Today is Imbolc, also known as Candlemass. It’s one of the four pagan fire festivals and it celebrates the first signs of Spring…
I actually took these pictures of some wild snowdrops in a small copse on the marshes just over a week ago, they were so tiny and the green leaves were really sharp and “shooty” looking, tiny white heads bent low to the ground and they were tinged with kisses of early morning frost.
The day is sacred to Brigid and she’s the goddess of poetry, healing, childbirth and midwives, sacred wells and waters, and arts and crafts. (she’s one busy lady) It’s always a bit difficult to feel creative when it’s dark and gloomy outside so knowing today is a celebration of new life be it springy leaping lambs, bright green shoots in the garden, fluffy gently moving catkins feels like a huge shrugging off of Winteryness and all that encompasses, and an open armed embracing of newness, and fresh starts.
I always connect it to Spring cleans, getting rid of things that I don’t need anymore (like taking some un-finished projects I knew I’d never finish to the charity shop the other week) cleaning windows, airing and shaking out stored fabrics, making room for new ideas to sprout and flourish.
Foods especially significant to Imbolc are dairy rich to celebrate the new life in the fields, so cheeses, cream, butter and milk are all good. These scones are made with butter, cheese and milk (full fat works best but semi skimmed is fine and that’s what is in my fridge) I’ll be making them later for supper this evening to have with last nights casserole (casseroles always seem to taste better the next day don’t they) and any left over can be popped into The Arpette’s packed lunch tomorrow (cheese scones seem to be the only ones nice enough to eat the next day, if I’m having plain ones with clotted cream and jam then I want to eat them still warm from the oven)
Brigid’s Cheese Scones
8 oz plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 oz Trex (vegetable shortening)
1 oz unsalted butter
5 floz milk
splash of cider vinegar
2 -3 oz of cheese (we like cheddar)
Preheat the oven to gas 7. Line a baking tray with some baking parchment.
Trickle in a splash of cider vinegar to the milk and allow to curdle.
Sift the four and baking powder into a bowl and add the fats, rub it all lightly together with your finger tips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Grate the cheese and add to the dry ingredients.
Add the milk and bring together.
Gently pat down on a floured surface and cut out using a 2 inch round cutter.
Place onto the baking parchment and put the tray into the oven, bake for 12 – 15 minutes.
Allow to cool a little before serving, delicious pulled apart and spread with salty butter, but also good served on top of casseroles like American style biscuits.
(makes about 8 scones)
Wishing you a happy and bright Imbolc.