Thursday, October 21, 2010

Soul Cakes.

A Soul cake is a small round cake which is traditionally made for All Souls' Day to celebrate the dead. The cakes, often simply referred to as souls, were given out to soulers (mainly consisting of children and the poor) who would go from door to door on Hallowmas singing and saying prayers for the dead. Each cake eaten would represent a soul being freed from Purgatory. The practice of giving and eating soul cakes is often seen as the origin of modern Trick or Treating.

The tradition of giving Soul Cakes originated in Britain or Ireland during the Middle Ages, although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy.
The cakes were usually filled with allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, or other sweet spices, raisins or currants, and later were topped with the mark of a cross. They were traditionally set out with glasses of wine on All Hallows Eve, and on All Saints Day children would go "souling" by calling out:

Soul, Soul, a soul cake!
I pray thee, good missus, a soul cake!
One for Peter, two for Paul,
three for Him what made us all!
Soul Cake, soul cake, please good missus, a soul cake.
An apple, a pear, a plum, or a cherry, any good thing to make us all merry.
One for Peter, two for Paul, & three for Him who made us all.

To make soul cakes you need :
1 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2oz vegetable shortening
4 1/2 tsp yeast or 2 packages
1/3 cup warm water
2 eggs beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
23 oz flour

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