Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Ploughshares And Puddings

Yesterday was Plough Monday. I only discovered this when reading Sue's superb blog in the afternoon - but the first Monday after Twelfth Night has been regarded for centuries as the start of the agricultural year. 
There are many traditions surrounding this day - like the ploughs being taken into church the day before in order to be blessed, and the ploughboys getting up to all sorts of tricks in the week before, when there was no work for them.
The main thing seems to have been 'Molly Dancing' - mostly done in East Anglia [and bizarrely, Manchester] which was a form of Morris Dancing, and often involved the men having blackened faces.
In 2012, some enthusiastic guys tried to recreate this activity in Dorset, here they are dancing along Poole Quayside. I'd spent the morning teaching in Poole, and had no desire to go back and dance!
Sue linked to another blog [Lavender and Lovage] where the author gives a recipe for Norfolk Plough Pudding 
- a dish traditionally served on Plough Monday. I confess that despite growing up in Norfolk, I'd not come across this one before [although I am aware of that county's fondness for dumplings and other comforting, stodgy, rib-sticking dishes]
I'm on a Leftovers Campaign and had already intended something involving three sausages in the freezer, and some veg not eaten up at Sunday lunch, this recipe was ideal. 
I cooked it in the microwave so it took 9 minutes. [On reflection I think 7½ might have been long enough, the pastry was slightly tougher than I'd have liked] I didn't get an artistic photo with the gravy poured over, sorry!


  1. Glad to read that you found a perfect way to use up some leftovers!

  2. We Molly Danced in Peterborough, it's basically Fenland Morris dancing, ie strange 🙂 .It was great fun, and the Straw Bear festival in Whittlesey was the highlight of the Molly season. It's the Saturday near Plough Monday, so probably this coming Saturday. We also came across something similar in Austria several years ago!


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