April 23rd is the feast of St. George the martyr, patron of England and of soldiers. In the Eastern rite Churches he is known by the illustrious title of the Holy Great Martyr George the Wonder-Worker and he is also one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. One famous legend regarding St. George refers to his slaying of a dragon, thus we commemorated his feast day with a dragon themed treat.
We gave our treat a Tolkien twist by making Mock Dragon's Tail Cake as described in Farmer Giles of Ham:
It was still the custom for Dragon's Tail to be served up at the King's Christmas Feast; and each year a knight was chosen for the duty of hunting. He was supposed to set out upon St. Nicholas' Day and come home with a dragon's tail not later than the eve of the feast. But for many years now the Royal Cook had made a marvellous confection, a Mock Dragon's Tail of cake and almond-paste, with cunning scales of hard icing-sugar. The chosen knight then carried this into the hall on Christmas Eve, while the fiddles played and the trumpets rang. The Mock Dragon's Tail was eaten after dinner on Christmas Day, and everybody said (to please the cook) that it tasted much better than Real Tail.
While Christmas Eve is too busy of a time for us to make Dragon's Tail, the feast of St. George seemed like a very good day. Eliza was quite excited as our chosen knight carried the Mock Tail into the hall, er kitchen, while a trumpet fanfare was indeed played.
The girls made two classic cake rolls using jelly-roll pans, then filled each of them with a cylinder of homemade almond paste (for the bone), adding a bit of cherry preserve (for the blood). They put the two together, trimming the end to shape it like Tail. They made delicious, buttery homemade fondant to form the 'hard icing-sugar scales', tinting it with just a bit of raspberry juice, which gave it a delicate touch of raspberry flavor as well.
We didn't say it just to please the cook - we really did think it tasted much better than Real Tail.
O God, who dost gladden us by the merits and intercession of blessed George, Thy Martyr, mercifully grant that we, who ask for Thy blessing through him, may obtain them by the gift of Thy grace. - Collect, Commemoration of St. George