Category Archives: Book of Days Calendar

Zippin’ Into Springtime, or Your March Book of Days

It’s St. David’s Day, and the Welsh will be donning leeks and daffodils on their hats and lapels today, and there will be Welsh Cakes served with butter and jam or with leeks and cheese. I am more the butter and jam sort. St. David, sacred to Wales, brings in March, a month of transition as winter officially gives way to spring. It is a month of many saints’ feast days that are sacred to particular countries: after St. David and the Welsh, we can look forward on the 5th to St. Piran’s Day for the Cornish, St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th for the Irish, St. Joseph’s Day on the 19th for the Italians, and then there’s St. Urho’s Day on the 16th for the Finns. St. Urho, who drove the grasshoppers from Finland: known only in the lands where Finns have settled. It’s a good story if there ever was one.

It’s an interesting month, March is, and here is your Convivio Book of Days Calendar for it. A printable PDF, as usual, and a fine companion to this blog. This month’s cover star is “Early Spring in Åsgårdstrand,” painted by Edvard Munch in 1905. You might admire the painting while enjoying a nice Welsh Cake today. Here’s our recipe:

W E L S H   C A K E S

It’s not uncommon to find recipes for Welsh Cakes that call for regular granulated sugar, butter, and nutmeg, but the traditional recipe will add lard to the mix, use caster sugar in place of the regular sugar, and will be flavored with the more mysterious flavor of mace. If you want the best Welsh Cakes, stick to the traditional version. If you can’t find caster sugar, make your own: pulse regular granulated sugar in a blender until very fine. Do not use powdered confectioners’ sugar, which has added corn starch.

3 cups all purpose flour
½ cup caster sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground mace
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons lard
6 tablespoons butter
¾ cup dried currants
2 eggs, beaten lightly
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
granulated sugar

Whisk together the flour, caster sugar, baking powder, mace, cinnamon, and salt in a mixing bowl, then work in the butter and lard with your fingers until the mixture has the texture of course crumbs. It’s ok if some larger chunks of butter remain. Mix in the currants. Add the beaten egg, working it into the mixture, adding just enough milk to form a soft dough that is not too sticky. Wrap; chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until you are ready to make the cakes.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board and roll to a thickness of about ¼”. Using a biscuit cutter (scalloped, if you have one), cut into rounds. Gather up any remnants to roll out again and cut more cakes.

Heat a lightly buttered skillet (cast iron works great) over low to medium heat, cooking the cakes until each side is lightly browned (about 3 to 4 minutes… if they’re cooking quicker than that, lower the heat). Let the cakes cool for a minute or two, then set each in a bowl of granulated sugar, allowing sugar to coat both sides and the edges. Best served warm, split, with butter and jam, or, for a more savory treat, with cheese and leeks, at a table set with a small vase of daffodils.

We’ve got two springtime pop-up shops in the works. At each, you’ll find our full selection of handcrafted artisan goods for Easter and Springtime from Germany, Sweden, and Ukraine, plus a few other surprises, too.

Find us first at the DELRAY BEACH ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE & FESTIVAL in Downtown Delray Beach on Saturday March 11. Our Convivio Bookworks tent will be at Old School Square, 51 North Swinton Avenue, from 1 to 7 PM. Next, on Saturday April 1, we’ll be at JOHAN’S JOE in Downtown West Palm Beach from 7 AM to 3 PM for a little Springtime Market that Johan’s Joe and Convivio Bookworks are hosting together. We had a Christmas Market last December and it was so much fun and we met so many wonderful people, we’ve decided to collaborate again for Easter.

Meanwhile, at our online catalog, save $10 off your purchase of $85 or more, plus get free domestic shipping, too, when you use discount code BUNNY at checkout. It’s our Zippin’ Into Springtime Sale, good on everything in the shop, now through Easter (and probably a bit beyond, too). What’s new? Some great new handcrafted artisan goods for Easter from Germany, plus a new supply of real pysanky eggs and wooden crucifixes from our friend Kyrylo Cherniak in Ukraine. It took almost a whole year for him to gather these things from the artisans he works with throughout Ukraine, and it is our deep privilege and honor to bring them to you. Kyrylo, so far, is safe and as well as can be. We have some new paper mache egg containers and splint wood baskets on their way from Germany, too, which should be arriving any day. We’re about to load about two or three dozen new hand embroidered tea towels made by my mom onto the website, too. Millie’s Tea Towels: you love them, and Mom loves making them for you! CLICK HERE to shop! And don’t forget to use discount code BUNNY at checkout if your order is $85 or more.

