Tag Archives: cross

Sandra Bullock Donates $1 Million to Red Cross to Help Hurricane Harvey Victims

Sandra Bullock has donated $ 1 million to the Red Cross to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, which has devasted parts of Houston and Texas’ Gulf Coast.

“I’m just grateful I can do it,” the 53-year-old Oscar winner, who owns a home in Austin, said in a statement to E! News on Tuesday, August 29. “We have to take care of one another.”

Bullock joins a long list of celebs who are pitching in to help those affected by catastrophic flooding caused by the most rainfall ever recorded from a tropical storm or hurricane in the lower 48 states.

Earlier on Tuesday, Khloé Kardashian announced in an Instagram post that she and her sisters, Kourtney and Kim Kardashian and Kendall and Kylie Jenner, along with their mom, Kris Jenner, are donating $ 500,000 to the American Red Cross and Salvation Army to help with the relief efforts.

Khloé referenced comedian Kevin Hart in her message — the Ride Along star posted a message on Instagram on Sunday, August 27, challenging his celebrity friends including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Jay Z and Beyoncé, to donate $ 25,000 to help out.

Chris Brown donated $ 100,000, and The Rock kicked in $ 25,000, adding that he and his family survived Hurricane Andrew in 1992. “We all want to step up to the plate to do everything we can to help out our brothers and sisters and families in need,” the action hero said in an Instagram video.

Jennifer Lopez and boyfriend Alex Rodriguez, as well as DJ Khaled, pledged $ 25,000 each.

The total on Hart’s Crowdrise fundraising page stands at more than $ 888,000 after just one day.

Beyoncé told the Houston Chronicle in a statement on Monday, August 28, that she is helping out her hometown, but didn’t specify a dollar amount.

Find out how you can help by visiting the websites for The Salvation Army, The Red Cross and The Greater Houston Community Foundation.

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‘Luxury’ hot cross buns are the devil’s work

Will you be eating a hot cross bun on Friday? It is Good Friday after all, and, although the certainties of life have been shifted perilously by the pubs opening all hours on that day and the gee-gees running at Musselburgh and Lingfield, the last thing to disappear on a special day is its defining foodstuff.

I feel I ought to eat mince pies at Christmas even though I don’t much like them and I’m already full of fowl and pud. On Shrove Tuesday, if I don’t eat a pancake it’s as bad as forgetting to feed the cat.

A friend was telling me over dinner at the weekend about the iguana she ate on her holiday. Yet nothing would make me toy half-heartedly with my food more than to be presented with a “white choc and raspberry hot cross bun”. It’s wrong. Golden Syrup hot cross buns are wrong too, and so are toffee fudge buns, if not quite as wrong as hot cross muffins. They are the abomination of desolation. By “muffins”, the supermarkets that shamelessly advertises them does not mean the English things you buy from the man who lives in Drury Lane, but those sweet and greasy spongy cakelets. The “hot cross” treatment entails two strips of dough overlapping at right angles on top. Heat does not come into it.

Ginger and Acacia Honey Buns? It’s against nature

True, there are still bakers, as readers will write to tell me, that open on Good Friday morning so that loyal customers seeking the echt bun can get the beauty of it hot. But in reality hot cross is a sort of compound designation. It sounds odd if you just speak of a cross bun, as though you had put it into a bad humour. Yet “tea and cross buns” were what James Boswell found for breakfast when he went to visit Samuel Johnson on April 9 1773. This is one of our earliest references to the things. It wasn’t that Johnson was pigging out on chocolate-chunk buns. Tea and buns were all he was to eat that day, kept as a solemn fast. Instead of dinner he read the Greek New Testament while the less serious-minded Boswell entertained himself turning over Johnson’s books.

I’m not insisting on buns as a method of strict ascesis, like wearing a hair-shirt or sitting for years on a pillar. Yet, by a paradox, buns have become less pleasurable by assuming the qualities of a luxury. When everyone is somebody, then no one’s anybody, and when everything’s a luxury it’s goodbye to the pleasure of a good plain repast. There’s nothing better than Frank Cooper’s Oxford Marmalade, but you can only enjoy it if you know what toast tastes like without it, which is to say, perfectly nice, especially if you’re hungry.

But we find packets of hot cross buns for sale all year round labelled “Luxury” and so full of raisins and sultanas that they slump under the weight. The objection to their all-year availability is different from the argument against asparagus being flown from Peru, for it is not as if buns ripened perfectly only during a few brief days of Easter sunshine.

The most surprising discovery, though, is that a solid body of enmity to the hot cross bun is motivated by the weirdest notion: that the hot cross bun is pagan. Now there are plenty of baseless claims by so-called pagans that they invented Hallowe’en and Easter without encouraging them to pretend they invented buns too. Yet that is what some believe.

Did this lot really come up with the hot cross bun?

It’s quite daft really, being based on an erroneous claim by a Georgian antiquary about the origin of the word bun. The Rev John Brand said it derived from the Greek boun, as if it meant a cow, for it was, he said, originally a little cake with horns on that was offered to the gods. In truth we only started calling buns buns in Chaucer’s day, hundreds of years after the old gods died out for want of offerings. The word is not Greek at all, though it might just be related to the French beignet and the Spanish word buñuelo. If you wanted an item of patisserie to offer the gods, you’d be better off with the croissant, shaped like the emblem of the Moon-goddess Diana or Ashteroth the Canaanite horned idol. That is not, of course how the croissant got its shape, any more than it was first made to celebrate the defeat of the forces of Islam at the gates of Vienna in 1689. It’s just that once something gets on to the internet some people feel compelled to believe it.

No one invented hot cross buns, just as no one invented roast pork, despite Charles Lamb’s rather arch essay tracing its origins to a fire in a Chinese piggery. I rather think I’ve seen a mural of ancient Roman buns with crosses on, made BC, so definitely not Christian. It’s a natural sort of way to divide up dough. But buns with crosses on were not the same as cross buns.

Hot cross buns are a British institution, like Remembrance poppies and Belisha beacons. Buns for Good Friday can hardly date from before the Reformation, when conventions of fasting were stricter. Hot cross buns qualify as immemorial mostly because they figure in a nursery rhyme: “One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns.”

The rhyme doesn’t say: “Belgian chocolate and toffee fudge hot cross buns.” The best poetry does not reflect the exceptional – the riches of Croesus or the loves of Heliogabalus. It distils the simple: water and stone, fire and night, marriage and death. It celebrates the two-a-penny, and that’s how I like my hot cross buns.

Food and Drink Advice