I take Easter, and particularly Good Friday, very seriously. It’s not just because of the sheer number of professional commitments I have around Easter (and Good Friday is pretty much the peak of these, as I tend to have a late service on Thursday evening, then help lead the Way of the Cross procession through the city all morning on the Friday, before settling in for an afternoon service somewhere – Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday are relaxing by comparison!), or even just about the religious aspect, though this is important to me, too.
In fact, these days I have a personal Good Friday ritual that involves fish and chips and a re-watching of the really good 1971 Jesus Christ Superstar film – because I spend so much of Easter feverishly keeping track of how many more rounds of chant I need to do, or where in the pew sheet I am, or how to make that hymn scan in Italian, or concentrating feverishly on using my voice efficiently so that it actually lasts through four days of epic singing, that there really isn’t much room for personal religious observance. I’m too busy concentrating on doing my job right! And that’s totally fine, but I then need something that will let me stop and contemplate the season, and it turns out that JCSS is great for that. Especially this year, when I’ve spent so much time living in Passion land, between St Matthew, and the readings this week, and listening to the St John Passion sent to me by my pen-friend’s mother.
I just got totally distracted from what I was going to say, which is that for me, Good Friday is also sort of a birthday. I was born on Good Friday in 1976, so I tend to view the entire Easter Weekend as fair game for birthday gatherings, if there is no time on the day itself. And the first thing my mother ate after I was born was a hot cross bun, so I am undoubtedly pre-disposed by the conditions of my birth to take hot cross buns seriously, too!
Anyway, after doing the Hot Cross Bun class at Gewürzhaus, I was consumed with the need to make hot cross buns, repeatedly. And when I saw the recipe for the choc-chip kind (which I actually view as Not Proper Hot Cross Buns, but never mind that), I was immediately seized by the conviction that these needed to be veganised. Of course, I then got totally overwhelmed by singing commitments, but yesterday’s afternoon service, in addition to being long, was also fairly inaudible from the organ loft, and so I found my brain turning to recipe design. As one does. In particular, I could not help thinking that chocolate tahini would make an amazing substitute for all the butter and eggs that one normally finds in hot cross buns. Oh yes, indeed. And since there is at least one vegan in the choir I’m singing with tonight, this is clearly exactly the right time to unleash vegan chocolate hot cross buns on the world!
Happy Easter to you, if you celebrate it. As for me, I’ll be singing…