April is a fun month when it comes to special food holidays, according to gone-ta-pot.com.

It's Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month, National Soft Pretzel Month, Fresh Florida Tomato Month and National Garden Month.

If you are up to trying edible flowers, it's also Daisy Flower Month.

This month we also celebrate pecans and bubble gum, egg salad and sourdough bread, peanut butter and jelly, sweet potatoes, caramel popcorn, licorice, peach cobbler, cheese balls, animal crackers, amaretto, pineapple upside down cake, jelly beans and lima beans, pigs-in-a-blanket, prime rib, shrimp scampi, zucchini bread and blueberry pie.

The first week is National Public Health Week; the second week is National Garden Week, including herbs and vegetables; and we celebrate National Week of the Ocean, featuring lots of seafood, during the third week of April.

Just for fun, April 30 is Mr. Potato Head Day.

National Hot Cross Bun Day is Good Friday and I decided to find out more about this particular day.

A hot cross bun is a sweet, spiced bun made with currants and yeast. It has a cross on the top, which may be made with a glaze or icing or simply cut into the bun.

Historically, the buns were eaten in many Christian countries and, since they did not contain eggs or dairy products, those following Lent could eat them.

In Australia, chocolate chips are used in place of currants.

Some say these buns originated with an Anglican monk in the 12th century and others say they began with pagan spring festivals and the monks added the cross to convert people to Christian-
ity.

The story I like best is the one about an English widow whose sailor son went off to sea. She vowed to bake him a bun every Good Friday.

When he did not return, she continued to bake a bun for him and hung it in the bakery window in good faith that someday he would return home to her. The English people kept the tradition for her after she died.

Ifound this recipe in one of my mother's old cookbooks.
HOT CROSS BUNS

--- 2 packages active dry yeast

--- 1/2 cup warm water

--- 1/2 cup lukewarm milk, scalded then cooled

---  1/4 cup unseasoned mashed potatoes

--- 1/2 cup sugar

--- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

--- 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

--- 2 eggs

--- 1 teaspoon cinnamon

---  1/4 tsp nutmeg

--- 1 cup currants or
raisins

--- 1/2 cup citron

--- 41/2 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in milk, potatoes, sugar, salt, butter, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, citron, and 21/2 cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in remaining flour to form soft dough.

Turn dough onto lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl, greased side up. Cover. Let rise in warm place until double, about 11/2 hours.

Punch dough down; divide in half. Cut each half into 16 pieces. Shape into smooth balls and place about 2 inches apart on greased baking sheet. With scissors, snip a cross on top of each bun. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush tops of buns with egg-yolk glaze. Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown. When cool, frost crosses on tops of buns with white icing.

Egg yolk glaze: Mix one egg yolk and 2 tablespoons cold water.

White icing: Mix 1 cup confectioners sugar, 1 tablespoon water or milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until smooth and of spreading consistency.

Makes 32 buns.

Glen Rock resident Barb Krebs is a native of southern York County and writes news items and this monthly column for the Weekly Record.