Ahh, four whole days off. Although there is a nip in the air, it is sunny and full of promise. We're spending part of our Easter holiday with family & friends and part of it at home. A perfect mix. Today was a home day and a productive one at that. You know those rare days when you actually get stuff done and feel pretty good about it? Well it's been one of those.
First off, yesterday, I made Hot Cross Buns for the very first time (with the kids as my ever willing kitchen helpers). I've always been slightly nervous of cooking anything involving yeast. I am rather weak at kneading. However since getting my Kitchen Aid, I've become rather more adventurous, and with my dough hook I and am up for the challenge.
I started making them at 2pm. There were two rounds of kneading and waiting for the dough to rise, piping the crosses and once baked, coating the buns with a glaze. It was 8pm, by the time they were ready, albeit due to trying to cook dinner in the middle of it all and helping put the kids to bed.
With half of my household having a fierce hatred of dried fruit, I replaced the fruit in half the recipe with plain chocolate chips. It was trial and error; but it was a success. Both the traditional and the chocolate versions tasted divine; a world away from the shop bought ones. I will, without doubt, be making them again next year. I love a 'culinary tradition'.
But, the real achievement of the day has to be the window boxes. We use to have window boxes, but when we had the exterior of our house painted four years ago, we had to take them down. Today they finally went back. It was just one of those jobs that never got done. They're only small window boxes, four in total, but they do make the house look pretty in the summer. I planted them up with some red Geraniums, yellow Viola and blue, white and purple Trailing Lobelia. I also popped in some seeds: yellow and orange Trailing Nasturtium and some pale blue and 'Persian Jewels' Nigella. They look rather tame at the moment, showing just a small splash of colour, but over the next few months, I'm hoping for a riot of colour in my boxes. It is one of lives little pleasures to be greeted by beautiful flowers when you draw back the curtains each morning.