Your favorite convert comes to the rescue with the basics for Lenten newbies and some words of comfort for the journey.
Having just won two Oscars for Best Original Song and Best Sound Editing (and recently out on DVD, the James Bond film Skyfall is certainly in the midst of some media spotlight at the moment. But there’s another reason that Skyfall is particularly relevant right now — the way its themes coincide with the season of Lent.
Every year, I bring hot cross buns to an Easter brunch gathering of family and friends. Sharing food has always been sacred to me, all the more so when it’s around a spiritual event. I don’t know why I started bringing hot cross buns. We didn’t do it when I was growing up; maybe it’s my British roots, but it just seems the thing to do. (Good Friday is the traditional day, but Sunday is when we gather.) This year, for the first time ever, I am making my own, inspired in part by a recent spirituality of bread baking workshop at my church. Based on the test batch, I think it will work out fine.
The hot cross bun is not complicated to make. At its simplest, it’s spiced bread. Flavor and ingredient-wise, its noteworthy for a few reasons. First, traditionally it’s made with currants, an ingredient unknown in America except in its fellow British baked good, the scone. Second, it sometimes includes bits of candied fruit — the same atrocity that afflicts fruitcake and makes it wildly unpopular. (I prefer mine without, if you hadn’t guessed.) Third, it’s only lightly sweetened, which may be a good or a bad thing, depending on your tastes.
And of course, most obviously, there’s a big honkin’ cross on the top of it, usually made of white icing…
I come from a family that shows its love through gift giving. I think this stems from La Lupe. She raised eight kids on the…