Monday, March 28, 2016

After Easter

Well Easter is over for another year. I like Easter since there isn't a lot of  craziness (in my family anyway) to buy gifts and to decorate and to bake months in advance! I do things simply at Easter. A few decorations on the table, dry sink or buffet.

Knitted Easter Egg Pattern

We had our Easter dinner yesterday, with just my little family of four. We did a delicious roast beef with vegetables in the crock pot and a loaf of rosemary bread ... actually my husband did the main meal. My son and I baked Hot Cross Buns on Saturday for Sunday's breakfast. They turned out really well (recipe at the end of this post). I love Hot Cross Buns, but have only made them once before. My mother made them every year and shared them with us, so there was no need for me to bake them until she passed away. It was good to taste that familiar spicy bun once more :) The lemon squares were made on Saturday as well, and they were a hit. The recipe does make a lot, however, so now we're stuck with a lot of lemon squares ... terrible, right? I sent some back with my daughter, but that pan is in the fridge staring back at me every time I open the door :[

I didn't hear from any of my other family this year, although I did see dear ol' Dad on Saturday for a visit in the morning. His memory was on a one-minute loop that day. Conversation was difficult with the repeating questions. I finally brought out a couple of photo albums to look through with him. He gobbled up the pictures eagerly, as we strolled down "non-memory" lane. The only people he remembers now are his own mother and father. I had to repeatedly tell him they had died many years ago. It's bad enough to have to break the news to him that his parents are dead once in a visit. On Saturday I had to break the news to him about ten times! He took it rather well, but was surprised at the news every time, "Oh, I didn't know they had died". Ever see the movie "50 First Dates"? It was like that. I love that movie. It makes the whole dementia thing a little lighter to bear without demeaning people who have it. 

We drove my daughter back home yesterday after our early supper. There's still snow in the woods alongside the highway there. It was a gorgeous day yesterday, and I was able to have the patio door opened a crack while our roast cooked. It was nice to hear the birds singing all day :)  Today started off with a thunderstorm really early (before I got up). Now it's raining steadily.

I've written out the recipe for the hot cross buns here if you're interested. I realize it's a bit moot to post this recipe after Easter, but maybe you'll keep the recipe for next year. I've not made bread very often, and found this recipe quite easy. We couldn't get candied peel at our grocery store (?!), and then we forgot to buy the raisins. My son and I opened up the pantry cupboard to look for raisins, and saw the box of Raisin Bran cereal sitting there. We looked at each other and silently agreed that we would steal those raisins ... and we did! Thank goodness for those "two scoops of raisins"!! Here's hoping you're better prepared if you make these.


4 cups all-purpose flour
8 g pkg quick-rise instant yeast (I used Fleischmann's)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves or allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins (steal them from your favourite cereal if none on hand)
grated rind of 1 lemon
1/4 cup chopped candied peel
1/4 cup water
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1 egg

1 egg yolk
1 tbsp water

1/2 cup icing sugar
1 - 2 tbsp lemon juice

Set aside 1 cup flour.

In large bowl, combine remaining flour, undissolved yeast, sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, raisins, lemon rind and candied peel.

In small saucepan, heat water, milk and butter until very warm to touch (120 - 130F). With wooden spoon, gradually stir into dry ingredients. Mix in egg; beat mixture smooth. Stir in enough of remaining flour to make a soft dough that pulls away from side of bowl. Turn on to floured surface, knead dough  five to seven minutes until dough is smooth and elastic, adding more flour if dough is too sticky. Cover with tea towel; stand 10 minutes.

Divide dough into 12 equal pieces, Stretch and shape each piece into a smooth ball, pinching at bottom to seal. Place seam-side down on greased baking sheets about two inches apart. Cut crosses in each bun with sharp knife. Cover with tea towel and put in warm place. Let rise 35 - 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Mix egg yolk with water, brush over surface of buns. Bake in preheated 375F oven 15 - 18 minutes, until golden brown. Cool.

