Tag Archives: griddles

Welsh Cakes For Saint David’s Day

1 Mar

welsh cakes a

Today is Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant, or Saint David’s Day, here in Wales, a day of tradition and celebration and one of our finest traditions is Welsh food. I cooked some Welsh Cakes – or Pice ar y Maen (little cakes on the bakestone). Here’s a recipe if you want to try them. I used dairy free, vegetarian spread instead of animal fat to cook mine.

welsh cakes

I have a very traditional cast iron Maen (griddle or bakestone) that I’ve had for over 40 years now and I think it’s the best thing to cook Welsh cakes on – they are part of a long history, possibly thousands of years, of cooking over an open fire. Welsh cakes and similar griddle cakes would have been cooked this way for many generations. And they’re perfect with a nice cup of tea.

 

Welsh Cakes And Cockle Hats

1 Mar

27 tinkers cakes

Today is Saint David’s Day, Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant, in Wales and small girls are dressed in a traditional Welsh costume with a daffodil corsage, small boys are put into Welsh rugby shirts with a leek corsage and copious Welsh Cakes are eaten. For aeons these have been baked on a griddle or bakestone, maen in Welsh. Pice ar y maen translates as cakes on the stone and this method of cooking is shared by all the Celtic nations. There is another version, substituting grated apple for dried fruit and cinammon for mixed spice and these are called Tinker’s Cakes (Teisennau Tincar). I made some a while back and drew them.

little me

Here’s three-year old me, in my Welsh costume, traditional Welsh flannel which was very itchy as I remember. There are two types of hat – the more common stovepipe hat that I’m wearing and the smaller black straw bonnet that we called the Cockle hat, after the cockle women who used to sell seafood from large baskets on street corners, like in this famous portrait by Evan Walters.

Walters, Evan; The Cockle Woman; Carmarthenshire Museums Service Collection; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/the-cockle-woman-177587

Walters, Evan; The Cockle Woman; Carmarthenshire Museums Service Collection

I can just remember one of the cockle women selling on the corner outside the Lower Lamb pub on Swansea’s High Street on a Saturday morning. My dad would pop over to buy some cockles and laverbread (a Welsh seaweed delicacy) and cook us a Welsh breakfast with bacon and eggs, the cockles fried till they popped in the hot bacon fat and the laverbread turned into the cockly bacony grease to warm through.

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