Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hot Cross Buns by Winslow Tudor

Hot Cross Buns (from Tasha's Cookbook)

Each Easter Tasha made hot cross buns. She baked them in the large cast iron cook stove, frosted the cross on them, and visitors ate them hot for tea.

Sometimes she brought doves or baby chicks in from the barn for a few hours, and put them near the table in a soft and comfortable nest, especially when children were around. Tasha also put tiny baskets of finch eggs in her dollhouse, to the delight of the young at heart.

Snowdrops

     If Easter came late in the year and there wasn’t much snow cover, Tasha walked her gardens in the warm sunshine to see what was coming up on the southern slopes, usually masses of crocus and exciting snowdrops all budded up in the granular drifts of snow. Sometimes she looked for robins or picked quantities of pussy willow buds and put them in a big stoneware crock on the front porch table. Tasha also brought flowerpots up from the greenhouse with tulips, daffodils and hyacinths that had been forced earlier in the year, and put them about the house.    


Easter egg decorating, and the creation of an Easter egg tree, took place each year. The eggs were divided into halves lengthwise with Victorian gold foil or very delicate trim and, thusly framed, each side of the egg was adorned with either a sticker of a bird or flower.


The Easter egg tree was just a sapling, maybe three feet high depending on how many eggs there were, affixed to a board or stuck in a pot of sand to keep it upright. Tasha hung decorated Easter eggs from the branches, ranging in size from goose eggs and chicken eggs to bantam and dove eggs.

Tasha’s cooking, always excellent, excelled on Easter Sunday. The feast was a highpoint of spring, and always a happy time. The longer days and the garden preparing to burst into life, the cool yet promising spring air carrying scents of earth and sunshine, an excellent meal and cheerful conversation all vividly marked the coming year.

-Photos and story by Tasha's grandson, Winslow Tudor

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