Friday, February 22, 2013

A Month Of Cookbooks - Day Twenty Two

Welsh Fare: A Selection of Traditional Recipes
By S. Minwel Tibbott
Published by The National Museum Of Wales, 1976


This is a classic text on Welsh cookery, and crams a lot into its 84 hardbacked pages. The author was an Assistant Keeper in the Welsh Folk Museum's Department of  Oral Traditions and Dialects; she collated recipes given by people from all parts of Wales and turned them into book form so that the old traditional foods might not be lost forever during a period of immense societal and farming change.

There are some recipes I am never, ever likely to make as unless I have free access to the blood from a just -killed pig or goose, I am not going to be able to make Pwdin Gwaed - Black Pudding, or the Goose-blood Pudding. The soups, broths (Cawl), savoury dishes and cakes are quite another matter ! The passion for a solid and substantial High Tea is indicated by the volume of recipes in the Bread, Cakes and Griddle Cake chapters, including Shearing Cake, Honey & Ginger Cake and Caraway Bread to mention just a few.

The dishes in the Cereal and Milk Dishes chapter include recipes for dishes I have never seen mentioned outside Thomas Hardy novels - Flummery, Posset and Egg Whey. Small Beer, Nettle Beer, Mead and Nettle Pop recipes are also given, which would date back hundreds of years and be familiar to people in the Middle Ages.  The sense of continuity with the past is truly remarkable when browsing books like this one, and my mother loved it dearly.

Although long out of print, the book is available cheaply on Amazon.co.uk  from £2.80.
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