Friday, 13 January 2012

Celebrating New Year Welsh style on 13 January

Blwyddwyn Newydd Dda!
There is a small corner of Wales where they are celebrating New Year today 13 January. People living in the Gwaun Valley in Pembrokeshire follow the ancient Julian calendar, which the rest of the UK stopped using in 1752 when it was replaced with the Gregorian calendar. You can hear how they celebrate in song on BBC News Wales. The celebration’ Hen Galan’ has carried on since then with people singing traditional songs to 'let in' the coming year and to wish everyone health and happiness.  The children receive little gifts of homemade sweets or biscuits. I love Wales and have lots of happy memories from many visits to North Wales when my Uncle Albert lived there so this seems a good excuse to bake and join in the celebrations. 

There are lots of easy recipes to make with children and Grandma has plenty in her book. which you will love. I'm using up an orange and some plain dark chocolate from the kitchen cupboard. 
Chocolate Orange Biscuits
5 oz/150g margarine or butter
3 oz/75g caster sugar
8 oz/225g plain flour
2 tsps baking powder
3 oz/75g plain chocolate (chopped into small pieces)
Grated rind of an orange
1 tbsp orange juice

Pre heat the oven to 350F, mark 4, 180C. Beat the margarine or butter until it’s light and fluffy. Then sift the flour and baking powder straight onto the creamed mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients and work the mixture together until you get a fairly stiff paste. Roll out into a floured working surface, about ¼ inch thick. Using a 2 inch plain cutter, cut out the biscuits and place them on the baking sheets. Sprinkle them with a little extra caster sugar and bake for about 20 minutes or until the biscuits are a nice golden colour. Remove from the oven, leave to cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then place on a wire rack. Store in an airtight tin.
Sunny days in Red Wharf Bay, Anglesey, Wales 

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