In small bowl, combine icing sugar and enough lemon juice to make a good consistency to drizzle. Beat until smooth. Brush or drizzle icing on top of each bun (I used a decorating tool).

Makes 12 hot cross buns.


Thanks for stopping by today :)


Linking up with Judith of Lavender Cottage and Mosaic Monday


  1. Hello, I hope you had a lovely Easter! The food and decorations sound wonderful. You have a lot of patience and love for your Dad! I know these times and illness are hard on the family. Beautiful photos and post. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  2. Sounds like you had a lovely Easter as well . Wonderful photos . Dementia is a harsh thing for all to go through and frustrating to some of those who have it as my sister in laws mum has it and at first she was so angry she could not remember any thing it was hard . Oh your goodies look and sound delish . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

  3. Sounds like a perfect Eastertime.
    My youngest daughter came for Waffle breakfast and that was about the extent of our Easter. Loved it!

  4. It sounds like you had a wonderful Easter with your family, we had roast beef too. It is so sad with your Dad though, at least he has you there even if he can't remember. I love your story about the Raisin Bran, that's funny! My daughter used to eat all the raisins out of the box when she was little and we didn't know until we went to have some. I hope to try your Moms recipe on the Hot Cross Buns, I've actually never thought about making them before. I love all your bunnies/decor! Kelly

  5. I remember those conversations with my mum, extremely difficult but some humour thrown in there too, it was the only way to cope really, see as many funny things as possible! I had a lovely Easter dinner with my two sisters, lots of memory lane visiting too :) xxx

  6. It sounds like you had a lovely Easter, Wendy. I like Easter for all the same reasons you do. Christmas can be a very stressful time for me, for various reasons. I like the low expectation aspect of Easter much better. I also do simple things, the same ones every year, and it feels like a calm and peaceful tradition. I'm glad you're able to see the bright side with your dad's dementia. It really can be funny at times, and I'm happy to know that others see it that way too. You have to be able to cope with the changes in them, without taking it personally or letting it bring you down too much. It sounds like you've found a good balance when dealing with your dad. I hope you have a good week.

  7. What a yummy table and recipe!

    and LivingFromHappiness

  8. Hi Wendy....
    First of the Popsicle stick chicks!
    I had planned to do something like that with Miss V...but it didn't happen....cookies instead!
    Your knitted eggs are so the colours....
    Your dinner sounds delish...and I am sure it was!
    Sorry about your Dad...breaks my heart....I sure hope that I don't get that way....:o(
    Anyway....have a great week...
    Hideous weather today,eh?
    Linda :o)

  9. I love hot cross buns but have never made them. After cooking a humongous spiral ham in our crockpot we'll be eating it for days, even after sending some home with family. I'll trade you ham for lemon squares. lol
    Try to have patience with your Dad, it is a true test to us when they are in the stage he is at. I used to change the subject a lot with my mother...

  10. Your Easter egg decor are too cute! I cracked up when I read how you foraged for raisins in the Raisin Bran. How resourceful!

  11. I love hot cross buns! I'm really tempted to try your recipe, 'cause I could eat them all year long.

  12. Last week I bought hot cross buns on an impulse for the first time in years - actually, I don;t think I've had them since I was a child and it was one of the few things my mother would get from a bakery instead of making at home. The ones I got at the grocery store bakery were better than I expected, but of course not as good as the ones in my memory ;)

  13. Hi Wendy, I love your knitted eggs and egg holders - so pretty. I really need to learn to knit :) We had a quiet Easter, too - Just three of us (my single daughter shared the day with us). We had spaghetti because I cooked a ham dinner last weekend for the whole family. Your dinner sounds lovely - my father loved hot-cross buns. His Mother made them and that was the one thing he always remembered despite his Alzheimer's. Oh, It was so hard when his memory was to the point of only remembering his parents and early school days. When we told him his parents were gone, he always cried so we had to stop telling him. It's such a terrible disease - robbing the memory of those precious connections. I always hoped that somewhere deep inside, he remembered me and knew that I still loved him. Thank you for the recipe - I will make these next year in his honor. xoxo K

