Welcome to Forgotten Festivals Rolag Club!
This month we are Celebrating Carling Sunday on the 13th March
“Tid, Mid, Miseray, Carlin, Palm, Pace-Egg Day”
So goes the Northern saying, which helps people remember the various Lenten Sundays. Tid comes from the Te Deum hymn, sung on the 2nd Sunday. Mid and Miseray are from the Mi Deus and the Miserere Mei, sung on the 3rd and 4th Sundays. Palm Sunday is the 6th Sunday in Lent and Pace Egg refers to Easter Day, Pace being a corruption of Pasch, from the Latin and Greek root of ‘Easter’. And that leaves us with Carlin.
Many people will know the 5th Sunday of Lent as Passion Sunday, but in certain areas, most particularly the North East of England, it became known as Carling, or Carlin, Sunday after the peas which were traditionally eaten on that day.
No one seems to know why this food became associated with this festival. Carlins probably originated in monastic gardens, and pulses formed a large part of the monks’ diet. Pea dishes were often eaten throughout lent as a good (and ‘approved’) source of protein. There are lots of myths and stories about the carlin pea and how they became associated with the northern regions. Here is a typical example:
Carlins are said to have rescued the people of Newcastle-upon-Tyne during the civil war. Newcastle, a royalist city, had been under siege by parliamentarian allies for four months and food supplies were becoming exhausted. Legend tells of a cargo ship from europe which managed to evade the blockade, and whose cargo of carlins saved the people from starvation.
To celebrate Carling Sunday, your rolags are inspired by purple, the traditional colour of passion, and the rich greens of the pea plant. Your handspun mini skein was inspired by the colours of pea flowers. I have included a recipe for carlings, and though I tried to source some pea seeds, it seems you can’t, so I have included information on how to adopt this variety. Your tea reflects the themes of Passion Sunday, and the unfortunate after-effects of eating large quantities of pulses … Finally we have two guest makers this month. Jennifer from Forest Valley Designs has made the unique stitch markers, and Becca from Get Hooked Crafts has made the stunning WIP bags.
I hope you enjoy it all.
In this box you should find:
- 20g rolags in “Passion” – 77% Bluefaced Leicester, 11.5% Bamboo, 11.5% Faux Cashmere and a hint of angelina.
- 10g rolags in “Greens, shoots and peas” – 84% Merino, 16% Ramie and some wool neps.
- The story of Carling Sunday
- A handspun mini skein in “Pea flowers”
- Tea in ‘Love’ and ‘Stomach Ease’ blends.
- Stitch markers from Forest Valley Designs.
- WIP bags from Get Hooked Crafts.
- A recipe for carlings
- Adopt the carlin pea
There are several recipes recorded for the carlin pea. I have also discovered that the day after Carling Sunday was known as Farting Monday, so don’t say I didn’t warn you! Though I did include some Stomach Ease tea.
225g dried green peas
50g fresh breadcrumbs
1 onion, finely chopped
½ teaspoon mixed herbs
Salt and pepper
Soak the peas overnight in cold water. The next day, drain and put into a large saucepan. Add 750 ml water and bring to the boil. Boil steadily for 2 hours until the peas are tender. Leave to cool. Mix with the breadcrumbs, onion, herbs and seasoning to make a stiff mixture. Shape into cakes and fry in the butter until brown.
Reference: Cattern Cakes and Lace by Julia Jones and Barbara Deer, Dorling Kindersley 1987