Culture

A delicious soup recipe to try – Caul 

Cawl Soup

Caul (pronounced “cowl”) is the national dish of Wales. It is worth taking the trouble to make it well in advance of the day it is to be served, as this allows the full range of flavours to develop.

Ingredients

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 onion

1kg lamb neck fillet, bone in

1kg of swede

2 carrots

6 medium potatoes – peeled and chopped

2 parsnips

3 large leeks

 

Step 1: Place 2 litres of water and 2 teaspoons of salt in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil.

Step 2: Peel and add the whole onion and the lamb. Boil again, then use a spoon to skim away the scum from the surface. Simmer for a further 10 to 15 minutes, until cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pan. Leave to cool.

Step 3: Cut the meat off the bone and return to the stock.  Peel and cut the swede into 1cm chunks. Add to the pan, boil again, then simmer with the lid on until the swede is tender (about 20 minutes).

Step 4: Peel the carrots and slice at a slight angle into 1cm chunks, then add to the pan. Boil, then simmer until tender.

Step 5: Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut into large chunks. Once the carrot has softened, add the potatoes to the pan and simmer until tender.

Step 6: Peel and slice the parsnips, discard the outer leaves from the leeks, then cut into 1cm slices. Add the parsnips and most of the leeks to the pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer with the lid on until tender (about 10 minutes). Taste and season with pepper, then add the raw leeks. Put the lid on top, then place in the fridge to chill for up to 3 days.

To serve: gently simmer the cawl until warm, then ladle into serving bowls. Offer additional black pepper and salt to those who desire it. The traditional accompaniment to cawl is a wedge of mature Caerphilly cheese and a slice of bread and butter.

 

The World’s Easiest Haggis  – Fine Scottish Cuisine

Haggis

By Wee Jock McTavish

There are lots of different ways of making a Haggis, none of them are definitive. The one here for this recipe is quite simple and easy to do. Feel free to add any extra ingredients that you see fit. Haggis is a traditional Scottish meal that is well worth trying at least once to see what you think of it. Obviously, it is not everyone’s cup-of-tea but it is certainly quite unique. This recipe is very simple and the ingredients are easily obtained from you local butcher’s and supermarket.

A Simple Haggis

Ingredients:

230 grams of liver in piece

230 grams of cooked tripe

115 grams of oatmeal

115 grams of chopped suet

115 grams of chopped onion

salt and black pepper (to taste)

Other herbs (to taste – e.g. nutmeg, mace, coriander)

Instructions:

Step 1) Boil the liver in a saucepan with just enough water to cover it for 15 minutes.

Step 2) Mince the liver and mince the cooked tripe.

Step 3) Mix all of the ingredients.

Step 4) Make it into a moist dough with some of the liquid in which the liver was cooked.

Step 5) Boil in a pudding cloth for 2 hours or steam in a bowl for 3 hours.

Traditionally served with “nips and neeps” which is turnips and Scotch whisky.

Haggis in a can

Here is a brilliant video clip on YouTube of the Robert Burns’ “To a Haggis”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfYFAA4drG4 

The above recipe is modeled on one found in the following book: 1972, Traditonal Scots Recipes: With a fine feeling for food, Janet Murray, New York, Bramhall House, page 124.

 

Guinness – the health drink of a nation 

guiness

“Guinness is good for you” is a longstanding advertising line.

It turns out that there may be some truth in advertising.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have recently established that a pint of Guinness a day is actually good for your health.

The Wisconsin scientists served Guinness to dogs with narrowed arteries. Guinness worked as well as aspirin in preventing clots forming, as antioxidants in Guinness apparently are helpful in reducing cholesterol that otherwise accumulates in arteries.

A pint of Guinness taken at meal time has the best impact.

So, get to it. Drink Guinness and stay healthy!

For readers who dislike the taste of raw Guinness, here’s a recipe that’s bound to overcome any taste objections.

After all, what can go wrong when you combine beer, chocolate, Irish whiskey and ice cream?

guiness icecream

Guinness Ice Cream Float

Ingredients:

3 scoops of vanilla ice cream
1 can of Guinness
One shot of Jameson whiskey
Chocolate syrup
Whipped cream

Directions:

Blend the ice cream, Guinness and Whiskey. Pour chocolate syrup down the sides of two serving glasses, divide the blend into both glasses, then pour a little more chocolate syrup in both glasses and top with whipped cream.

Serves 2

Slancha!

 

 

Wassail in the New Year

By Oswin Kinsey

As a new-world heathen, you may have found yourself wanting for fellow souls and heathen happenings. In some ways our old ways are still alive in shapes such Yuletide and Easter, but their deep, heathen, folk roots are not well known or understood by many. This is indeed thanks to the Christians who made some headway but in many ways flunked at fully wending Europeans to their Abrahamic drylands ways. They instead had to blend their outlandish ways with our own for them to be taken on. These are trends from the Northern Hemisphere, meant to mark the longest darkest, night, at midwinter, Yule, and the even-night to welcome Spring, at Easter. The name of Yule comes from an older word for “wheel”, marking the turning of the seasons and the start of a new year’s turning. For our Forebears, the winter sunstead marked the start of the new year. The name of the god and holiday of Easter comes from the rising of the sun, in the east. I keep the true English name Easter rather than Ostara lest we lose that meaning. When we mark Yuletide and Easter in the south, it may remind us of where we come from, but it has little to do with our lives in these lands, and the true meaning of the happenings.

