With Easter being over four months away, I was surprised to see hot cross buns in the local Coles supermarket today (2nd January). They were proudly displayed near the entrance to the shop, between the bread, fruit and vegetables. I didn’t dare look to see if chocolate eggs and bunnies had reached the shelves.
I also noticed a sign near the bread section announcing more produce was being sourced from our home state, NSW (New South Wales). My first reaction was, where was it coming from before. Then I remembered that a couple of years ago there had been allegations of “freshly baked” bread being made in Ireland, frozen and then reheated.
I resisted the temptation of filling the trolley with buns, because we are still enjoying panettone from Christmas. Perhaps hot cross buns are no longer seasonal and have been lurking in the bread section for the last twelve months. It is reassuring to note that these buns contain Aussie fruit, what about the flour yeast, eggs, sugar etc?
Red hot pokers are a childhood favourite of mine. I was pleasantly surprised to learn from Wikipedia that they are known by other names; excerpt below:
Kniphofia also called tritoma, red hot poker, torch lily, knofflers or poker plant, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Asphodelaceae, first described as a genus in 1794. It is native to Africa. All plants produce spikes of upright, brightly colored flowers well above the foliage, in shades of red, orange and yellow, often bicoloured. The flowers produce copious nectar while blooming and are attractive to bees. In the New World they may attract sap-suckers such as hummingbirds and New World orioles.
There are periods of time around mid-morning when my mind seems to switch into standby mode. Maybe it’s to do with my blood sugar level. On this particular day I was experiencing a foggy head coupled with a difficulty to process words spoken to me.
Thoughts of a vanilla slice filled my mind as we drove to a local cake shop in Dulwich Hill. Heading past the savouries, I gazed longingly at the crisp, golden pastries, fruit tarts, croissants and brightly iced sponge squares.
A stout, pale skinned lady with red hair advised us that sour cherry was today’s special filling. After selecting one slice of tart and one of strudel the shop assistant enquired “any xing alse?” Noticing a lonely savoury egg tart on a cake stand atop the counter I pointed to it and requested the flan. The archetypal dinner lady purred “iz keeesh!”, “yes we’ll take that too” I replied. “Any xing alse?” she asked.
Spotting hot cross buns packaged in boxes of six my mind wandered to the early nineties, this matronly figure reminded of Iris with whom I briefly worked. “Hot cross buns please, two”, “better if buy six” she said, “yes two boxes please”. “any xing alse?”, “no, thank you”. I didn’t catch the next question as Iris look-a-like gestured in the direction of the coffee machine. I turned to my partner, “coffee?”, he thought this was very funny as I was being offered a carrier bag. Iris with the Eastern European sounding accent asked “vair you from?” ” I don’t know today, I’m all over the place”, I exclaimed with a laugh as I grabbed the purchases and beat a hasty retreat from the shop.