Mince Pie, Tudor Style!


Food

“Why is it called mincemeat when it doesn’t contain meat,” is a question that every child in Wales asks at this time of year.  The Welsh consume mince pies by the million every December.   In our family, we say that eating more than 24 mince pies in December before Christmas day will bring good luck […]

December 16, 2017

So Just Who Was St David Anyway?


Folklore

For a nun, his mother seems to have put it about rather a lot!  St David’s father is variously said to have been Sant, prince of Ceredigion; or Sandde, prince of Powys; or King Arthur; depending which tradition you refer to, but they’re all agreed that his mother was Non.  He was born at Capel […]

December 7, 2017

Cawl


Food

Very often, food that is said to be “traditional” is greatly adapted.  Not so in this case.  Cawl is about as authentic as it gets.  It’s the broth of peasants, for whom cooking meant an iron pot that simmered permanently on the hearth, and into which, ingredients were tossed as and when available.  Perhaps you’d […]

December 3, 2017

Why Are the Welsh Called “Taffy”?


Lifestyle

“Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief, Taffy broke into my house And stole a pound of beef” A nursery rhyme rarely told to children these days on account of being hugely politically incorrect, but when I was a barman in the English military town of Aldershot (many years ago!), I was known to […]

November 30, 2017

Leek Shriek


Food

LEEK SOUP So this is a leek soup, right?  A vegetable soup, made from the “badge of the Welsh,” Mrs Beeton called it back in 1861.  So why is the first ingredient a sheep’s head? a sheep’s head 3 quarts of water (well, you’re going to need that much if you’re looking to boil a […]

November 30, 2017

Gelert, the Faithful Hound


Folklore

When King John – he who battled Robin Hood – gave his daughter to be married to Llewelyn Fawr, he also presented his son-in-law with a puppy.  Gelert, the Welshman named it, and it grew into a strong, fierce defender and helpmeet of his master. When Llewelyn went hunting, Gelert bounded through the forest to […]

November 29, 2017

5 Things I Hate About Wales


Lifestyle

The Weather There’s no other word for it.  It sucks!  A northern latitude (Cardiff is on a parallel with Calgary) on the border of the Atlantic Ocean is inevitably going to be stormy.  This is weather that defeated armies!  People often ask why it took the Normans a couple of centuries to subdue such a […]

November 24, 2017

5 Things I Love About Wales


Lifestyle

The Flag is Awesome! It’s all about the dragon.  Let’s face it, most countries’ flags are pretty boring.  Just horizontal or vertical stripes.  The Banr Gymru would be as dull as Poland or Ukraine’s, but what other country has a dragon as a national emblem? It was based on the arms of Henry Tudor, and […]

November 24, 2017