Powerful Aroma of Home and History In Hot Cross Buns

22 03 2008

Young Son is learning to play the bagpipes, with a Scottish family of professional performers. So I chat with the mom and drink tea twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, as the dad and Young Son play their pipes.

This week she mentioned her plan to search local bakeries for traditional hot cross buns, for Good Friday.

I only remember hot cross buns from the nursery rhyme we girls jumped rope to, once upon a time. And I never thought they were any more “real” than four-and-twenty blackbirds baked in a pie . . .

hotcrossbuns6.jpg

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

This power of story in this bakery specialty remains hugely popular in the UK (actual Christian devotion, not so much? ) And taking the hot cross bun historical perspective in a whole different direction, one of the links warns families that these days, “finding hot cross buns made to ‘Slow Food’ principles can be quite difficult. . .”
Has anybody got a hot cross buns story to play here for our entertainment?

Advertisements

Actions

Information

13 responses

22 03 2008
JJ

Also see“Enlightenment Among the Hot Cross Buns” – a UK Telegraph column praising Easter-story art and music.

The comments (pro and con) interest us too, because we’re just starting to read “God’s Crucible” by the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Levering Lewis, the documented history of the clash between Islam and Christianity as “mission” religions, and how it has shaped culture across the continents and millennia:

Lewis’s narrative, filled with accounts of some of the greatest battles in world history, reveals how cosmopolitan, Muslim al-Andalus flourished—a beacon of cooperation and tolerance between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity—while proto-Europe, defining itself in opposition to Islam, made virtues out of hereditary aristocracy, religious intolerance, perpetual war, and slavery.

A cautionary tale, God’s Crucible provides a new interpretation of world-altering events whose influence remains as current as today’s headlines.

22 03 2008
JJ

Speaking of symbolism and the Easter holidays,you might enjoy this food-stuffed essay about everything from candy peeps to pasta and fruit:

. . . If I had a pomegranate for every time I’ve heard scornful schoolfolk and other literalists use “no, no, that’s comparing apples to oranges” as a new story or idea slap-down, I’d have . . . hmm . . . a veritable orchard of juicy ideas? . . .

Maybe we could look to those culture-clashing forebears of ours for a mid-story change in course that might lead to a happier ending?

and mixed commercial messages using the cross as a symbol, make a graphic appearance here.

28 03 2008
Crimson Wife

Perhaps hot cross buns are a mainly Catholic & Episcopalian tradition? Both my grandmas used to bake them on Good Friday growing up…

28 03 2008
JJ Ross

Hi CW – the Scot family we know is of course Presbyterian, thoroughly Scottish.
And I guess England is a land of Anglicans?
So maybe hot cross buns are an “ecumenical” treat.

I’ve seen recipes for “resurrection cookies” but they don’t sound toothsome to me, more like a lesson diorama not meant for actual enjoyment. But hot cross buns make my mouth water just looking at the picture . . .

It seems cool you’d have real memories of these on BOTH sides of the family! 🙂

8 04 2009
Easter Classics: Hot Cross Buns, Edible Legos, Charlie Crist’s Egg Roll « Cocking A Snook!

[…] “Powerful Aroma of Home and History In Hot Cross Buns” […]

30 03 2011
JJ

The same Scottish mom I mentioned three years ago now, just sent me a lovely Scottish-American history lesson for Young Son:
Ten Things Scotland Gave the United States of America

. . .Of the 43 men who have served as President, an astonishing 33 have been of either Scottish or Ulster-Scots descent. This includes George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.

According to genealogists, current president Barack Obama’s ancestry can be traced back to William the Lion who ruled Scotland from 1165 to 1214.

30 03 2011
Nance Confer

Let’s see how the birthers will spin this! 🙂

30 03 2011
JJ

Yeah, let’s see if they can trump it? 😉

31 03 2011
Nance Confer

Isn’t it odd that The Donald has chosen that path? If he had something serious to say, as famous as he is, people would actually listen.

31 03 2011
JJ

The Donald wasn’t listed as one of Scotland’s great gifts though, hmm. Maybe his own ancestry is Kenyan!

31 03 2011
JJ

Speaking of God’s Crucible — “the clash between Islam and Christianity as ‘mission’ religions, and how it has shaped culture across the continents and millennia” — our own religious studies major will be graduated summa cum laude a few days after Easter.

When I wrote this post three years ago, she was just discovering religious studies as important to understanding the world, and how it wasn’t theology or divinity but nearly the opposite. She was a declared college English major but soon reworked her university program into a double major. She plans now that if a doctorate is in her future, it will be in religious studies.

So watching Colbert the other night, Favorite Daughter was excited when his guest was Stephen Prothero. She admires him. Her take: Prothero is a real religious historian! — not like Karen Armstrong who as theological historian, starts from what her faith teaches and then works backward to document and bolster, even defend, it.

Hope FavD doesn’t find out I once referred to Armstrong as a religious historian right here at Snook!

I offer religion historian and former nun Karen Armstrong in Foreign Policy Magazine, with THINK AGAIN: God:

“Theological ideas come and go, but the quest for meaning continues. So God isn’t going anywhere. And when we treat religion as something to be derided, dismissed, or destroyed, we risk amplifying its worst faults . . .”

Young Son and I just smiled at how animated she got and how well she knew both authors’ work, because we couldn’t get a word in edgewise. Not even to confess my most grievous fault! 😉

I did tell FavD the next day though, that education had the same difficulty of separating belief from objective truth and that there was a similarly prominent “education historian” named Diane Ravitch whose books I had read and who obviously was a scholar, but that I squirmed sometimes at how her personal beliefs about what was “right” in education got in the way of her objectivity.

I find myself (once again) in the uncomfortable position of seeing ideas that I have supported as part of a broader set of reforms turn into unhealthy obsessions.

I think honestly then, that I’m part Armstrong/Ravitch about education policy and practice, not 100% detached and objective as FavD finds Prothero. FavD is fine with that as long as I see the difference, and see that the difference matters and work hard to stay clear about it. She worries about experts who lose sight of that and suck us into their certainties of conviction presented as certainties of scholarship.

2 04 2011
Nance Confer

FavD is a very insightful young woman.

2 04 2011
JJ

Thanks Nance, yes, in which I take enormous pleasure but for which I take very little credit! Just trying to be clear about my subjectivity . . . 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: