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March 31, 2010
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Easter Confessions (BUN)
Lent, the period beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday is a time of sacrifice and reverence for Christians all over the world. Some people in Jamaica give up many of their day-to-day activities and adjust to a kind of humble living. For example, they may give up drinking alcohol, dancing to popular music, eating meat, going to clubs, and, having sex.
Although we Jamaicans acknowledge these forty-odd special days, the end of Lent, Easter, brings about an unmatched joy…Yah Mon… Carnival, Beach Party, and Bun & Cheese. And speaking of Bun & Cheese, this Jamaican specialty has been around since ‘donkey was a bwoy,’ you know…whenever time that was.
Well, in the strictest sense bun is round bread. However, we Jamaicans, the geniuses that we are, have managed to name this sweet flour dough bread, even when it is rectangular, BUN. Truly, it’s just sweet bread with lots of raisins and spices.
Now, the marriage between bun and cheese, this Easter specialty, is one made in Jamaican culinary matrimony-even after Easter is long gone-Yah Mon! Any Jamaican will tell you that eating Jamaican bun without cheese is like watching a good movie in black and white instead of watching it in color. Simply, you enjoy the content but the hue is missing. Likewise, with Jamaican bun there is no comparison without cheese.
There are, however, some Jamaicans who have ‘cheated’ on Bun…Yah Mon!!! (laugh out loud)
Last week, while I was reading the North American edition of the Daily Gleaner, I saw an article regarding different combinations of foods to be had with Jamaican Easter Bun...Imagine that. In the article, the author stated that some people are eating Jamaican bun with other kinds of foods instead of cheese. Some of these substitutes, surprisingly, are in rare positions to put cheese in the retired category, too…poor cheese…A wha gwaan.
This ‘betrayal’ could not get any worse when I read that bun is now being daubed with peanut butter, mayonnaise, ketchup, bully-beef, and to my surprise, sardines. I have to confess, though, that I have ‘betrayed’ BUN, too…with avocado, butter, salad dressing, and sweetened condensed milk…Yah Mon!
So in defense of all the betrayers who gave bun, bun, try this recipe and for Easter’s sake, eat this bun with cheese, or not (wink wink).
The word ‘BUN’ is also used as a slang term for people who cheat on their significant other, as well. Not to be confused with bun-bun; burnt food at the pot bottom.
JAMAICA EASTER BUN RECIPE
By Locksley F. Smith (Revised March 26th, 2005) Ingredients: - Flour, Brown Sugar, Wet Sugar or Molasses, New Zealand Cheddar Cheese, one bottle of Port Wine (use PORTA if you are in Jamaica), Dried Orange Peal, Raisins, Currants, Cherries, Mixed Fruits, Almond Extract, Vanilla Extract, Butter, Rose Water, Cinnamon Powder, Salt and Yeast.
Make One Dozen Buns: 1. Put seven 1/4 OZ.packages of dry Yeast in a 7 gallon pot
2. Add 3 tsp. salt
3. Add seven cups of hot water to the yeast and let it set for 10 minutes then stir.
4. Add 3lbs of flour then mix to a glue soft watery texture and let it set until mixed flour rises to the top of the pot. Caution: If the flour does not rise, your buns will not come out right. Change the yeast you are using.
5. Dice Cheddar Cheese and Parched Dried Orange Peel.
6. Pour 750 ml. bottle of Port wine in a container and then add 1 bottle of molasses, 5lbs of brown sugar or wet sugar, 1 tsp. of salt, 4 tbsp. of Cinnamon Powder, 1 cup of dried parched orange peel, 1 tbsp. of Almond Extract, 3 tbsp. of Vanilla Extract, 2 tbsp. of Rose Water and 1 tsp. salt and then stir.
7. Empty raised flour from pot to the dough kneading table or countertop.
8. Add 12lbs of flour, 2lbs of mixed fruit, 2lbs raisins, 1 pint of cherry 5 packages of diced cheddar cheese to the raised flour.
9. Add mix from step 6 then start to knead dough.
10. Knead until it becomes tight and firm, this will take awhile so you will have to be patient.
11. Grease your baking pans with butter, cut and shape buns to your desire, and add dough to pans. You may choose not use baking pans and instead form the buns with your hand and bake them on a baking sheet, one or the other it does not matter.
12. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
13. Place buns in oven for 1Hr 15 minutes
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