Happy Easter! As I am sure you are all dutifully saving your Easter eggs for Easter Sunday (!) Good Friday is the day for tucking into hot cross buns!
They are delicious toasted and served warm with lashings of butter – I love the cinnamon spiciness and the fruity currants!
There are lots of superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. One is that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or become mouldy during the subsequent year –don’t think I’ll be trying that somehow! They are also supposed to have medicinal properties and if you give a piece of a hot cross bun to someone who is ill it is said to help them recover.
Sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if “Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be” is said at the time. Because of the cross on the buns, some say they should be kissed before being eaten. Not sure about that either…
Even more strangely, it’s said that if taken on a sea voyage, hot cross buns will protect against shipwreck. If hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all breads turn out perfectly. The hanging bun is replaced each year… which is a relief I suppose!
Do you remember the childhood rhyme? It goes:
“Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One a penny two a penny – Hot cross buns
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons
One a penny two a penny – Hot cross buns”
Considering it’s an ancient rhyme it’s unusual to show a preference for the female of the family! So let’s embrace the Hot Cross Bun as an early example of feminism… Or better still, let’s just toast them and enjoy! Smiles, Joanna.