There are a sundry of lands in Australia, so it’s hard to mark our forebears’ four yeartides onto much of it. While Australia has temperate lands, it also has drylands and rainforests.  Tasmania, the Apple Isle, is Australia’s southernmost state, with a temperate climate and four true yeartides, much like the northern lands of Europe. Though indeed, our seasons are upside down. Our true Yule, midwinter, falls on June 21st. At this time of the year, Tasmanians celebrate the darkest, longest, and coldest nights of the year with three big festivals, Dark MoFo, The Festival of Voices, and the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival. All three include oddities, songs, drinking and stark lights, though one stands above the rest, the Mid-Winter Festival.

English apple farmers tended to wish their trees health, or “wassail” them, each year on midwinter. (“Wassail” comes from a shortening of Old English “wes þu hal”, as in “[be] thou healthy”.) This is meant to help them grow well and bear a lot of fruit for the next harvest. Willie Smith’s is an apple orchard and cider maker in the Huon Valley of Tasmania. While they have been around since 1888, it was only in 2013 that they got together with other nearby businesses to bring in a bigger crowd for the wassailing. The Mid-Winter Festival, although so named, is a bit belated, this year falling on the 14th, 15th, and 16th of July. I went this year for the first time to get a grasp on what it’s truly all about.

Getting to the Festival from Hobart is simple enough, as there were buses running from the city out to the farm in the Huon Valley, and back again at the end of the night. If I’d got in early enough to book a room in nearby Huonville, I might’ve found myself on one of the more often running shuttles to and from the festival. Those coming by car were welcomed with free parking. The bus lead me to the festival at 17:30. After walking about and taking in the cold and the good music coming from all about, my other half and I stopped at the craftsmen’s tent where some women were making bespoke flower headdresses for those who didn’t already bring their own. Almost wherever you went, there was a spot to get yourself a hot mulled cider to keep you warm. (Or for those who don’t drink hard, there’s plenty of hot chocolate.) There were two long food tents, and more food stalls set up here and there, catering for oldtimey English roasted foods, vegetarian dishes, good now-time treats such as pizza and poutine, and indeed sweet eats such as waffles and doughnuts. As the night drew on, everyone gathered in the main yard to see Hungarian Tomas Osvald tell a winter sunstead folk tale, about farmers and the threatened sun, as actors played out the scenes with fire-twirlers and fire-swords. What then followed was the arrow-lit Big Willie wicker man which marked the night. It was a wonderful sight to behold and be a part of. The rest of the night followed with more great folk songs being played on stage, and the occasional small groups of folks who we found playing little tunes as we walked through the crowds. There was a Storyteller’s tent which was sadly filled on Friday with Aboriginal storytelling and lecturing on “the importance of country”. While odd and seemingly out of place, it had little influence on the rest of the festival. The only thing I would have done otherwise was wear warmer clothes!

The Saturday started much earlier, as the buses first arrived at 14:00. My other half and I walked into the gates to find groups of Morris Dancers stepping together and sharing ground, stepping to English folk songs such as British Grenadiers. It was a warm and wonderful welcome. In the day, the storytelling tent was this time manned by the great taleteller Tomas Osvald from the night before who shared some great children’s tales, both old and new. Later in the day were the costume contests. Many of the festival goers were done up in old European clothes, as heathen warriors, as robin hoods, wildermen, or land wights and other odd things. The best donned men and women got cash prizes and a pair of Blundstone boots. Every child that was  donned for the festival was gifted an apple tree. One of the men was done up as “Arwald, last of the pagan kings.” We then took a break to eat and drinks while taking in the songs of the nearby stage. As the sun started to fall, the great bonfire was lit, throwing a wide circle of warmth upon the festival and a great light in the night. Folks then all gathered near it in the main yard where Big Willie was lit the night before, his skeleton still standing over the festival-goers. We were told six thousand of us were there that night. It’s the biggest Wassailing in the Southern Hemisphere. Four apple trees were set upon a platform and on the nearby stage a man donned up like a green land-wight of the woods lead us all in song.  We Wassailed each tree, as they were given a cider-soaked piece of toast for the birds, and a little cider poured on its roots in thanks for the last year’s harvest.

“Old apple tree we’ll wassail thee,

And hoping thou will bear.

The Lord does know where we shall be

To be merry another year.

For to bloom well and to bear well

So merry let us be.

Let every man take off his hat

And shout to the old apple tree.”

And then was shouted,

“Old apple tree, we wassail thee

And hoping thou will bear.

