If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. ~ William Morris

10 April, 2020

Mrs. Miniver, Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns, and The New Normal

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns (adaptable for plain dinner rolls)
Recipe Below

It's been such a long time since I've posted, being immersed for so long, like so many others in the busyness of daily life, full-time courses, children, husband, pets. 

I had strangely high hopes for this new year, and perhaps, as insane as it sounds, I wasn't that far off, but the goodness didn't quite come in the packages I expected. 

It was a strange feeling to have especially since the year started off quite badly, with losing my beloved companion and friend, my elder Pomeranian, Martha, on January 6.  I had to make what was hands down the hardest and most difficult decision of my life in letting her go.  I still miss her everyday and have moments where I get teared up by her absence.  This all coming from someone who has buried every single member of my immediate family by the time I was 38 (excluding my children.)  I'm also a hospice volunteer, so death and I were already old friends.  I thought certainly, especially since she had been suffering since I'd adopted her six years ago with a collapsed trachea that we had managed with medication, that in expecting the time to come eventually, it would some how be less painful. 

It wasn't.  

Her ashes sit in an urn behind the sofa, the sofa where she slept every night and where she and I enjoyed our quiet time together sans husband, children or our other dog Lucy every morning while I had my coffee.

To say her loss devastated me is an understatement. 

But I soldiered on.

In February, after my other dog exhibited signs of depression and loneliness we adopted another little dog who is simply wonderful.  But she is not and never can be, my beloved Martha. 

So even with that dark start, I still never saw the current conditions of the pandemic we are under coming.  Yet here we are. 

We count ourselves some of the lucky ones.  Having been a home schooling family for 12 years, when my older son got sent home, there was a feeling of familiarity and my younger son is still home schooled.  Because we are gluten free, and I was raised by poor people who survived the depression, I already shop ahead, and always stock up a little, just in case one of us got sick or the unexpected happens. I also am very blessed in having the knowledge of how to turn not much of anything into something to put on the table.  

Still, my children have feelings of uneasiness and we all seem to be holding our breath a little while fighting for a sense of normal as much as we are able. 

After many years of not making them, today I made hot cross buns for Good Friday.  The recipe came out quite perfectly and I can only call it divine intervention because usually gluten free recipes are tremendously unpredictable.  I've included it below. 

Every day, we count our blessings, reminding ourselves of how comparatively easy and 'first world' most of our current problems are.  We are not at war, infrastructure and staples are not in short supply, although we might have to be more patient and frugal.  We have a place to sleep at night.  We are blessed that we will survive on the income we currently have and so far, by the grace of God, we have our health.

If you're looking for something to remind you to count your blessings, I can't recommend Mrs. Miniver highly enough.  A 1942 view of life overseas during WWII.  She is the picture of keeping calm and carrying on.

In the words of W.H. Auden "Stagger onward, rejoicing."

Ingredients for gluten free hot cross buns (for plain dinner rolls omit spices, raisins).
  • 2 cups of unbleached flour (Better Batter Gluten Free)
  • ½ cup ground oats (whole, not quick) I grind my own in a processor as needed.
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 packet of yeast (3 tsp) (I used Saf brand)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp extra xantham gum
  • 1 cup of milk warmed to 110°F (whole)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of melted unsalted or salted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of currants (or ½ cup raisins chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (1/2 tsp of salt if using salted butter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Dash allspice
  • Dash mace
Mix dough together adding ¼ cup loosely packed additional flour.   Scrape down the bowl and let it rest 15 minutes.  Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Divide dough into portions forming into balls adding flour as necessary for handling. 
Form into 8 to 12 balls.  Place into buttered pan lightly touching. I used a dark spring form pan.
Let rise 40 to 45 minutes covered in plastic wrap in a warm area.  Bake 350 for 15 to 20 minutes, turn down heat to 325 and bake an additional 15 minutes or until knife comes out clean.  Remove from pan and let cool 15 minutes and apply icing.
Ingredients for Icing
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons milk

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...