thirteenfridays: August 2021 – A Sinister Special

Celebrating the end of the Covid19 restrictions with our first 13 themed meal in over a year we found that it is also International Left Handers day! (Sinister is Latin for left!)

Lefties have apparently had a really tough time over the years –
For thousands of years, the Devil has been associated with the left hand in various ways and is normally portrayed as being left-handed in pictures and other images. In the seventeenth century it was thought that the Devil baptised his followers with his left-hand and there are many references in superstitions to the “left-hand side” being associated with evil.
(from https://www.anythinglefthanded.co.uk/being-lh/lh-info/myths.html)

Resolving to create our celebration meal using our left hand, we found mention of a town in West Virginia called Left Hand and were inspired to draw on some traditional foods from WV.

We made a traditional cornbread sliced into 13 to accompany a couple of simple summer salads, both with 13 ingredients of course!

13 ingredient Corn and Cucumber Salad – Corn, Cucumber, Mini Cucumber, Capers, Chives, Coriander, Parsley, Basil, Olive Oil, White Wine Vinegar, Caster Sugar, Salt, Pepper

13 ingredient Tomato and Mozzarella Salad – Mozzarella, 6 types of Tomato, Cucumber, Mini Cucumber, Basil, Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper

Our dessert was inspired by a Blackberry cake recipe on the Sweet State of Mine blog with slight adjustments to make it 13 ingredients and egg free. The blackberries are just coming to a nice ripeness here in west Wales. Uncertain of how many we might need we gathered 169 (13×13) of them in the morning in preparation for the cake! Our 13 ingredients Flour, Butter, Sugar, Milk, Blackberries (13 in each layer and 13 on top!), Baking powder, Vinegar, Cloves, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Coffee. Slicing a round cake into 13 is always a source of amusement too! (Hint: divide the circumference by 13!)

Blackberries too have an association with the devil, folklore suggests the evil one gets in them after a certain date!

To round off the meal we enjoyed a Left Hand cocktail! Bourbon, Sweet Vermouth & Campari with a dash of Chocolate Bitters and a cherry to garnish.

Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad

Read Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad by M.R. James published in 1904

Watch the 1968 adaptaion of Whistle and I’ll Come to You directed by Jonathan Miller for the BBC

Watch the 2010 BBC adaptation, Whistle and I’ll come to you Ghost Story for Christmas starring John Hurt