Friday, April 22, 2011

One a penny, two a penny

Cannot believe how good these turned out!

I was neither hot nor cross making these beauties yesterday.

The LGBB doesn't like them, she's decided, I gather because they're probably not sweet enough even though they look like they ought to be. Poor deprived child.

Had a ball making them (and tweeting the photos during the process... yeah, sorry about that, just installed Instagram on my phone - I have previously used Steve's - so I'm still in that hot, heavy flurry of overdoing it). During the process, the rising of the dough and then the punching back down to size was terribly exciting - for me and for her - and at one point, looking in through the oven door while they were baking, the LGBB exclaimed, "I can't believe my EYES!" And I thought, "These better taste good or I am in deep trouble..."

Last time I attempted to make hot cross buns was in Mrs Stubbs' Home Ec class when I was fifteen. I was so put off by how they turned out that I haven't tried since. Back then, there was no diligent kneading for 10-15 minutes, certainly no embarrassing pounding of the risen dough. You wouldn't be caught dead following the "stupid recipe". Only lots of chatting, keeping our bowls out of harm's way - you had to watch that Dave, and Chris was even worse news - and trying not to get the daggy praise of Mrs Stubbs.

Mrs Stubbs was so gorgeous. She was like a mother hen, a tall stately woman in her 50's with a short, bouffant hair do and tiny spectacles that perched right at the end of her nose, which she would peer over to tell you kindly "this is the last needle I have, dear, so please don't break another" as she fixed a new needle to your sewing machine, or "you'll be thankful you've learned the difference between dicing, chopping and slicing" as if we cared. We did. I'll bet, right now, there are dozens of women (if not men) grateful of her careful nurture - as best you can with teens who think home economics is the "easy/slack-off" class where they didn't even try to pay attention. She's one of those teachers who I wonder what happened to, someone I'd like to bump into somewhere someday (if she's still alive) to just say, "Thanks." Oh, and, "Er..... sorry. For not listening. For rolling my eyes. For... just sorry. For everything."

It. Has. Risen!

Ready for the oven.
Easter is my favourite holiday of the year. There is a very concentrated feeling of stillness and peace about this holiday, I have felt it for a number of years now, probably since I was a child actually, now I think about it. I don't know what it is, but I gather it comes from prayer. Those who know me will be aware that I am not a religious person, which to me means I belong to no one religion. However, I have a faith. I believe in the divine will of the individual. I believe in the power of positive, thoughtful prayer. And peace.

This weekend, with the countless prayer services or quiet reflective spaces all around the world as well as close to home, it's no wonder one can't help but feel some of that. Now, while I believe in no one doctrine, as I said, I do respectfully observe the existence Jesus Christ. The stories about the man... well, about that I'm not so sure (and I'm not wanting convincing!). But it's this Christian holiday we are forced to observe, even more than at Christmas, that I really do appreciate. I was raised CofE, I've been to the services, I learned about it at school and at home. But by the time I was about 10, I learned no more. I got distracted, then I got rebellious, then I found my own way to a place of purposeful existence. But if you have ever been exposed to or learned these teachings, they stay with you for life. Or so I have found, so far. I think there is something quite profound in that.

Can you feel it, wherever you are?
Do you slow to a stop at Easter?
Do you catch the peaceful wave, however small, in your world?

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