🍏 Today I found some blue eggs and made them into an apple ‘wassail’ cake
Here in the South of England, there’s a tradition of the Apple Wassail. It’s supposedly centred around Twelfth Night, so I’m a bit early with this one, but there is a folktale from Somerset about the Apple Tree Man, which I read in Lisa Schneidau’s ‘Botanical Folk Tales of Britain and Ireland’.
The spirit of the orchard resides in the oldest apple tree, and when the disenfranchised brother offers his last drops of cider to the tree, he is rewarded by the spirit and animals - who can talk for a limited time - by the location of buried gold.
“Old apple tree, I wassail thee
And hoping thou will bear
For the lady knows where we shall be
Til apples come next year.”
He tipped the last of the cider at the roots of the tree and continued:
“For to bear well and to bloom well
So merry let us be,
Let every man take off his hat
And shout to the old apple tree.
Hats full, caps full, three bushel bags full,
And a gurt* heap under the stairs.
*’gurt’ = great in Middle English, and it also sounds fabulous with a deep, West Country accent, let me tell you.
Wherever you are, I wish you a warm and happy month, full of blessings and joy, despite the state of the world at the moment.