It wasn’t the Easter Bunny who came along this morning, but a very pretty pigeon. So have we broken with tradition this year?
Where are the Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies? Well, sorry – we have none. But we do have some iconic English chocolate. Since Cadbury’s is now American, as true patriots we have transferred our loyalties back to the old, traditional firm of Thorntons, which, like my mother, originated in Sheffield and represents a link with her childhood, when a visit to Thornton’s sweet shop was a very special treat.
Hot cross buns have always been a tradition for Good Friday, though nowadays they go on sale in January and I wonder if the association with Easter still exists in the minds of younger people here. I must confess that we have also been succumbing to temptation, and we too have been eating hot cross buns for a few weeks, but we did keep two back specially for Good Friday, maintaining that tradition all the same.
And finally, the simnel cake. This is the first year I have attempted this traditional recipe, and am pleased to report that it tastes good (yes, of course, we had to test it!). A tip from a blogging colleague sent me to this recipe, complete with video clip so you can’t go wrong, and which had my mouth watering because of the stem ginger and Cointreau. I didn’t have those handy, so improvised with what I found in the pantry and wasn’t disappointed.
The last step, toasting the top layer of marzipan with the balls representing the apostles, can be tricky and I was afraid of it all going black – but I kept my nose as close as possible to the grill so I could react instantaneously and, since I was cooking with gas, was able to switch the heat off as soon as the requisite golden colour was achieved.
Anyone intending to visit us for a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of cake had better hurry!