crossesHello all

I came home from our 3 pm Good Friday service today very unlike my usual, bubbly, talkative self! Geoff noticed it at once. He was outside having a cup of coffee on his own and when I saw him, I was reluctant to break the feeling of reverence and silence that I was carrying within myself.

Very unusual for me! However, beautiful music and a lovely service, with the church bursting at the seems, touched me as we lined up to ‘venerate the cross’ as us Catholics say. We process down the main aisle of the church and kneel, touch or kiss the large wooden cross … whatever we feel we would like to do.

But it is hard to maintain that inner silence when you return to the ‘real world’ Still I felt good for having had the experience. It wasn’t long before I was thinking about food however, and the next minute I was heating up a mini Hot Cross bun for afternoon tea.  Contact with ‘holiness’ had given me an incredible appetite!  Does it every time.

hot cross bunsWhy do we eat Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday folks? When I was a girl, my mother always heated up Hot Cross Buns for breakfast and I have followed the same tradition for the 41 years that I have been married. So, like Sherlock Holmes and armed with my magnifying glass,  I set to work to find out why we eat them.

And what did I find? Very little folks! But determination meant that Mr. Google was well used with different definitions until I found out some history, and it goes back a very long time too:

“A lot of history and mystery surrounds the hot cross bun. One thing we know for sure is that it began in England. When and why, though, is its first mystery. The hot cross bun probably began as a tribute to Eostre, the Saxon goddess of light, after whom — as you might guess — the Christian holiday is named. Even the cross on the bun wasn’t originally a reference to the Christian story, but an ancient Celtic symbol.” /

Oh dear, I found out some interesting things about hot cross buns and despite its pagan roots, the hot cross bun became so entrenched as a symbol of ‘English Catholic-ness’ that when the Protestants took power they actually banned the bun. Can you believe that?

But, like everything, with the passage of time – EVERYONE – including those who do not have any Christian belief – began eating the hot cross buns. It’s because they are so delicious of course! Geoff and I heated some for our breakfast this morning. They never fail to impress me. Perhaps it is the nostalgia that they bring to mind that makes them so special for me?

And I’m sure we all remember the nursery rhyme that we associate with Hot Cross Buns. Here’s some more nostalgia:

Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
One ha’ penny, two ha’ penny,
Hot cross buns!
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons
One ha’ penny,
Two ha’ penny,
Hot Cross Buns!

Also, a lot of people  – regardless of religion – eat fish on Good Friday. Started by the Catholic Church hundreds of years ago, in reverence to Jesus dying on the cross, it has become commonplace for some people not to eat meat on Good Friday. Thus, another of tradition was born and half the people have no idea why.

So today, dear friends, as the dark comes in, Good Friday here in Australia is coming to an end. My fish is ready to cook for tea, but I want to leave you with a few little Good Friday/Easter delights that I found whilst researching Hot Cross Buns.

You may be able to make these treats for Easter, so I have given you the link to the websites I found them on. Enjoy!

hot cross bunniesAren’t these little bunnies gorgeous? They’re not hard to make either; just make the dough as if ordinary sweet dough and shape and put the odds and sods on when cooked. Find the recipe here:

Yummy ... these look good.

Yummy … these look good.

These little chickens are hard-boiled eggs with the yolks whipped with mustard and mayo and put in the centres. Add tiny pieces of olive and carrots to complete the face. Find the recipe with step-by-step instructions here: chicks