Thursday, March 01, 2007
Hot Cross Buns, etc.
Em remembers Hot Cross Buns being made (and sold) in Illinois between Ash Wednesday and Easter. ONE store around here advertised them for sale on Fat Tuesday. Since then, we've seen nothing offered in the stores. It seems that SOME cultures only eat them on Good Friday, so I'll look for them in the local stores around that time. Took some pictures of the ones I made. Here they are unglazed (fresh from the oven): You can see the carved cross above, but the next step is to apply a glaze to the carved cross. I've heard that some bakers fill the cross with custard, but I haven't seen that. I used commercial frosting to make the crosses for the following photo, because the glaze melts immediately on the hot buns and we do want hot cross buns. The lore behind the buns vary as much as the words for the song by the same name. Here are some guesses: Legend has it that hot cross buns were part of pagan spring festivals, and that a pious monk incised the buns with the sign of the cross in honor of Christ's resurrection. They are now traditionally eaten on Good Friday. : : : : : : : : : Hot crossed buns. "At the feast to Eastre, an ox was sacrificed and the image of his horns carved into ritual bread - which evolved into the twice-scored Easter biscuits we call 'hot cross buns.' In fact, the word 'bun' derives from the Saxon for 'sacred ox,' 'boun.'" Sacred Origins of Profound Things. A cross bun kept from one Good Friday to the next was thought to bring luck, the buns were supposed to serve as a charm against shipwreck, and hanging a bun over the chimneypiece ensured that all bread baked there would be perfect. Another belief was that eating hot cross buns on Good Friday served to protect the home from fire. [If you see a bun hanging from my chimneypiece (wherever that is), you'll know why ] Hot Cross Bun THESE BUNS ARE made especially for Easter and are documented to have existed before the advent of Christian Easter celebrations. These were made as cakes from wheat which was used in Pagan Spring festivals. The buns were traditionally made on Good Friday in the Christian church with the dough kneaded for the Host and therefore marked with a cross to indicate this. These buns/cakes were also believed to have many special properties including the curing of certain illnesses (See also Mystical WWW Mystical Plants). They were also believed to last twelve months without turning mouldy which was of great use during Pagan times when the storage of food was imperative for survival. It was believed that they would protect against evil forces and fire if hung in the kitchen. Sailors believed that hot cross buns would protect against shipwreck if taken to sea. Farmers in certain parts of England (UK) also believed that they would protect the granary against rats. THE ANCIENT GREEKS made a similar type of bun called a 'bous' with horns dedicated to Apollo, Diana, the Moon and Hecate. It too was said to never go moldy and to have mystical powers. The shape of the bun was said to represent the moon whilst the four quarters divided on the top of the bun represented the four quarters of the year. Good Friday comes this month : the old woman runs. With one a penny, two a penny 'hot cross buns', Whose virtue is, if you believe what's said, They'll not grow moldy like the common bread.' Poor Robin's Almanac, 1733. We had fun on Monday of this week attending offerings for both Black History Month and Women's History Month. <-- Did you know March is Women's History Month? First, we were served a light lunch while we listened to two of these guys in the bottom-left photo and another guy on drums play traditional African music. The Cora (Kora) is a fascinating instrument and Dave Gilden has pretty much devoted his life to it. After they played, we watched traditional African dance. In the evening, we attended a reception combination kick-off for Women's History Month and a Women's Art Show where we were fed again and entertained by female musicians. 'twas a fun free day! We'll need to pay a little for our March entertainment, though. I have five plays lined up, as well as a symphony concert. I'm squeezing in as much as I can before Em returns to Race Track duty in April. I also have dates with Richard and Bill this month. :-( Update: Made some beautiful hamburger buns this evening for BBQ beef sandwiches. MMMM! 'snew wit' ch'all?