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The stuff from before on NiceCupOfTeaAndASitDown ...

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Boreda blant

As my Welsh teacher used to say. Of course I had no idea what she was going on about as my family were all from Essex. Yesterday being St David's day we decided to give Sue Northcotts traditional handed down Welsh Cake recipe a go, and here are the results, with supporting daffodil and leek.

Made with currants, and butter again
Having been raised in Wales, although being English, I really did appreciate the celebration of the Welsh patron saint's day, as it was basically a jolly. In primary school the girls would come dressed in traditional welsh dress, being a long skirt knitted shawl over their shoulders and mad Welsh hat, think Witches hat with the point chopped off. They would also have a daffodil pinned to them.

The boys too came in traditional welsh dress, which was possibly what ever you normally wear with a leek pinned to you. Unlike the Prince of Wales's leek yesterday when he was on the telly, a small delicate affair, most were full size vegetables requiring a couple of safety pins and a bit of string to secure them to the child. Many boys would start eating their leek raw before morning break giving them an authentic welsh dragon breath by lunch time. Some of the boys who had the more feminine daffodils attached to them would eat them too in displays of male pride/stupidity.

By far and away the best thing about St David's day was that it was half day at school. Even now well in to my forties I find that a March 1st that falls on a weekend seems like lost opportunity. I feel that somehow I've missed out on my afternoon off. It was several years into my working life before I could fully stop my self going home at lunch time on St David's day.

Somebody somewhere thinks you would like a cake

Well its February 14th and the romantic ones amongst us are no doubt planning something wonderful for their special love tonight. Here at NCOTAASD HQ the YMOS and myself see this as a perfect opportunity to bake some cakes whilst Wifey is out earning a crust. It may appear that this is merely a way of circumventing my diet, but it passes as romance here - right!

Made with Love.. and butter and quite a lot of sugar too

2008 reviews to be waistline neutral

I've never been one for New Year resolutions, or Wifey for that matter. However this year Wifey has made a strict and solemn resolution, that I should go on a diet. A strict limit of only one breakfast a day, no puddings, no cheese and crackers in front of the telly, and although she denies she ever said it, no biscuits.

These mud huts in fog don't really illustrate this do they

Yes I was shocked too. However, in order to keep the punishing schedule of sporadic biscuit reviews that you've become used to I will use the clever calorie counting exercise machines at the gym to ensure that biscuit consumption is mitigated by simulated cross country skiing.

Thus all reviews in the coming weeks will be have to 'waistline neutral' until such times as I reach my target weight. Of course my big worry is that my biscuit judgement may become impaired, as any biscuit no matter how ropey will taste like manna from heaven.

Now you may be wondering what incentives Wifey has promised for me hitting my targets? Well obviously most of them are of a distinctly personal nature, apart from the sneaky week long lads ski holiday. So if you happen to be in a French mountain restaurant in the Trois Vallees between the 12th and 19th of this month and see a man eating cake and drinking tea who really should be drinking beer, that'll probably be me.

As for the picture I didn't really have anything appropriate, so here is one we took on Christmas Eve in a small Welsh village. No they don't all live in mudhuts, it was the Celtic village at the open air museum of Welsh life near Cardiff. For some strange reason we were the only family there having a picnic.

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