Hat’s full, caps full,

Three bushel bags full,

And a little heap under the stairs!”

What followed was lots of shouting, banging pans and anything else you had to make noise. It was a wonderful thing to behold. Take “the Lord” in that song to mean what you will. I take it to mean Woden, leading the gods in their wild hunt through the long nights. Or sing other words, such as, “Gods may know where we shall be…” What then followed were more good folk songs while some scenes were played out on stage in fire-stick pantomime. The night then went on with more drinking and eating, and a Storyteller’s cup. Sadly, the storyteller’s tent was again kicked off by a “traditional owner” of the land who sadly was not the best speaker, and spoke of nothing relevant to the midwinter or folk ways, but instead of “my [Aboriginal] story”.

I did not go to the Sunday happenings as it’s a day for the little ones. There are no buses running to or from Hobart. Instead, kindreds drive down together to pet the livestock and other fun wholesome happenings.

Altogether, it made for a wonderful time. Many seemed to be there only for the drinks and songs as if it were only a music festival. However, whether there to drink in the cider, or the folk soul, everyone ended up a part of the great old heathen folkways. While there were a few small let downs, such as the out of place Aboriginal speakings in the Storytelling tent, it was indeed a great time and a heartening happening. So what say ye? Get yourself down to Tasmania next Midwinter so we can all wassail in the new year together!

 

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Find my writing striking? It’s mostly Roots English! Also known as Anglish, or as Percy Grainger would put it, “blue-eyed English”. It’s English without all the outlandish inflow, owed mainly to the Norman takeover of 1066. It’s truer, steadier, and more meaningful than stock World English.

 

See the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival’s official Facebook Page for lots of great photos and films of the happenings.

https://www.facebook.com/HVmidwinterfest/

 

If you haven’t already, get yourself a copy of Lynn and Will Rowan’s album of heathen Yule-tide songs, Sing the Sun’s Return.

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/lynnandwillrowan

Their heathen hearth has also put out a book of Yule Songs that go with it.

https://chasehillfolk.org/publications/


 

Bangers and Mash – Simple yet delicious!

By Nigel Wiltshire

Bangers and Mash

As a child I had many fond memories of eating ‘Bangers and Mash’. It was always a very hearty meal, especially in winter. Even today, as an adult, it is one of my favourite and easiest meals to cook for family and friends. All you need is a few basic ingredients and it is done. There isn’t anything overly complicated about it. Besides making the mash potato which is pretty simple or maybe your own gravy from scratch. So why are sausages known as bangers? They were given the nickname because after the First World War meat was scarce so sausages had to be made with just meat scraps as well as cereal and water. Because of this the sausages sizzled and spluttered quite a bit when frying them in a pan. These sausages produced noises that were like mini explosions or bangs, therefore the name bangers. The exact phrase of bangers is supposed to go as far back as at least 1919.  The name mash is pretty self-explanatory as well.

‘Bangers and Mash’ is very much a traditional dish of the British Isles and is well known to millions of people. The sausages used in ‘Bangers and Mash’ can range from pork, lamb, beef or a Cumberland sausage. As well as mashed potato, the ingredients would include friend onions, onion gravy, peas and even baked beans. Besides being cooked at home it is also a prime example of “pub grub” which is served at countless pubs, bistros and restaurants. In popular culture, there was even a song recorded in 1961 called ‘Bangers and Mash’ by Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren.  A line in the song goes “No wonder you’re so bony Joe, and skinny as a rake. Well then, give us a bash at the bangers and mash me mother used to make”. Here is a YouTube link to that song for those who like a bit of nostalgia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGFpVN2xwXU

Keeping with the theme of ‘Bangers and Mash’ I remember watching a wonderful little British cartoon TV show called the very same name when I was growing up.  It was about two naughty chimpanzees named ‘Bangers and Mash’ who were only wanted to have fun, but were always getting into a bit of mischief and causing trouble by making a mess or breaking something. The characters apparently originated from a series of books in schools during the 1980s. I thought it was fantastic when I was little, but it just goes to show how significant the dish of ‘Bangers and Mash’ is ingrained into British culture that a food had a song named after it as well as a cartoon. For those interested I have also included the brief intro of the ‘Bangers and Mash’ cartoon in another YouTube clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_s5ytxFOB8

There are many different ways of cooking ‘Bangers and Mash’ but for convenience sake have included the scan of a recipe from a cook book as shown below:

Bangers

This book reference is: 1994, Family Circle: Step-by-step English Cooking, ‘Bangers and Mash’, Sydney, Murdoch Books, pages 18-19. For a basic video demonstration on how to cook ‘Bangers and Mash’ I have also included a YouTube link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=186EQzPPHW8

We hope that this recipe for ‘Bangers and Mash’ inspires you to cook this meal for your friends and loved ones, particularly when the months start to get colder. Please feel free to contact us here at Endeavour via Email with recipes or suggestions of British and Australian traditional foods that you would like us to feature in the future.