Cattern Cakes and Lace is the book that started my collection of books about Folklore, Weather Sayings, English Customs and the special days celebrated in the past. I found it years ago in a charity shop I guess - as it says 70p inside the front.
It's full of recipes and traditions all illustrated with photographs and water-colour paintings.
In the introduction to the book the author, who is a lace-maker, says she heard about Saint Catherine when reading about lacemakers in Tudor times celebrating their Patrons Day with merrymaking, Cattern Cakes and bohea tea. St Catherine had become the protector of young unmarried women when stories of her Martyrdom on a wheel of fire were brought back from The Holy Lands by returning Crusaders. Catherine of Alexandria was said to be beautiful and intelligent and after a vision converted to Christianity but was put to death in 310A.D by Emperor Maxentius.
Bohea tea is now known as Wuyi and is a type of black or oolong tea from China and Cattern Cakes (Cattern is a corrupted version of Catherine) are a sort of fruity/pastry/cinnamon swiss roll cut into slices before cooking.
I thought I'd make some just to see what they were like................quite good but don't think I'd bother again
I used the Cattern Cakes book and the others I collected, to write a page each month for a year for The Suffolk
Smallholders Newsletter, it included many of the days I mention here on
the blog but also A Shepherd's Calendar and Fresh Produce
Available. After that I had nowhere to use all the bits and pieces of interest in my books so Hooray for blogging!