April 1, 2010
Buns and Beers
Annually in Sweden, novelty Easter beers are stocked on shelves for a limited time. I have noticed most have the look of a home brew, and with some of the labels I have seen I can hardly take Easter Beer seriously. You would be fooled into thinking the one featured above is not of the respectable brewery that Kris assures me it belongs to.
I might have to down some more of this as I commiserate the fact that Sweden knows not the greatness of the Hot Cross Bun. I would look forward to Hot Cross Buns every Easter as much as my chocolate bunny and my egg with the chocolate money (I am very dejected they no longer sell this one, the pirate looked like a real scoundrel). Besides, those new eggs with their flakes and crunchies and what-not are not in the true egg spirit, not like the eggs of my childhood where the treats, be it chocolate money, jet planes, chocolate buttons, jelly beans, pineapple lumps and more, were actually inside the egg. Hot Cross Buns now enter the New Zealand supermarkets before the end of February, far too early in my opinion, and I ranted to my mother who offered to buy some and put them in the freezer for me until I deemed it an appropriate time to eat them. I declined. Well, I am kicking myself now that I am in a land where they do not even exist! Not even as dough.
Hot Cross Buns are not only cherished for their delicious taste but also for medicinal value, preservative qualities, and shipwreck prevention. Buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or become mouldy during the subsequent year.
Another encourages keeping such a bun for medicinal purposes. A piece of it given to someone who is ill 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.
If taken on a sea voyage, hot cross buns are said to 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.
Its a dangerous and lonely world without hot cross buns.