We couldn’t have chosen to focus on the theme of Great Britain for our blogs and recipes without talking about St George’s Day could we?
Obviously we know this only applies to England so sorry Scottish and Welsh readers but you have already had your St days this year!
The funny thing about St George (or plain George as he would have been known before his sainthood) is that he wasn’t actually English.
He was actually born in Turkey and joined the Roman Army as a young man, before being tortured and killed for refusing to renounce his Christian faith.
He never actually stepped foot in England so why do we have a national day in his name? Well, that’s because St George’s emblem was a red cross on a white background. Legend has it that during the First Crusade to Jerusalem in 1098, St George appeared as a vision to lead the Christian knights during a siege. About 100 years later, King Richard III fashioned his army’s uniform on the cross of St. George.
But it was not until 1350 that St George became the patron saint of England, when King Edward III chose him as the country’s patron saint as he was admired by many for his bravery in the face of terrible suffering.
Perhaps this is why St George’s Day has not quiet taken off (and let’s face it’s there’s been enough time) compared to the way the Scots celebrate St Andrew’s Day for example.
Or perhaps it’s because St George and his flag have become a symbol, wrongly, of less savoury elements within society, but that’s another story and as political as we will ever get in the SK kitchen, well apart from the arguments over who makes the best bhaji.
So, as ever, we will concentrate on the food. There’s no particular dish associated with St George’s Day; but it’s a time when we can celebrate some of the great regional food we have in merry old England.
Like Yorkshire pudding, Lancashire Hotpot, Cheddar Cheese, Scouse (for our Liverpudlian readers), Maid of Honour Tarts and Jam Roly Poly to name but just a few thousand!
There may be no public holiday to mark St George’s Day, but this year it falls on a Friday, the sun is shining and the pubs and restaurants are open (kind of), so after work tonight, order something ‘local’ and ‘Cry God for Harry, England and St George’.
Here’s a recipe with lots of red and white in it!
Pistachio scones with
Chantilly cream and fresh strawberries
- 150g finely chopped pistachios
- 300g self raising flour
- 60g sugar
- 120g salted butter
- 190g milk
- 5g baking powder
- ½ a tsp Almond essence
In a kitchen mixer
with the paddle attachment mix together the nuts, butter, flour, sugar and
baking powder till the butter is all mixed in. Add the milk and almond essence
till a soft dough is formed.
Preheat oven to 200°c
On a floured bench
roll out the dough to 4cm thick then using a scone cutter cut out scones and
place on a baking tray brush the top with milk and bake for 20 minutes until
light and golden brown. Place on a cooling rack to cool.
- 500g double cream
- 100g icing sugar
- 1 vanilla pod split in half and deseeded
- 250g fresh washed strawberries
Place all the
ingredients into a bowl and whisk together until the cream is thick and smooth.
Build the scones by
cutting in half and filling with the rich Chantilly cream and juicy