  14. Love, love, LOVE your knitted eggs, Wendy. Are they hard to knit? I love hot cross buns and home baked ones sound delicious. I have never baked any; I must give them a try. Thank you for the recipe. How hear wrenching it must be to visit your dad each time. I can only imagine the sadness you feel with each visit. Your Easter dinner does sound delicious and a lovely family time.

  15. Looks like fun family time, Wendy, and I do like your pretty decorations. The bunnies are so cute and the yarn for the eggs is gorgeous. I pinned the recipe for the hot cross buns, I haven't had them in ages and made them... well, never :-)

  16. Wendy,
    This is just a wonderful post, it is tender, loving, beautiful and includes a recipe! How amazing is all of this and your Easter photos are just delightful.
    I have always wanted to make Hot Cross Buns, so I am saving this recipe for certain. Anything that comes out of your kitchen will be a winner.
    You have such a good outlook with your Dad, I think that sweet humor really helps all of those involved in circumstances such as these.
    Knitted eggs! Girl you are amazing!
    Happy Tuesday my friend,

  17. It sounds like you had a very nice Easter. The fact that it is so laid back compared to Christmas is one of the things I like best about it. Removing the gift component makes for a very pleasant holiday. Enjoy all those leftover lemon bars!

  18. Not easy to have someone you love suffering from dementia. Lovely cross buns, bunnies and Easter eggs.

  19. Glad you enjoyed Easter Wendy. So sorry about your Dad it must be heartbreaking for you seeing him like this but I'm sure he enjoyed your company while you were there. I used to make hot cross buns every year when I lived in Syria but now I'm too lazy to make them and just buy them instead but homemade is definitely the best. Have a great week. :) xx

  20. I'm glad your Easter was a good one but a touch of sadness regarding your father xx

  21. Sounds like a wonderful Easter Wendy!! Sad about your Dad visit though. You know I relate. I've found it's easier to play along with my MIL and I don't even tell her folks have died etc. She also just doesn't remember anyway - so I just go along with whatever she's talking about. Again - just sad.

    But your hot cross buns sound awesome and I'm SO saving this recipe!! I've never made them but I think I'd LOVE the!! Thanks so much for sharing it. Your raisin bran story gave me a giggle out loud. Ha!! Love it!!

    Blessings on the week ahead and enjoy the rest of those lemon bars. (wink!) ;)

  22. Your Easter dinner sounds delicious and table looks lovely! The knitted eggs are so pretty. Roast beef is my favourite. Thank you for the hot cross buns recipe, I have never had any! I am so sorry to hear about your dad. Going through the photo album was sad, but it was really wonderful and very sweet of you.

    -Soma xx

  23. nice little birds :) But you have too much ice I think.

  24. Wendy, I love all your eggs and bunnies! I got a much needed laugh when I read how you and your son, without a word spoken, agreed to steal the raisins from the Raisin Bran. Your father is so blessed to have you.

    Blessings, Victoria

  25. I so wish I had those lemon bars right now!! Have you ever put them in the freezer? My daughter and I do that all the time. They don't freeze solid but are incredibly delicious ice cold!

    I've never made Hot Cross Buns but yes, I will copy this recipe and hold on to it for next year. Very resourceful dipping into the cereal for the raisins! :)

    Your creations are adorable! You have such talent.


  26. P.S. I forgot to say that I'm so sorry about your dad. My mother began having strokes and then progressed to dementia. Heartbreaking!! The easiest thing is to agree with whatever they say and yes, answer the repetitive questions a thousand times. The quality of life is not there for them anymore. My heart goes out to you and to your dad.

  27. Your blog is very impressive and have the useful information it is really caught my attention.


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