Hot Cross Buns

It’s officially Spring, and on days like these, I recall my mother coming home with hot-cross buns. They were proffered with a flourish and the announcement that we could have them on that day, that one very special day. I don’t remember, however, why or which day was so unique. And we were indeed allowed to have the Hot-Cross Buns on that day alone. But those days, those days were Catholic days, and they held many a ritual glory. When I close my eyes I see white ribbed socks turned over to measured perfection above black patent-leather shoes, yellow tulips in the center of the dining room table, a decanter of coffee and small plates next to them.

The house would smell of Spring, of open windows and soft breezes, of the lace curtains that would dance in the sunlight. In those days Lent was taken seriously. Easter would be a celebration and an end to fasting and abstaining from meat. Thusly, on the Good Friday before Easter, before the celebration of the Messiah! we would acknowledge that day and the beginning of the end and the end of the beginning. We would have Hot-Cross Buns.

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When Elizabeth the first ruled England (1592) it was decreed that hot-cross buns and other spiced breads were not to be sold other than at burials or Good Friday, or at Christmas. There was in fact a punishment for doing so—all of the forbidden baked goods were confiscated and given to the poor. James the first continued the tradition in 1603.

Poor Robin’s Almanac in 1733 published a London street cry, the first definite record of Hot-Cross Buns:

Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs. With one or two a penny hot cross buns.

Nothing can be found for earlier records or recipes.

The more recent recipes for the baked goodies can include descriptions for the meaning or symbolism held within the ingredients. The cross itself has evolved to mostly include a sugar frosting:  confectioners’ sugar, milk, lemon zest and vanilla. This is how my newly purchased, boxed grocery-store treasure is completed. I’ll sing the song on Friday.

Hot_Cross_Buns_detail,_March_2008

—Information/background & photo from Wikipedia—

On The Way (to the bakery)

Or, a cautionary tale of the dangers found in just about anything

I got lost a few times today. More than usual anyway, and have been left wearing a rather strange outfit (for me, at least somewhat). It all started with a hair combing, and why not? Hair is not usually a stopping place near a rabbit hole, but then sooner or later it seems as if anything can be. Hair combing can progress easily to hair chopping (seriously) and then quickly on to a shower which of course means different clothes. And therein lies the rub.

Now settled into a boho-covered sofa, I am wearing a short dress over short denim leggings and a pair of  moto boots. Black, of course. Said hair from original detour is sporting purple highlights. The clothes have to do with the moto boots which are all the fault of the doctor. (Sad to say, not the Dr. Who.)

About my doctor: I hurt my knee, then continued to bang it up for quite some time. Ultimately and not long ago I ended up at a doctor’s place of business. Because goals are required almost everywhere and for everything these days, I was asked what my goal was in addressing the seriously compromised knee. Biting my tongue, cheeks, and lips, so as not to say, “um, to use it?” I replied, “So I can wear my cowboy boots again.” Which is true. Cowboy boots, having an angled heel in order to settle the foot nicely in the stirrups, will angle the foot and pitch the ankle forward when walking. The higher the heel, the greater the pitch to the corresponding leg, and the offending knee. Pain results.

Meanwhile, the complaining knee has been slow to respond to treatments. At last review the kindly doctor suggested that it might be a bit longer than anticipated for us to be ready for cowboy boots. Might other boots not do just as nicely? At least for the time being—before the last-resort operation looms ever so brightly in front of me? And then the doctor—he of the moto-boot fame—went on to suggest that even motorcycle boots could work.

And they do. Motorcycle boots, aka moto boots, fit nicely and move along a flat plane, regardless of the heel height. So that’s the way things are now. And why I am wearing moto boots and have my purple highlighted hair chopped short. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Whatever. Things I don’t have: more writing done on the newest novel, advertising for The Fat Man set up, piano practiced, etc., etc., etc. But here are the boots!

 

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