I’m kicking off a new series today that I’m calling Tasty Tuesdays. What, you may be asking, is tasty about Tuesdays? Well, in the coming weeks and months, you’ll get to sample a variety of foods along with why they are important or meaningful to a variety of characters by a diverse set of authors. Some of the authors you may know already, while some others will be new to you. You may find some new books you want to read, too!
So to start this journey through stories and recipes, I’m going to share Evelyn’s emotional attachment to Hot Cross Buns stemming from childhood traditions, ones she intends to continue for the sake of her infant son. Peggy is an indentured servant freshly arrived from Ireland and is missing her own family. Here’s a short excerpt from her story, Evelyn’s Promise:
Evelyn’s decision to have Peggy bake buns earlier in the day had proven fortunate. While she held a tradition of making hot cross buns for Good Friday, the notion had popped into her mind to indulge the whim. Along with the steaming cups of chamomile tea they served to satisfy their hunger. Her newly assembled family sat in the modified carriage house, chatting and poking fun at each other. Little Jim had fallen asleep on the folded quilt beside her chair. Arrayed before her sat Jemma and Peggy, with Nathaniel to her right. Everyone had expressed delight at the unusual treat.
“Remember to hang one of the buns in your new kitchen.” Peggy bit into the warm bread with a cross made with strips of unleavened pastry dough.
Evelyn shrugged as she tilted her head to one side. “Why would we do such a silly thing?”
Peggy leaned forward, a conspiratorial grin lighting her eyes. “Some believe hanging a hot cross bun in your kitchen prevents fires and ensures all the other loaves of bread bake properly.”
Nathaniel laughed as he crossed his ankles, relaxing against the chair back. “Sounds like superstition to me.”
“Aye.” Peggy cackled and rose to her feet to stir the cook fire. “It is a bit of whimsy indeed. But none of the kitchens in our town in Ireland ever had a fire they didn’t want.”
“I’d say that’s merely a coincidence.” Nathaniel selected another bun and waved it in the air to punctuate his observation. “My parents’ home never had a kitchen catch fire either and they didn’t adhere to such nonsense.”
Jemma started the rocking chair in motion, her gaze flitting from one person to another. “Will you make them for Easter as well? Seein’ as how you made ’em today.”
“I believe so since it’s not until the twentieth of next month.” Evelyn picked up a bit of sewing she’d started and planned to display in her new house. “I’ll make enough to share with everyone as part of the day’s celebration.”
Can you tell that Nathaniel needs some convincing about traditions? <grin>
Like Evelyn and Peggy, the memories associated with baking cookies and pies and such for holidays are some of the fondest ones I possess. Both baking with my mother while I was a child, and then with my own daughter even through today. In particular, working together to make cutout sugar cookies en masse for Christmas! We bake a lot of cookies to enjoy and to give away.
What about you? What memories do you associate with baking?
Next week, I’ll feature another author and her recipe for a good story! See you then!
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Determined to make her own way in the newly independent America and live free of the dictates and demands of another husband, widow Evelyn Hamilton faces soaring post-war inflation as she struggles to provide for herself and her infant son.
Militiaman Nathaniel Williams is determined to make his fortune on the New Frontier. But during a visit to Charlestown, his heart is ensnared by a smart, beautiful widow, forcing Nathanial to make the hardest decision of his life.