01 January 2008

Happy Ne'erday!

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne.
~ Robert Burns

Ne'erday, 1 January, falls in the middle of the Daft Days which end with a big party on Twelfth Night (6 January) also known as Uphaliday.

In Scotland, the official start of the new year was changed to 1 January in 1600, while England and the rest of Europe stayed with the date of 25 March for another 151 years (1751).

Here’s a recipe for the traditional Black Bun to take with you while First Footing today. (However, you really should have made this several weeks ago, (like a fruit cake) so it had plenty of time to mature.)

Black Bun

Crust Ingredients
8 oz flour
4 oz butter
1/2 tsp. baking powder
a little cold water
1 beaten egg for finishing

Filling Ingredients
2 lb seedless raisins
3 lb currants
1/2 lb chopped blanched almonds
3/4 lb flour
1/2 lb sugar
2 tsp. Jamaica pepper (allspice)
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 level tsp. cream of tartar
1 level tsp. baking powder
1 tblsp. Brandy
1/4 pt milk

Crust Directions
Rub the butter into the flour, add baking powder, and mix to a stiff paste with water (about 4 tblsp). Put on to a floured board and roll out to a thin sheet. Grease a loaf pan (8 in by 4 in by 3 in) and line with the pastry, keeping back enough for the top crust.

Filling Directions
Mix all the filling ingredients together except the milk. Add just enough milk to moisten the mixture. Put it in the pastry-lined pan and cover with the top crust. Crimp the edges well to seal. Prick all over with a fork. With a thin skewer, make four holes right down to the bottom of the cake. Brush the top with beaten egg and cook in a slow (225F) oven for about three hours. It will keep for a year in an airtight tin.

Happy New Year!

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