…never fear, here’s one!
Today is Tom Bawcock’s Eve. It’s an annual festival held on December 23 in Cornwall, England.
You may remember the duchy of Cornwall as Camilla, the wife of HRH Prince Charles goes by the title of Duchess of Cornwall even though she’s technically The Princess of Wales, but no one has the cojones to call her that since Diana, Princess of Wales died with the title and well…everyone loved Diana and hated Camilla.
But, I’m off track.
Shiny object, what can I say?
The festival takes place in the tiny village of Mousehole and is a celebration of the legendary efforts of local yokel, Tom Bawcock. Seems Tom was determined to rid the village of a famine by going out to fish in a terrible storm.
His efforts were successful, he brought in a haul, and the folks created not only the celebration, but a special dish called Stargazy pie.
It’s a mixed fish, egg, and potato pie.
Oh, and you’re supposed to leave the heads on the fish so they can stick UP.
The original pie included sand eels, horse mackerel, pilchards, herring, dogfish, and ling.
Some folks, for grins add a seventh fish, but the traditional pie is made of pilchards (sardines.)
Sounds divine, right?
Before adding the fish, they should be skinned and boned except for the head and tail.
The celebration has been going on for some time, but it was first mentioned in print in 1927 by one Robert Morton Nance.
Nance isn’t quite sure there really was a Tom Bowcock. Seems Bowcock could be a muddling of the French term beau coq, a herald of new light in pagan times – as in the rooster that awakens the farmers and fishermen of Mousehole every sunrise.
Nance also believes the festival has pre-Christian origins, and that there may not have really been a Tom involved. Bowcock is used in Shakespeare’s Twelth Night, when someone asks, “Why, how now, my bawcock?” And since Tom is pretty run of the mill as far as names go, it could be any man, fisherman or not.
So, if you don’t have enough Christmassing to do and need another reason to party, well, you’re all set.
There’s a link to the recipe below if you’re game.
Just click here for directions.
Let me know how the pie turns out!
And if you want, you can have a parade with lanterns, sometimes they do that!!