Using Leftover Mincemeat
Tomorrow, January the 5th, is Twelfth Night, and the day that I take down all my Christmas decorations and the Christmas tree; it’s the traditional end of the Christmas festive season, and one of the saddest days for me, as I love Christmas with all the food, family gatherings and the age-old customs and traditions that surround this period. However, it need not be that sad and depressing if we celebrate this feast day in the old-fashioned way, as in a PARTY! Customs and traditions that surround Twelfth Night and Epiphany are:
The Green Man
The Green Man is deeply rooted in a whole host of customs and traditions. He is also known as the Wild Man, Jack-in-the-Green, the Green Knight, the May King and sometimes Robin Hood. He is irrepressible life: At Twelfth Night he appears all in holly
Folk plays are performed at Midwinter all over England. They were generally referred to as “Mummings” or earlier as “Guizings”, and disguise played a big part.
King Bean and Queen Pea
King Bean and Queen Pea are chosen at the end of the play – take a cake and see if you are one of the lucky pair! This King and Queen were crowned for the day as part of the general revelry, and ‘Twelfth Cake’ or ‘King’s Cake’ (referring to the three Magi) was once very popular in London.
Wassail comes from the Anglo-Saxon waes hal, meaning, ‘be whole’. If somebody bids you ‘wassail’ you may reply ‘drinkhail’, meaning ‘your health’. The invitation to festivity in this response is obvious! The wassail bowl was a hot drink including apples, sugar, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and ale. The bowl with evergreen boughs is carried from house to house and the inhabitants invited to drink wassail to the season: Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green.
I always try to celebrate this ancient festival every year and try to make the whole “taking down the tree and decorations” as fun as possible. This year I will be serving my Traditional English Wassail with a plate of Mincemeat Soda Bread, served warm and spread liberally with butter, it will be my last treat before the diet, healthy eating and “dry January” kicks in for the rest of the month.
This recipe is also perfect for this special night, as it uses up any spare (leftover) mincemeat that may be lurking in the back of your fridge after the mince-pie season has ended. The recipe is very simple and the results are a soft, crumbly and fruity scone type quick bread, which is perfect for the New Year tea time table, as well as being a nice way to end the festive season.
If you fancy serving something savoury to end the Twelve Days of Christmas, you could also make my Curried Beef & Apricot Pie with a Salt Glaze Crust, which uses leftover beef from New Year’s day; or, why not push the boat out and make my version of the famous Rosca de Reyes aka King Cake. Along with my recipe for Wassail, all the recipes are on Lavender and Lovage, and I will add them as a list to the end of this post.
For other ideas on what to serve, The Telegraph has some lovely ideas here: Let’s bring back the glorious food traditions of Twelfth Night. The recipe for my Mincemeat Soda Bread is shared below, and apologies for the lack of a printable recipe card*** – but my recipe software seems to either drunk or still on holiday, as it’s not working today! Enjoy the last day of Christmas tomorrow and I’ll be back later this week with more tales from Canada, Ireland and Germany, as well as some NEW 5:2 diet and Weight Watchers recipes too…….Karen
***I have now managed to add a printable recipe card!
Mincemeat Soda Bread
Twelfth Night and Epiphany Recipes:
I am adding this to Made with Pink’s #BrilliantBreakfasts