Friday, March 25, 2005

Simnel CakeAnd what day is it today children?

Hot Cross Buns Day. [Formerly known as Good Friday, but after the 1988 CPS versus Klinkhammer and de Jong trial under the 1968 Trade Descriptions Act, use of the term "good" was found to be unsound].

So how many have I eaten so far? Well, technically one is supposed to break one's fast solely on Hot Cross Buns (don't ask me why, it's just one of those odd tradition things). But as buns don't really register as food unless consumed in industrial quantities, I cheated and had a token hot cross bun supplemented by Weetabix. Now there's a proper religious meal.

But I've never been very good at remembering all the practices one is supposed to adhere to. I've forgotten what it was I gave up for Lent. But as no one got round to telling my family that Sundays didn't count, I've probably saved up enough excess Lenten days to cover it.

I have a vague hunch fish is supposed to make an appearance today, but have no idea why. And does adding Worcester sauce to whatever I cook count? It's made from anchovies isn't it?

And does anyone out there remember where simnel cakes fit in? Presumably they must come at the end of Lent, but I don't know. We made them once at Scouts (don't ask), and there was great confusion over whether there are 12, 12 and a space, or 13 balls of marzipan. The balls apparently represent the disciples, and there's something to do with whether one includes both Jesus and Judas, and it all got a bit muddled (read: the people running it didn't know, and so argued amongst themselves).

Ah, and I probably should have tried doing the research before I started writing, as the first site Google finds claims that simnel cakes are to do with Mothering Sunday, and should have 11 balls. But as our version had a layer of marzipan baked in the middle of the cake, and the recipe doesn't, I guess there's been divergence. Although it probably was Mothering Sunday, not Easter.

Anyway, at least I know when it's safe to start cracking open the Easter Eggs. Drat, I'm now thinking about chocolate, and all I've got in the house are Buttons eggs. Do you think willing the Earth to spin faster, so St Cadbury's Day gets here quicker, would work?

That's an awful lot stuff hung on a few days of religion. I don't quite know why I bother. I'm not religious. I'm not terribly sure there is a god. I don't need the church or religion to justify my existence, much to the chagrin of a CUing friend; it's a bit odd when someone ends a discussion by telling me that they'll pray for me.

But she can't be all that religious, can she? After all she was the one who supplied the body of Christ for the purpose of feeding to the ducks in Regent's Park. Ok, so it was CofE body of Christ, so it's purely symbolic, and had come out of a Tesco Value bag before being diced, unlike Catholic body of Christ, which apparently is the body of Christ, which other than suggesting the son of God was made of wafers (which have kept remarkably well, but being eternal will do that to things), does lead to the curious implication that Catholics are cannibals. But they probably get theirs from M&S. After all, it's not just food.

[M&S's website is crap. It doesn't display well in Firefox. And given that they currently are seducing the nation with advertisements for their food, there is no link to the food section from the index of their website: it has all the other departments, including wine, but no food. And yet they wonder why no-one buys stuff. Update: I must be bored, I just filled in their feedback form. I now await the obligatory "What's Firefox? We haven't heard of it, so it doesn't matter. We suggest using Microsoft for everything". If you think I'm being harsh, you obviously haven't had this from both Weetabix and Sainsbury's (the latter at least fixed the fault)].

Hmm, did I mention that in the stuff I've done which most other people won't have done?

28. Fed the son of God to wildfowl.

I still think it's amusing that the often less than pious members of that congregation willingly consumed matter which in normal circumstances they would not consider fit for human consumption. Admittedly, they have a point. Tesco Value and Sainsbury's Basics (and it was never called Economy, right?) ultra cheap bread does taste like the bakers couldn't even afford the chalk needed to eek out the flour. Maybe all sales of such bread are in fact the result of people going to feed the ducks: at uni, there was always a spare out-of-date loaf lying around with which to bombard the ducks 3 storeys below (and they were the fattest ducks known to mankind, spending all day marauding different windows on campus).

I think the rest of this post will have to be shunted off elsewhere, as I've spent too long on this already.


PS. It took M&S 10 minutes to get the traditional automated response out. Oddly they thank me for my email, despite it all being done on the form on their website. I know it probably arrives at the customer care place as an email, but all the user sees is a form, and no mention of email. Pedantic I know, but given the number of times my mother has called me over some [often similar] computer thing, I tend to be sensitive to anything which is not accurate (my mother assumes computers, and the people controlling them are infallible, and it's my fault if they are not).

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