't really cross because I could see that twinkle in her eye.
By the time she'd washed, dried and darned them they were as good as new!!
Enid Blyton whose books I loved as a little girl.
Enid Blyton was born on August 11th 1897 in East Dulwich, England.
She died peacefully in her sleep on November 28th 1968 in a Hampstead Nursing Home.
She wrote hundreds upon hundred's of books in here lifetime and I would read as many as I could lay my hands on when I was a little girl.
Her books have never been out of print and are still popular to this very day.
However there was one bleak moment when all her books were taken off library shelves in the UK as the experts thought that they were no good for children and that their reading levels would stay at that point and would not progress to a higher reading level.!!
I don't believe in this theory at all but I also remember reading Enid Blyton's Biography many years ago and was amazed to read that she was in fact not very motherly at all and would at times be a little spiteful to her two daughters ;in fact it was thought that Enid wanted to be an eternal child and that is what drove her to write book after book!!
Whether this was correct or not it doesn't dim my wonderful memories of her books ;and I shall always remember them with fondness !!!
On Mamgu's Farm.
I hope you enjoyed today's hub!!!
If you decide to try out this recipe as you take that first bite you may remember a little girl running over the Welsh Hills playing happily with Pero (or Timmy as he was often called ) at her heels.
Have a wonderful day and until next time I send lots of love from my little corner of Wales.