Monday, October 27, 2014

Culinary Cravings with Rita Bay- Soul Cakes

Soul Cakes: An Ancient Halloween Tradition
On Halloween in parts of ancient Britain, soul cakes were distributed to the poor. The soul cake’s origins date at least back to Medieval times. In a 14th century manuscript an author refers to ‘olden times’ stating “… wherefore in olden time good men and women would this day buy bread and deal (give) it for the souls that they loved, hoping with each loaf to get a soul out of purgatory.” The cross on the each cake indicates the religious significance of releasing a soul from Purgatory. “Cake” is used in the sense of British biscuits which are cookies to Americans.
A song survives that the poor (called ‘soulers’ during the celebration) sang about the need to help souls out of Purgatory by prayer and alms-giving as they went door to door collecting their cakes.
“Soul soul for a souling cake
I pray you, missis, for a souling cake
Apple or pear, plum or cherry
Anything to make us merry …”
The song addresses fruit filling but the recipe below is plain with the simplicity of the ingredients supporting the claim that the recipe is very old. The recipe for Soul Cakes is converted from English measures.
2 2/3 C plain flour (sifted)
1 C sugar
1 1/2 sticks of butter (softened & diced)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg (beaten)
2 tsp of white wine vinegar
Directions: Preheat the oven to 425° and grease two cookie sheets. Thoroughly mix all the dry ingredients - sifted flour, spices, and sugar - in a bowl. Rub in the diced butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add in the beaten egg and white wine vinegar and mix with a wooden spoon until dough is firm. (I ended up using my hands.) Cover it and put it in the fridge for 20 minutes. Flour a working surface and roll out the dough to a bit over ¼” thick and using a large round pastry cutter cut into rounds.  Make a cross on each cookie. Place the cookies on the greased cookie sheets and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 425° until slightly colored. Serve warm or cold. Yield – about three dozen 3″ cookies.  (Check out the pic of my soul cakes.)

Ex-Green Beret Ely Locklear is a master chef who loves to cook for his partner Todd Anderson and their ward, Lexie Carter. He tolerates the love of her life, Army Ranger Captain Taylor Jackson. Follow the non-traditional family as they pursue their happily-ever-afters in the steamy contemporary military romance Search & Rescue and the scorching hot M/M romance Ely’s Epiphany from Secret Cravings Publishing.

Search & Rescue. One look at Captain Taylor Jackson at a Career Day at Spring Hill College and wealthy coed Lexie Carter knew he was The One.  In six months they’re engaged and the wedding set for after graduation. When Taylor is reported killed in action in Afghanistan two months before their wedding, Lexie is devastated, her hopes for a family of her own crushed.  Can she survive a future without Taylor or will she succumb to her grief?
Army Ranger Taylor Jackson falls in love at first sight with young Lexie Carter. While on a mission in Afghanistan, he is captured by insurgents after taking his brother’s place on patrol. When Taylor escapes and returns home on what should have been their wedding day, Lexie has disappeared under suspicious circumstances. Can he find her in time to rescue her from her fate?

Ely’s Epiphany . For Todd Anderson, a West Point graduate from a wealthy family, it was love at first sight. Living with Ely wasn’t easy, but it was the only life for him. When Ely plays too nice, Todd fears his partner—his first and only lover who introduced him to the gay lifestyle and sizzling hot sex—is preparing him for a Christmas breakup. Will this Christmas be their last together?
Ex-Green Beret Ely Locklear survived a childhood filled with poverty and abuse by building a wall around his heart. Although the millionaire mercenary and entrepreneur has a family and partner who love him, the wall and rough edges remain. When his ward’s new Army Ranger husband shows him that loving someone isn’t a weakness, he wonders if it’s too late for a fresh start with his partner of two decades.
Author Pages/Buy Links: Secret Cravings Publishing / Amazon
Author Links: Webpage / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest /
Rita Bay

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