Friday, April 10, 2009

Hot Cross Buns

Yesterday was Maundy Thursday. A rare day, a good day. One of those days when I felt like I was twenty and could do anything I put to mind or body. First thing in the morning, I took a plate of hot cross buns down to the coffee shop. Not such a big deal, really. (I’d made them the night before.) But to them, yes, it was a big deal. If I could do it every day, I would. Just to get the strokes and the joy. It’s conflicting to live with personal corruption.

But the reward for paying mind to the people who every day show up and make good coffee for their customers, is that over the past months the manager has become a friend and we know most of the employees. When I make the buns, I love cutting the cross in the dough as it rises and after they’re baked filling the depressions with glazed icing. It overflows in sweet runnels and puddles around the bottom. It’s probably the only place I allow such blatant Christian propaganda in my life. Here: have these buns, see the cross in the middle? They’re tender and sticky with bits of raisin and apricot surprises, and perhaps you, too, will some day be surprised by Holy Week, by Christ’s tenderness and suffering and you’ll eat that joy.

For centuries Hot cross buns have been baked and eaten on Good Friday and were originally connected to the celebration of true Easter.


Anonymous said...

Confused about the 'blantant Christian propaganda' thing. If your referring to the symbol of the cross, have you seen what is hanging in the front of your sanctuary? So what if it is expressed on a bun or in wood on a wall in a church or a cross around someone's neck. I don't believe what we do with such symbols is what cheapens it - it is what we don't do with it that cheapens it. Heaven forbid that one might look at it and actually pause to think of what it means.

Margie Haack said...

anonymous, am late on this, been gone... Thanks for comment.
Sorry to confuse. What I meant to convey is that some do use a scripture texts or a symbol such as the cross to legitimize or justify a work of art, a photo, etc, as if it can have no real meaning unless that little fish symbol or cross appears. And actually, I do believe that the use of those symbols has often trivialized and cheapened the true meaning of say, the cross. Especially in the public arena. Bumper stickers also come to mind when I think of “blatant Christian propaganda.” However, when I make hot cross buns, which have been historically and authentically connected to the crucifixion and I give them as a gift to someone who isn’t necessarily a Christian, I hope that because of the time and love put into the relationship we’re building, and that, yes, that distinctive symbolic cross, may become a small reflection or part of the kindness of God drawing that person to himself.

Shawna said...


jenni said...

You've inspired me to make a buttermilk pie or something for our favorite coffee shop baristas, too. Your hot cross buns look amazing, by the way.