I first read about Rutherglen Sour Cakes in F. Marian McNeill’s book ‘The Scot’s Kitchen’. Her description was short, but intriguing: There was an ‘elaborate ritual’ around their preparation which was ‘clearly from a pagan source’. When I then saw that they were wild fermented, I knew I had to find out more. . Rutherglen Sour Cakes were prepared in Rutherglen, close to Glasgow, Scotland, to celebrate St Luke’s day (October 18th). 8-10 days before this, oats and water were mixed up into a dough and left to sour. The eve before the fair, a group of women would gather to prepare the sour cakes. They’d sit in a previously-chalked semi-circle in front of the fire. Sugar and aniseed or caraway would be added to the now fermented dough. Each woman (ceremonially, they were called ‘Maidens’) would hold a wooden board and beater on their lap. A piece of dough would then be passed between them in an east/west direction, each lady batting the oat dough down on their board. By the time the cake got to the end of the semi-circle and was handed to the designated baker, called ”The Queen’, it would be ‘as thin as paper’. . This ceremony was last witnessed in 1854, as far as I know. And, at least online, no-one has tried to re-make Rutherglen Sour Cakes as an authentic wild ferment. . This picture is my fourth attempt. I’m getting used to wild souring the dough – it’s easy to tell when it’s ready using your nose. The shaping is best done using a board and a rolling pin. I don’t think I’ve got mine paper-thin yet, but I’m not doing badly! . Rolling them out, alone in my kitchen, brings so many emotions. This process was once so tied to place, to women, to ritual. I feel the weight of what I, what we, have lost: community, sacredness, ceremony, connection, seasonality. At the same time I feel immense gratitude for the path life has shown me, my family that supports me and the beautiful souls that I have connected with (a lot of them here) that *get* it. . And I remember food is never solely about feeding ourselves. . (Check my story for more pics and some historical sources.)