April 7, 2009


It’s Spring and the site’s had a spot of spring cleaning. Not just a coat or two of cooler, paler colours, polishing the sidebars and rearranging the text furniture but hanging up winter’s woolly words and dusting down last summer’s half-forgotten sounds, letting them run free in the echo chamber of the mind…

But the limpid air of a Spring morning also recalls other traditions. Woody twining vines of wisteria, bluebells blowing in the breeze and …hot cross buns.

A number of esteemed fellow bloggers (So Lovely and Miss Whistle, to name just a few) have written about the latter and shown us scrumptious pics. Also about the difficulties of sourcing them in the U.S.

It seems I have the same problem in Andalucia. Does anyone knows where they can be obtained? I’m prepared to travel throughout the southern part of the province - yes, I’m that keen to serve them to Spanish friends this weekend as part of a traditional British Easter celebration! Otherwise, it’s back to Delia, Jamie or Nigella…

Apart from hot cross buns and simnel cake, there’ll be, of course, roast lamb. In the past at this time of year, it was considered here a lucky omen to meet a lamb, the symbol of innocence (less lucky for the lamb…)

There are, naturally, numerous superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday won’t spoil or go mouldy during the subsequent year. And if hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all breads turn out perfectly. You can be sure mine will go mouldy - as will any breads.

So, if you can, let me know where I can purchase perfectly delicious ones! Please!

FOOTNOTE: Was rather taken by the above pic, the ‘processional’ eggs bizarrely reminding me of something altogether less wholesome…


Miss Whistle said...

There should be a service for this - I mean, just look at the expat demand! Meanwhile, I'm told by the lady with the cats in the English shop on Burbank Blvd that she'll have some on Friday. Fingers (and buns) crossed that you are lucky too. xx

Anonymous said...

Oooh - hot cross buns! Thanks for the reminder - I haven't gotten any yet this year. But I can't help you as to where you might get some, because I'm over here in Canada. (Ours probably are pale imitations of the real thing anyway.)

Nora Johnson said...

Miss Whistle:It's great to wake here on the edge of Europe and find messages from the other side of the world - the US & Canada!

If I have no luck here with the MISSION, I'll certainly try your Times recipe. Otherwise I might just be contacting the lady with the cats too - let's hope she'll have a few spare!

From an English chicalita homesick in Andalucia...

btw watch out for that porno traffic!


Nora Johnson said...

Pinklea:Great to hear from you again! Seems the only places to source traditional English goodies like hot X buns are English shops -I'll have to do a bit of research here. Hopefully in amongst the Marmite, Horlicks etc, I might strike lucky!

Thank you too for stopping by and regards to lovely Vancouver!


So Lovely said...

Lovely Nora: try the recipe I used. Google "Paddington Bear Hot Cross Buns". I would paste the link to you but I am having dome techno difficulties and some randon guys Facebook page seems to be stuck in my cut/paste "area". Very annoying.
If you do make the recipe I would cook them a little less time than I did and also I didn't use mixed fruit, but raisins. Would have used sultanas but not available here. Good luck. xxC

Nora Johnson said...

So Lovely: Many thanks for the hot tip. I'm making them for Spanish friends (who are unfamiliar with the delicacy) so if disaster strikes & they end up looking like road kill with raisins, I can always blame them on Paddington & his eccentric tastes!

Lovely to see you as always!


Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Nora Johnson said...

Conrad: Why thank you and welcome! So pleased you like the blog.

I like to write about something that really interests me - positively or negatively like, for instance, those dreadful 'processional' caterpillars - and hope readers find it interesting too!

Although I've been blogging for a little while now, I still get really excited when I get a new reader.

Looking forward to seeing you here again.