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus! Happy St. David’s Day!


Image: “Early Spring in Åsgårdstrand” by Edvard Munch. Oil on canvas, 1905. [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons.




Shrovetide, or Your February Book of Days

February is here and here is your Convivio Book of Days Calendar for the month. On this First of February we celebrate St. Brigid’s Day, and tho it be wintry out there (Brother Arnold at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community wrote to say it would be 1 degree there tonight), Brigid is our reminder that spring is coming; she is our bridge from winter to spring. Imbolc reminds us of this same thing; it also falls on this First of February. And with the setting sun this first day will come Candlemas Eve. It is the night in this house when we take our Christmas tree out to the yard and remove all other vestiges of yuletide greenery. We’ve delighted in Christmas these past 40 days, but it is time to step upon that bridge toward spring. By week’s end, the Carnival Season will begin in Venice, Italy, and before the month is done, we will enter into the more somber season of Lent.

Valentine’s Day, of course, is the star of the month. Or Galentine’s Day, or Palentine’s. Whatever version you are celebrating, we’ve got some nice gift ideas for you at our online shop.

Spend $85 across our catalog and take $10 off, plus get free domestic shipping, when you enter discount code LOVEHANDMADE at checkout. That’s a total savings of $19.50. Click here to start shopping. We’ve got some wonderful new handmade artisan goods from Mexico, as well as brand new handmade Murano glass dipping pens and lovely writing papers from Italy. Mom has made some brand new hand-embroidered tea towels, too, and we’ll have them on the website later this week. We’re also about to announce two new letterpress printed publications: our 2023 Copperman’s Day mini print, and our newest poetry broadside, which we printed at the Midwinter solstice. Shop at… and your purchases translate into real support for real families, small companies, and artisans we know by name.

Blessings to you for Imbolc, St. Brigid’s Day, and Candlemas. May Punxsutawney Phil bring you the news you’re hoping to hear. A good month to you all.

Image (and calendar cover star): “Shrovetide, or Spring has Come” by Igor Novikov, 2013. Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons.


On a Winter’s Night, or Your January Book of Days

A bit belated, here is your printable Convivio Book of Days Calendar for the month of January. Cover star: Winter Night in the Mountains, a 1914 oil painting by artist Harald Sohlberg. He was Norwegian; he knew a thing or two about winter. Me, I’m from Florida and all I know is it looks awfully wintry in his painting. We had a bit of cold weather on Christmas Day and the first few days of Christmas; enough to make the iguanas sleepy but it has warmed up again since then and the iguanas are back to eating all the plants in the garden, save for the weeds, of course. I was hoping, to be honest, that the cold would help thin the herd a bit, but this does not seem to be the case. What I am certain of is folks in Norway do not have this problem.

We are approaching the close of the Yuletide Season. It’s the Tenth Day of Christmas and our focus is on preparations for Twelfth Night and Epiphany. I plan to make our Three Kings Cakes on Friday (you’ll find the recipe here) but later today, my work is cut out for me as I record and edit my cousins performing a story for Epiphany Eve. It’s the story of La Befana, the kindly old witch who searches for the Christ Child each Epiphany and who delivers small presents to the children in Italy. The recording will be part of the Stay Awake Bedtime Stories series that I host and I’ve no idea yet how this will all turn out, but we shall see what we shall see and if you’d like to watch the finished video, please visit the Stay Awake page at the website of the Jaffe Center for Book Arts by Thursday evening and see what you think. My cousin Marietta will be reading, my cousin Cammie will be sweeping, and my cousins Larry and Al (as well as Seth) will be offering their gifts of frankincense, gold, and myrrh as the Three Kings. How bad can it be?

At our online catalog, we are running a sale on select artisan goods for Christmas from Germany and from Mexico. The sale runs through Epiphany on the Sixth Day of January. You’ll find savings on handmade German nutcrackers and pyramids and nativity sets, and handmade nativities from Mexico. Click here to shop (and save: our extra large nutcrackers, for instance, are currently reduced by $295; after Friday, they go back to regular price).

Image: “Winter Night in the Mountains” by Harald Sohlberg. Oil on canvas, 1914 [Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons].