From my home to yours…
My favorite thing about Lent, Holy Week and Easter?
No, not chocolate eggs. 😆 I’m not really a sweet tooth person, as many of you know (except occasionally.)
Anyway, tomorrow marks Good Friday on the Christian calendar, and if you don’t know already, it’s significance is the death of Jesus, while Easter marks the resurrection.
For me, it really is about the Hot Cross Buns and no I’ve never been ashamed to admit it. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a sort of devotion to the warm, cinnamon-y rolls loaded with currants and raisins, and topped with the traditional flour and water ‘Cross’ which is eaten by most Christians on Good Friday and even Easter.
My way of eating it is like many others, with lots of butter and a piping hot cup of tea. Of course, I’m not really a tea drinker anymore, but it’s a family tradition to have Hot Cross Buns with tea. Besides… Dunk a big piece of cinnamon-y buttery Hot Cross Bun into steaming chai, put the soggy piece in your mouth, and welcome to heaven.
So, here in Karachi, we have a few bakeries which sell Hot Cross Buns, but if you’re a true Karachite, you’ll know there is only one bakery worth buying them from, and that is the famous JC Misquitta Bakery which is so old, my grandparents knew the original owners. 😆
Even today, come the Wednesday of Holy Week, you will see people queuing up outside Misquitta bakery from as early as 2:00 a.m for the decadent Hot Cross Buns. If the bakery ever shuts down, I really don’t know what will happen to the HBC addicts. There might be riots.
Now, I’ve been anxiously awaiting my stash for the last two weeks, and they’re arriving today (no, I don’t brave the long lines, but someone in my house does because he loves me and blah blah 😉 ) – However, it became difficult to wait another full day, and no true cinnamon lover should ever have to be kept waiting so long for such decadence…
So, I baked some Hot Cross Buns. For the first time. All by myself. Without using a mixer and from scratch. And, I’ve never baked bread before in my life.
Yes, I’m as pleased as punch, no they didn’t turn out perfect and the crosses took effort which by the way did not work well. LOL. But, everyone at home have so far enjoyed the Hot Cross Buns without complaint. Side note: If you’re following a non-desi recipe for Hot Cross Buns, you may want to increase the quantity of spices a bit, especially the cinnamon (and cut down the nutmeg.) I followed the Anna Olson recipe (on YouTube) but next time I may try a more desi version, because you know… Lots of aromatic flavor is a requirement for us. 😉
But, all in all I’m happy with how my Hot Cross Buns turned out, and a special thanks to Anna Olson for explaining each step so calmly. I do not do well with OTT explainers who rapidly move around their kitchens when I’m trying something for the first time.
So, a very Happy Hot Cross Buns Day to all of you, and I really hope you’re enjoying some warm cinnamon goodness today, or that you will over the weekend.
Now, I’m off to get all my Easter gifts ready, and also do something pretty with my house.
See you all soon. Pics of my Hot Cross Buns baking experience below.
Lots of love,
Hatchards in Piccadilly.
Wonderful traditional bookstore. Probably my favorite bookstore to day. Brimming with historical fiction, my favorite genre.
One of the most unforgettable places and moments of my life. Coco Chanel’s staircase on the flagship store 31 Rue de Cambon, Paris.
They do not let you go up to the apartment, only the Gods are allowed 🙂 But it was pretty special. I have been to many high end fashion stores and most of them are very snobby. But I have to tell you when I walked into this Paris store I felt on top of the world. They welcome you in that tantalizing accent and say “Bonjor Welcome to Chaneeeel!” and from that moment on it’s like YOU are a celebrity. I never expected it from highest of the high end fashion names in the world. In fact I felt almost nervous to be there.
They had all these wonderful clothes and I told the sales girl.. “look I don’t want to waste your time, I can’t afford to buy these but can I at least touch it?” It was the latest collection.. Paris Fashion Week had just ended. And she was like “Of course. Try them on!” And I did. I tried on some divine jackets. I don’t really know how they make it but they are so light and look like jewels. I didn’t think I could love Chanel more but after this visit I loved them more. I loved the fact that the spirit of what Coco Chanel lives on. Her ideals her vision for women. The fact she made fashion accessible and that she was modern and she will remain forever the modern woman.
One thing to note. It is only in this store in the entire world that they give the white packaging. Everywhere else in the world it is black. It is because it’s their flagship store. So you have to go there and buy to get it. So even the packaging is extra special and yes I knew about it and made sure I went all the way there to make my first purchase. #DreamComeTrue #BucketListMoment #Chanel
Could truer words have ever been spoken?
I love this quote, I love what it goes on to say as well. “…The novelist teaches the reader to comprehend the world as a question. There is wisdom and tolerance in that attitude. In a world built on sacrosanct certainties the novel is dead.”
This was the big gun I brought out yesterday during an intense discussion with my daughter, who is currently reading To Kill a Mockingbird at school. She has dabbled in some classics for the last couple of years; mostly the children’s/YA versions, but I’d say this is her first more mature experience with literature.
I noticed she was somewhat frustrated. TKAM raises a lot of questions for her, it’s slow and is forcing her to pay attention. Nothing is put on a tray and served with sprinkles, she doesn’t get to decide within the first few chapters who and what the characters are, what their journey will be, and where they’ll end up. She’s already making comparisons to the books she otherwise reads and is seeing the difference.
She told me she’s laboring through the book and that many don’t like it. She said she’s liking it, but finds herself stopping to wonder about even the smallest things. I told that just means the writer’s done her job, and that she may want to read the book again when she’s older, because when she does, she will definitely be amazed at things she doesn’t consider important now, or isn’t paying attention to.
All in all, literature has got her attention in a deeper way, and I’m excited for her. She’s always been an avid reader and I know she will continue reading everything (which is a good thing,) but this was also a journey I was secretly hoping she would embark upon. I am proud she’s doing it at thirteen (although, in a way I’m half dreading the discussions ahead 😉 )
And, of course to seal the deal, I shared this quote with her at the end. 🙂
“Do you know why books such as this are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean? To me it means texture. This book has pores. It has features. This book can go under the microscope. You’d find life under the glass, streaming past in infinite profusion. The more pores, the more truthfully recorded details of life per square inch you can get on a sheet of paper, the more ‘literary’ you are. That’s my definition anyway. Telling detail. Fresh detail. The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies. So now you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life.” ― Ray Bradbury
Now, I’m off to read something that makes me uncomfortable enough to over-think and agonize over. I hope you do the same. ❤
Have a great day!
Lots of love.