Dydd Gwŷl Dewi Sant Hapus or Happy Saint David's Day!
There's a word in Welsh called 'Hiraeth'. It has no direct translation into English but is often used to express homesickness or a sense of longing or nostalgia for one's homeland or the past. Memories of the past and childhood are so often tied up with food; something Travelling Kitchen hopes to foster and capture with its workshops. For me the sense of 'hiraeth' can be brought on by looking through a book called 'Croseo Cymreig- A Welsh Welcome'. It's a slim volume of Welsh recipes published by the Wales Gas Board in 1957. It belonged originally to my grandmother and bears some of her scribbled notes and I remember her using it frequently.
One of my childhood favourites were Welshcakes, ideally eaten warm from the griddle. They are a simple recipe to make with children (younger ones will need supervision cooking on the griddle). They're also a great cake to cook if you don't have access to an oven. Don't worry if you don't have a griddle; any heavy-based frying pan will do.
INGREDIENTS: 350g of self-raising flour, 175g butter, 100g caster sugar, 100g currants, 1 teaspoon of mixed spice, 1 large egg, 2-3 tablespoons of milk
1. Measure the flour into a large bowl, add the butter and rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Measure the sugar, currants and spice and stir into the mixture.
2. Break the egg into a jug and beat. Add to the flour mixture. Add the milk a tablespoon at a time until you have a stiff dough.
3. Roll out the dough on to a lightly floured work surface until it is about 5mm thick. Using a 7.5 cm cutter (or a small cup/mug) cut circles from the dough.
4. Grease a griddle or frying pan lightly with some butter and place on a ring on a low heat. Cook the Welshcakes for about 3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Take care not to cook them too quickly as they'll be uncooked on the inside and burnt on the outside.
5. Once cooked place on a wire cooling rack and lightly sprinkle with caster sugar. Best eaten on the day that you have made them and warm.