Edwin Henry Landseer: A Highland Shepherd's Home, (1802-1873)
Mothering Sunday (UK)
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
Happy Mothering Sunday to all mums and moms and memories thereof ... with a traditional Simnel Cake for a treat! Simnel cake is a light fruitcake, generally made from white flour, sugar, butter, eggs, fragrant spices, dried fruits, zest and candied peel. Sometimes orange flower water or brandy is used, either in the cake batter or to flavour the almond paste. Conventionally eleven, or occasionally twelve, marzipan balls are used to decorate the cake (supposedly representing the twelve apostles, minus Jusas). Simnel cakes were originally associated with Mothering Sunday, supposedly because young girls in service would make one to be taken home to their mothers on their day off, though by the late twentieth century, this cake is now associated with Easter season sweets.
"God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers." ~ Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
The Highlandman Kissed His Mother
Happy Mothering Sunday to all mums and moms and memories thereof ... with a traditional Simnel Cake for a treat.
Simnel cakes have been known since at least medieval times. In more recent history, they became a Mothering Sunday tradition, when young girls in service would make one to take home to their mothers on their day off.
Simnel cake is a light fruit cake with two layers of almond paste or marzipan, one in the middle and one on top, that is toasted, and eaten during the Easter period in the United Kingdom, Ireland amongst other countries.
It was originally made for the middle Sunday of Lent, when the forty day fast would be relaxed, Laetare Sunday, also known as Refreshment Sunday, Mothering Sunday, Sunday of the Five Loaves, and Simnel Sunday – after the cake.
The meaning of the word "simnel" is unclear though may refer to the finest white bread, from the Latin simila "fine flour."
Conventionally eleven, or occasionally twelve, marzipan balls are used to decorate the cake, with a story that the balls represent the twelve apostles, minus Judas or Jesus. This tradition developed late in the Victorian era, altering the mid-Victorian tradition of decorating cakes with preserved fruits and flowers.
For more on the best known Shrewsbury version recipe of this cake, click the cake!