365 days of gratitude


When I first saw hot cross buns in shops in January a few years ago I vowed I wouldn’t buy any until Easter.

Food for special occasions is special because it’s kept for special occasions.

This year I didn’t buy any hot cross buns, I decided to make them instead.

However, by the time the dough had risen yesterday it was too near dinner to eat them so I punched the dough down and left it over night.

It had risen again this morning, I shaped it into buns, left it to rise and cooked them this afternoon.

They were all the more delicious for the knowledge there wouldn’t be any more until next Easter and I’m grateful for that.

Yesterday’s buns . . .


. . .  have been eaten.

All that’s left is this photo:hot x bunsI used an Alison Holst recipe – it was easy to follow and the results were delicious, light and spicy.We shared them with Argentinean visitors who’d never tasted hot cross buns before which makes me wonder if they’re of British or Northern European origin?

Meeting market without mangling message


An Australian priest is asking for crosses to be removed from hot cross buns  which are on sale in supermarkets already –  13 weeks before Easter.

Burnie priest Father Tony Kennedy said hot cross buns were originally eaten on Good Friday to remind people of the day Jesus died on the cross but they had lost much of their religious significance.

Lost much of their significance? I’d say they’ve lost all significance and have merely become another seasonal food item sold well out of season.

Meanwhile, Coles media spokesman Jon Church said it was up to Coles customers to decide how they would mark religious holidays.

“We put the cross on our buns because that’s how they like them,” he said. The buns went on sale early because customers wanted it.

If customers like a cross why give it to them for only 13 weeks before Easter, why not give them crosses for the other 39 weeks as well?

Has the supermarket asked customers if they want the cross or if it’s just that the cross identifies a type of bun they want?

Has the supermarket tried selling the buns made to that recipe without the cross?  That way they could meet the market without mangling the message of Easter.

Hot crossless buns might be just as popular.

They might be even more popular because they’d sell to people like me who react against all these desperate attempts to  get customers to buy more by ignoring them completely.

In case you were wondering . . .


. . . I did stick to my pledge  to resist hot cross buns and Easter eggs until Easter.

In fact, I was a day late with the buns, not eating one until yesterday.

As for the eggs, I’ve bought a few to share with friends who are coming for lunch but I”ll be looking at them very carefully after reading about the woman who found creepy crawlies  when she bit into an Easter egg.

Cadbury’s, which made the offending confection, says it’s taking the infestation very seriously and my experience is that they do.

A few years ago my daughter found what she thought was plastic in an Easter agg and sent it back to Cadburys. They replied immediately with a letter thanking her and a week or two later with the results of their tests which determined it wasn’t plastic but sugar and other normal ingredients which hadn’t dissolved properly.

That’s how any question of contamination should be treated, but as Macdoctor points out here  and here  not every company takes it as seriously.

Too much too soon


If there’s one thing more likely to stop me buying than the appearance of Christmas decorations before December  -first tinsel spotted in September last year 😦 – it’s the early appearance of Easter eggs and hot cross buns.

Easter Sunday isn’t until April 12th this year but I noticed Easter eggs in the supermarket in the middle of January and saw the first hot cross buns last week.

Once upon a time hot cross buns were a once a year treat which appeared just in time to be toasted on Good Friday and Easter eggs were similarly special to be eaten in moderation (one or maybe if we were very lucky, two) on Ester Sunday.

Those were the days when treats were restricted to Chirstmas, Easter and birthdays.  Now all there’s a whole lot of manufactured celebrations which merge into one big commercial mess from one excuse to buy, eat and drink to another, origins forgotten and devoid of meaning.

Last year I launched a one-woman protest when I saw the first foil covered eggs in the supermarket in January and the buns a few weeks later, with a pledge to neither eat nor buy any until Easter.

I’ve made the same vow this year: no spicey buns and chocolate and marshmallow confections will pass my lips until the appropriate time.

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