It's Good Friday, and Easter in Australia has officially begun. Most shops are closed, everyone has a federal holiday today and Monday, and huge feasts will be taking place all over the drab continent this weekend. (Drab? Did I just say that?) We will even be having the rels over for a feast here at our place on Sunday. All good stuff.
I'll update this diary throughout the weekend as I notice things about Easter in Australia that Americans, and maybe even an Australian or two, might find notable.
Hot Cross Buns. I'll start by saying that Easter unofficially started last week, when Christine started making regular loads of homemade hot cross buns—pictured above—the Easter treat in Australia. (I've just had my morning dose of halved hot cross buns toasted and slathered with butter.) To give you an idea of the strength of this tradition: There was an article in the local free daily (which doesn't come out on Sunday…or Monday) about how some un-Australian bakers were messing with the traditional hot cross bun recipe and adding sacrilegious bits like chocolate and coffee. The outrage! (The news!)
Smoked Fish Cooked in Milk. While I'm here at the computer working on an article right now (well, not right now, or practically ever…), Christine is making us smoked fish and eggs. The smoked fish (cod, in this case) is cooked in milk. It's what you do on Good Friday, or maybe just around Easter, apparently. Christine doesn't know the origin, though it must have to do with Lent, and the meatless Fridays that had us Catholic kids eating store-bought fish sticks on Fridays in Buffalo.