Monday 1 August 2016

Monday 1st August - Lammas Day

Lammas Day? What's that? A Cross-quarter Day.

The Quarter Days are

  • Lady Day            25th March
  • Midsummer        24th June
  • Michaelmas        29thSeptember
  • Christmas Day    25th December

when traditionally servants were hired, rents were due and so on. The tax year starts on "Old Lady Day", 6th April, from when the calendars changed (all that Julian/Gregorian calendar stuff that I've never got to grips with.)

The Cross-Quarter days are

  • Candlemas          1st February
  • May Day             1st May
  • Lammas              1st August
  • All Hallows        1st September
and Lammas is also the first day of the harvest,

Sir George Clausen, 'Harvest (Tying the Sheaves)'

when you bake a special loaf using the first of the harvest and take it to be blessed. (And then use it to work protective magic charms for the rest of the year!)

Well, here are our "first fruits"; well, nearly all the first fruits - there were five wild strawberries the day before yesterday, and four cherry tomatoes, but I didn't know about Lammas then, so we just ate them. It doesn't look as though there will be any more strawberries this year. Blackberries won't be an issue - as usual the flowerbeds are full of brambles.

I also baked a loaf - because we had the two last, rather dry, slices from the old one as toast with our fry up at lunch time. I also made a cake, as I noticed that the eggs we had needed using up. The only strawberry jam I could find was a brand new jar of  Tiptree "Little Scarlett" wild strawberry jam -  not what I would usually lavish on a Victoria sponge, but, my word, it tasted good! 

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