Tag: hot cross buns

Palm Fronds Blowin’ in the Wind


The desert wind is blowing lightly through the palm tree fronds this Sunday, Palm Sunday by the western churches calendar. The weather carried on the wind is sunny and increasingly warm. Two thousand years ago, on the first Palm Sunday, the fickle crowd swayed in favor of a promised prince of peace, a ruler to set things right. Within the week, the wind shifted again, bringing darkness to match men’s hearts and death to set things right.

Years ago, I caught a moment with a rainbow set in a dark sky over the palm trees planted in an Arizona desert city. I thought of it the evening before Palm Sunday and dug it out of the archives. The rainbow calls to mind Noah and the Great Flood, when the Sovereign of the universe was so offended that he used water to wash away almost all of life on Earth. Yet, He chose one righteous man and his extended family, along with a population of birds and beasts, to weather the cataclysm. No sooner had the flood waters receded and the ark emptied, with Noah leading sacrificial thanks, then the Lord said:

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To help you breeze into the weekend, sit back in your favorite chair or cruise down your favorite road with one of Chet Atkin’s classic instrumental recordings, “Windy and Warm.” I offer two recordings, one live version with the back story offered by the song’s composer, John D. Loudermilk, and the original 1961 recording by […]

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Friday Food and Drink Post: One a Penny, Two a Penny…


A Good Friday tradition I don’t always adhere to but which, for many reasons, this year I thought I should. Blessings and a joyous Easter season to all Christians, a Happy Passover holiday to all of the Jewish faith, and best wishes for the happiness, safety, and health of absolutely everyone.

Legend has it that the first hot cross buns were baked in England by a monk of the 12th (or perhaps the 14th–you pick it) century and that he distributed them to the poor on Good Friday. There are other traditions associated with them: Hanging one in the kitchen is supposed to repel evil spirits, and the bun is supposed to stay fresh for an entire year (unlike the Burger King Whopper in that weird and rather revolting ad). As the years passed, hot cross buns became a popular staple of English bakeries, until Queen Elizabeth I decreed that they were sacred, and could be sold only on Good Friday and at Christmas. Unsurprisingly, this led to the baking of hot cross buns in the family kitchen, and another tradition was born.

No one really knows how old the nursery rhyme is, but it’s a variant of the street-seller’s cry: