In praise of the hot cross bun and a place to go

Being of the Southern persuasion and, apparently, far removed from my Anglo-Saxon roots, our Easter dessert table usually consisted of ambrosia, banana pudding and red velvet cake.

Only when I ventured out into the world did I discover the Easter tradition of hot cross buns.

The buns are drizzled with a sugary cross symbolizing the crucifixion of Christ. Some sources speculate they pre-date Christianity.

Like any convert, I’ve become a bit zealous. “Why don’t they make these sweet spiced buns all year long? And why don’t they cost a half penny?” I wonder.

Alas, hot cross buns would probably lose their magic if there were a bun store on every other corner, like a Starbucks or Subway.

If you don’t plan to dust off the cake pans this year, there is a place in town that can satisfy your sweet cravings.

Home Style Bakery, in business for 60 years, begins its Easter menu on Ash Wednesday and concludes on Easter Sunday.

As the holiday approaches, the bakery goes from making four dozen hot cross buns a day to 45 dozen on the Saturday before Easter, owner Janet Wilke said.

Her first baker arrives at 10:30 p.m. the night before to make the special and everyday fare for the 5 a.m. opening.

New this year is bread in the shape of a bunny. Other temptations: donuts, cookies, cupcakes and coffee cakes shaped like eggs, chicks and bunnies.

One of the two cake decorators on staff can personalize the egg cupcakes with a name. The small ones are a favorite for Easter baskets, Wilke said.

For those who put on an opulent Easter spread, the coolest item is a pound of whipped butter in the mold of an egg or bunny. It puts those butter pats to shame.

Home Style Bakery, 924 N. Seventh St., 243-1233. Open 5 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday. http://www.home

OTHER SWEETS: Cookies By Design, 533 Main St., offers Easter baskets or cookie bouquets that are baked fresh and hand-decorated on site. See for details.

MOM’S NOT COOKING: Some restaurants serving Easter brunch include The Ale House, where kids under 5 eat free, 242-7253; The Rockslide, 245-2111; Good Pastures, 243-3058; Pinon Grill at Tiara Rado Golf Course, 243-7495; Main Street Caf&233;, 242-7225; and Red Rose Caf&233; in Palisade, 464-7673.

NAME YOUR POISON: Weavers Tavern, 103 N. First St., has a deal for the betting man on Tuesday nights between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Pick any drink, flip a coin and if you call it right, your drink is free. If you guess wrong, the drink or shot is $3.

QUOTE: “Large, naked raw carrots are acceptable as food only to those who lie in hutches eagerly awaiting Easter.”

— Fran Lebowitz

(My apologies to carrots, carrot growers and carrot eaters.)

Tess Furey is a freelance writer living in Grand Junction. E-mail her with tips and ideas at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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