Remembering Grandma's Kitchen on Easter
My paternal grandmother Lucy Opie was born about 1910 in Cloverdale, Virginia. The majority of the southerners who migrated to New York came from Virginia, followed by North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and Maryland, in descending amounts. They worked predominately as cooks, live-in domestic servants, and laundresses. She and her sisters migrated from Cloverdale to North Tarrytown (Sleepy Hollow), New York just before the start of the Great Depression. Grandma Opie had been a superb baker. At this time of the year I remember the wonderful smell of her hot cross buns baking in her kitchen oven on Easter Sunday.
Hot Cross Buns Recipe
1 cup scalded milk.
1/4 cup sugar.
2 tablespoons butter.
1/2 teaspoon salt.
1/2 yeast cake dissolved in
1/4 cup lukewarm water.
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon.
3 cups flour.
1/4 cup raisins or 1/4 cup currants.
Add butter, sugar, and salt to milk; when lukewarm, add dissolved yeast cake, cinnamon, flour, and egg well beaten; when thoroughly mixed, add raisins, cover, and let rise over night. In morning, shape in forms of large biscuits, place in pan one inch apart, let rise, brush over with beaten egg, and bake at 375F for twenty minutes; cool, and with ornamental frosting make a cross on top of each bun.
Fannie Merritt Farmer, The Boston Cooking School Cookbook (Boston, Little, Brown, and Company, 1896)