Every spring in Massachusetts, the grocery store bakery would start carrying hot cross buns. They were beautiful and shiny, but never quite delivered on taste. And they certainly never had enough frosting.
For my recipe, I wanted to add in enough flavor to satisfy the cravings of my ten-year-old self, adding in plenty of butter and egg yolks, and more currants than most recipes call for. As for the frosting, if you put more on the buns than the normal cross pattern, you wouldn’t really end up with hot cross buns, but the recipe makes enough to get creative.
When I made mine, I didn’t add anything besides currants, but you could add raisins, dried cranberries or cherries, or even candied orange peel.
There is a grocery store here in Utah called Harmons that I will drive twenty minutes out of my way to visit. That may not sound like that far of a drive, but when you consider I pass at least eight other grocery stores, a Costco, and a Super Target on the way, those twenty minutes prove just how much I love it. I don’t make enough money to buy all my groceries there, and they don’t even have everything I could find at a Whole Foods, but their service is exceptional. It seems like everyone in there knows all there is to know about the food in their section. And there is always someone standing within five yards who can answer any of my questions.
Oh, and don’t get me started on their Cheese Man. I don’t know that he knows that I call him that—apparently, his real name is Andrew—but he knows everything there is to know about cheese, and he deserves the distinction.
Last week, I was there browsing (I like to browse at grocery stores. I once had a
roommate flatmate from Australia who said this drove her CRAZY when we would shop together), and I was looking for something interesting. The kid in the produce section asked if he could help me, and I told him I was looking for fruit. He immediately suggested these honey tangerines (or Murcott tangerines), which are sweeter than other varieties, and suggested I put them in a salad. After some research on the internet, I found out that these tangerines only grow in Florida, and are available in the Spring.
Here is the salad I made.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you the biggest occupational hazard of writing a cookbook is getting fat. I just added an hour walk to my daily routine, but even so, my body and my brain seem to think a plate of cookies for my book—whether the recipe passes or fails—should be scarfed down, with the best intentions of being better tomorrow. Mm-hm. Right.
Every once in a while, my daughter goes through a bit of a dark phase, where she tells me she likes the color blue, and wants to wear black, and fingerless gloves. But she always comes back to pink. She also happens to be my little candy addict. When I saw this jar of pastel nonpareils in the seasonal cupcake section of Target, I thought immediately of my daughter, and how I would surprise her with these: white chocolate nonpareils shaped like easter eggs.