Sunday, 10 February 2013


Pronounced -Wah-say-ling- there are two types. One is the house-visiting type commonly known as carolling. The other is the orchard-visitng type, reciting incantations and singing to the apple trees to promote a good harvest. The second is what we did last night.

It's not known exactly when the practise came into tradition however we know that the word 'wassail' is Old English and more than likely predates the Norman conquest of 1066.

“Wassaile the trees, that they may beare / You many a Plum and many a Peare: / For more or lesse fruits they will bring, / As you do give them Wassailing" is the song that you sing as you dance and weave around the apple trees, banging and clanging anything on hand to ward off the evil spirits. It's really quite fun, especially with a warm cardamon cider in your hand, the stars twinkling down on you and the fire warming you from the outside.

Although you may feel ridiculous doing it, it's exactly the thing I would do if ever I am lucky enough to have apple trees. Imagine every year before the apple growing season starts, gathering your friends for a weekend adventure in the country. Laughing while putting bunting up, kids running between the trunks, a picnic on the ground. A sense of really living and loving the land. Night hits and the stars come out, the fires are lit, last years cider gets warmed up and the excitement for next years crop begins. Magical right?!?

The day was spent at Douglas Farmers Market making crepes. Such good fun and for anyone who is thinking about selling at farmers markets or going. Do. There is such a sense of community. Such as sense of family and living off the land. Go. Enjoy. And eat.

Tips of the week:

1. Juice of citric fruits decreases in intensity very quickly. Always juice last!

2. Roux (mixture of butter and flour) keeps in the fridge for weeks.

3. If you are making Yorkshire Puddings, make sure the tray with a little oil at bottom is hot. 

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