Sunday, 5 April 2015

Hot cross buns and Easter egg trails

Happy Easter! I hope you are enjoying a long weekend and a bit of a rest today.

This week started off quite well. I had an unexpectedly free day (when I thought I would be finishing my research proposal, which I had somehow sent in a day early), so I decided to bake. I was in a baking mood after making Debs Dust Bunny's crumb cake muffins a few weeks before - I was halfway through an essay and wanted a break and a snack. I made these in 45 minutes!

So this week, I baked some fancy-pants Earl Grey and orange hot cross buns to take to my friend's in the evening. They looked nice and they smelt amazing while they were baking...but they tasted a bit meh. Maybe I needed to steep the tea for longer and use more orange zest. Also, I am really rubbish at any kind of proper bread dough - I don't have the patience to knead thoroughly for five minutes, let alone ten.

As it happens, my friend had also planned to have hot cross buns, and had bought some from the supermarket and from Konditor and Cook. I was bunned out by the time I left! I picked a primrose from his garden when I left - it had such a delicate scent.

My friend gave me some lemon chiffon cake in lieu of an egg, which was much appreciated later in the week. Coincidentally, I noticed a Twitter friend had just been to a Konditor and Cook piping class. Becs (who I met at the Depressed Cake Shop in Bromley) came away from her class with a Curly Wurly cake and two trays of brownies!

For years, I have wanted to take my autistic sister on an Easter egg hunt. She has never been on one, and there is not much that she is enthusiastic about, but chocolate is one thing. She was in a good mood on Good Friday, so we went to the Red House in Bexleyheath, which was doing the National Trust egg trail. The house is gorgeous - it was created by and for William Morris, in collaboration with his architect friend, Philip Webb. Fortunately, the grounds aren't too big - I think my sister would have been impatient otherwise! We went around with our piece of paper and I asked her to stamp the paper every time we came across a stamper along the way. She got a bit fed up of doing it towards the end, so I finished it for her. After a tea break in the cafe, we went back to the start of the trail and I asked her to give in her completed trail. The lovely ladies there (I don't know if they were staff or volunteers, but they were so friendly and a real credit to Red House) went to get her prize and one of them said, "Have we got a blue one?" because my sister was wearing a blue jacket. My sister doesn't often look pleasantly shocked, but she was upon receiving her egg! She obviously thought that the trail was just me trying to get her to do something educational/nature-based.

The next day, we went to Hall Place to do their trail. Theirs was much more spread out - I saw a few little kids crying because they'd gone around once and hadn't found all of the letters (which spelled out a phrase)! My sister also got fed up halfway through, and so I had to run around in the drizzle and finish it off for her so she could get her prize.

I took a few moments to appreciate the spring beauty in the gardens - lots of pretty heather, magnolia, and the start of apple blossom.

 There were also strong-scented hyacinths and narcissi, and cowslips in the open and nestled amongst the hyacinths.

And here are some Easter leftovers: too short stems of forsythia, scented 'Double Smiles' narcissi and 'Atlantic' muscari, all from the garden or greenhouse.

I love how the forsythia and narcissi are the same vibrant yellow! Perfect partners for Easter.


  1. Happy Easter! : Dx You've has a very delicious and busy week. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photographs and well done to you and your sister for completing two Easter Egg Hunts.

    1. Happy Easter to you, too! It looks like you have lots of nice baked treats to celebrate. I'm very proud of my sister - she lasted well, especially when it drizzled!