Happy St David’s Day, Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus

Photography – Marilyn E Williams – Happy St Davids Day, From Menai Bridge

Usually a joyful day of parades, concerts and eisteddfodau (festivals of music, language and culture). Flags are flown and children don their traditional Welsh dress for school. Lapels are decorated with daffodils and leeks, while families gather to enjoy the merriments with the odd National Anthem sung with extra vigour.

1st March 2021, St David’s Day amid a year of lockdown and uncertainty, but we are sure that the patriotic among us will still enjoy it in some way, even if it’s simply with their nearest and dearest at home.

Who is St David?

St David David – or Dewi Sant in Welsh – was the greatest figure in the 6th century. He was born on the South-West coast of Wales, near to where the city of St Davids is today.

There are many tales told about St David, but one of the more famous is that when he was speaking to a large crowd one day, someone shouted “we won’t be able to see or hear him.” Then, the ground where David stood was said to have risen up thus resulting in him standing on a hill for all to see and hear.

St David lived a long and prosperous life, for more than 100 years and sadly died on Tuesday, 1 March 589 – and as a result St David’s Day was created.

A Traditional Welsh Dish to Enjoy at Home

Welsh Cakes, or even Pice ar y maen, are a teatime treat enjoyed by many throughout the generations and a firm favourite to bake with children – well, it’s a regular on our list, devoured in seconds if slightly warm and served with butter and jam.

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 currant

1 egg, beaten

splash milk

Method

  1. Tip the flour, sugar, mixed spice, baking powder and a pinch of salt into a bowl.
  2. Rub in the butter and lard with your fingers until it becomes a crumbly mixture then mix in the currants. Work the egg into the mixture until you have soft dough. If it seems a little dry, don’t worry, add a splash of milk, it should end up the same consistency as shortcrust pastry.
  3. Slightly flour your surface and roll out the dough to approximately 1cm in thickness. Using a 6cm cutter cut out rounds, re-rolling any trimmings until you use up all of the mixture.
  4. 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.
  5. Then, simply sit down and enjoy this fabulous treat, if you can save some for another day they will stay fresh for around one week in an airtight tin.
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