Glueless about St David’s Day

It’s that time of year again. The daffodils are springing their pretty heads out of the ground and there are leeks aplenty in the supermarkets. Yes, it’s almost St David’s Day.

The first day of March each year is the feast day of Saint David, the Patron Saint of Wales.

Some of our traditions to celebrate this day is to wear one of the traditional symbols of Wales – either a leek or a daffodil. This year I have bought a felt leek brooch – I’ll add a photo of me wearing it on the day, on Facebook or Instagram. Children will often wear national dress to school and will take part in recitals and song. Such fun.

One of the main traditions of St David’s Day though, is not to wear a lace bonnet from the corner shop but to eat Cawl. This is a warming dish of meat and seasonal vegetables and its bloody lysh! Where I’m from it’s known as lobscows. Whilst the Welsh are known for serving bread and butter with every meal, Cawl itself is naturally gluten free. I would recommend a chunk of homemade gluten free bread for dipping and mopping though.

This year, the Welsh Government have produced some bilingual recipe cards in celebration of St David’s Day. Below is the recipe for Cawl. You can find all the recipes here:

Cawl: Serves 6 as a main course.

1kg of neck or lamb shoulder, beef or ham hock. Pick Welsh meat on the bone for the best flavour.
1 onion, roughly chopped
6medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small swede or 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 leeks, washed and sliced
1 small bunch of fresh parsley, optional
vegetable stock (*check its gluten free, I’m using Knorr)
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add meat to a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a very gentle simmer for 2-3 hours on a low heat. Leave this overnight to cool and then skim off any fat from the surface.
  2. Cut the meat off the bone, return this to the stock and add the potatoes, carrots, swede/parsnips and simmer until cooked through. Add a bit more stock if you need to then season.
  3. Finally, add the leeks and just before serving add in the parsley if using

I hope you enjoy your Cawl and in anticipation for 1st of March – Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!

Sioned x

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