Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

In England it used to be traditional to eat Hot Cross Buns for breakfast on Good Friday, I always loved them, dripping with butter. I was going to make some for today, but forgot to buy yeast. For some reason the ones you can buy here don't taste the same. Its probably just as well I forgot to get yeast, as someone has already pointed out, think of the calories I have saved.

I have never taken part in any traditional Easter Sunday events, but Matt was telling me how, as a kid, they were given coloured hard boiled eggs and they took them to a local small zoo where they rolled them down a hill. They then rolled down the hill after the eggs and got filthy and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. When we were kids, we didn't have the Easter Bunny in England, although I believe they do now. Of course, when we were kids, we didn't get chocolate Easter eggs either because there was a world war on. The first egg I was ever given was just a plain chocolate egg covered in coloured tin foil. Not very interesting but exciting to me as it was the first I had ever seen, or eaten. In later years we could get the prettiest eggs, beautifully decorated and frequently filled with chocolates or other candies. Unfortunately I missed out a lot as I was always on a damned diet after about age 11. In North America I have never seen eggs like we used to have in the UK, you can buy all kinds of chocolate animals, bunnies, elephants and this year I saw Pooh Bear which was a first for me. I love the Lindt gold bunnies, Matt bought me one last year and I was very good and only ate a little piece at a time. *g*. These are shown with a ribbon, but the ones we buy have a gold bell hanging round the neck.

I have always wanted to try colouring eggs like the Russians do, I have a cookbook with detailed instructions on how to do it, but it looks rather complicated so I have never tried it. They are so attractive. It takes a lot of work to achieve these results. It is very much an art form. Heck, I have never even tried colouring an egg at all, I guess my mother never did it, or not that I remember, so it wasn't a tradition in my family.

Last night, there was nothing interesting (to us) on TV so we decided to watch a VCR I taped years ago of the story Shogun by James Clavell. The book is one of my all time favourites and I have read it several times, each time I find something new. The VCR is a tad old now and not the greatest recording quality in the world, but we both enjoyed it. It was a mini series, so we have not finished watching and will probably do so tonight. Richard Chamberlain plays the lead character of Pilot Major Blackthorne. That character was based on a real life pilot from Chatham, Kent, England, where we used to live, his name was Will Adams and he landed Japan in the time of Queen Elizabeth I and lived in Japan for the rest of his life. There is a memorial to him in Chatham. The book itself, in my opinion, deserves the status of a classic of the Twentieth Century. I have enjoyed most of James Clavell's novels, but Shogun was by far and above the best. The second best, to me, was Tai Pan which took place in Hong Kong. Another great book.

I thought of giving a recipe for Hot Cross Buns, but too late for this year. Assuming I am still blogging by Easter next year, I will include one. Instead, I will give you the chicken dish we ate last night, I think I may have included this recipe before, but it is both very good and very quick and easy to do, so worth repeating.

Chicken Breasts with Lemon & Capers

1/4 cup
1/4 tsp
Black Pepper
1/2 tsp
Skinned, boned chicken breasts about 1 lb, halved and pounded to ¼ in thickness
5 tsp
corn oil
1/4 cup
chicken broth
2 Tbs
lemon juice
2 Tbs
Capers, drained

Combine the flour, pepper and paprika on a plate. Press the chicken breasts into the mixture, coating them evenly all over and shaking off any excess.
2 In a heavy 10 in skillet, heat the corn oil over mod high heat for 1 mins. Add the breasts and cook about 3 mins on each side, do not overcook. Transfer the breast to a heated platter.
3 Add the chicken broth to the skillet scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. Stir in the lemon juice and capers and heat through. Pour the sauce over the breasts and serve.

Servings: 4

Do try this, you will be surprised how easy it is to do, the most difficult part is pounding them.

Have a great day.


  1. Happy Easter Jo. I'm cross because I forgot to buy some Hot Cross Buns this year.

  2. Same here, but I only bought them in Canada once and didn't enjoy them.