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Soul Cake *
from the holiday kitchen of Sharmagne Leland-St. John

Two sticks butter
3 and 3/4 cups sifted flour
1 cup fine white sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or mace
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
2 eggs
2 teaspoons malt vinegar (or cider vinegar)

Preheat the oven to 350  degrees.
Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender (or flat table knife and fork).  Blend in the sugar,  spices. Mix to a stiff dough with the beaten eggs and vinegar. Knead thoroughly and roll out, 1/4 inch thick; cut into 3 inch rounds and set on greased baking sheets. Prick the cakes with a fork and bake; sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar while still warm.

*After hearing Peter, Paul, and Mary sing:
"Soul cake, soul cake please good missus a soul cake. An apple, a plum, a peach, or a cherry. Any good thing to make us all merry", I decided to investigate the ingredients and lore behind this ancient custom.  It is generally associated with Halloween or the Day of the Dead, but since Peter, Paul and Mary sing it as a sort of carol, I decided to include it here.  It relates back to the Celtic New Year's celebration.  It is also associated with ghosts.  Perhaps the Ghost of Christmas past!

Serve with hot Wassail.

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