Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Friday, 2 May 2008

Being someone who is an avid supporter of village traditions the first of May could not go by without a mention of May Day. There are so many wonderful traditions that surround this day - washing your face in May Day due will make you beautiful for the coming year, May garlands and May Lifting, the tradition of local boys carrying a girl in a floral decorated chair who would then find the boy of her dreams the following day. As children, May Day was celebrated in our household as my Mum was a Morris Dancer. Morris Dancing, Green Men and Maypole dancing are all key parts of a traditional May Day celebration. We usd to go to Ampthill Park in Bedfordshire, arriving at 5.30am. As the sun rose, people would dance accompanied by the green man next to Catherine of Arragon's Cross (as a complete aside the golden hare from the Masqerade book in the 1980s was buided in the park near the cross until it was found be a clever man who managed to unravel all the clues and codes - we tried and failed!). After sun rise we would go to a local pub which opened its doors early to serve breakfast before heading off to school. Sadly we live quite a way from Ampthill now and attending would require a very early start. My mum still goes and perhaps one of these years we will join her again! May Day celebrations continue this weekend and we are hoping to go to the May Queen pagent at Ickwell - with traditional May Pole Dancing and decorated hoop competitions and a real life May Queen with attendants and sceptre bearers. Happy May Day everyone - and don't forget to wash your faces in the dew this morning - I will be!


milhan said...

Happy May Day Hannah! We don't have those wonderful traditions here, sadly, today is just like any other day.

I did spend the morning cutting lilacs and arranging them in vases however - that is my annual "May" tradition.

Marie said...

Happy May Day Hannah. Back home we would mark May Day by the making of a little posy of flowers to leave on a friends doorstep annonymously. I love the British traditions as well. This is such a wonderful country to live in, is it not!