Thursday, November 26, 2009

Family Recipes (by Bet)

Happy Thanksgiving!

This morning I am most grateful for family recipes and holiday traditions. 

I woke at 4:30 and padded into the kitchen while the rest of my family slumbered.  I got out the eggs, milk, yeast, sugar and flour necessary for my Butterhorns.  I know that if my mom were not in New Zealand right now she would be doing the same thing.  I mix my rolls while listening to the sounds of predawn in our household.

After they raise and I successfully graded a few essays, put away a few legos and sat looking at the dark I form them like I have every Thanksgiving since I could sit on my mom's counter and help. 

"It's a gun car(ship).  It's only for using for missions and for tackling bad uniforms.  And they even make the constumes and I putted the jet pack on that guy and the gun on that guy."

When they come out of the oven they smell like warm yeast and I immediately drizzle frosting over them to add a hint of almond flavor and then sprinkle on chopped up walnuts.

It is important to me that I know the history behind these rolls.   I know that my mom likes to make a light glaze while I like a cream cheese frosting.  I know that my Gramma hated the fact that we made our butterhorns so they were thick because she baked hers flat.  I know my mom makes really big rolls but I have come to savor the smaller variety. 

I also like the memories that surround the sight and smell of these rolls.  One of my favorites is when I was in elementary school I decided to make these for the Bread Baking contest through 4-H.  I made batch after batch after batch trying to get it right.  My dad sportingly ate every attempt.  My mom left the house because she couldn't stand to let me do it alone and waste ingrediants we probably couldn't really afford.  (I can appreciate this selfless act now, but then...I'm not so sure).  After a long summer of practice, I won the grand prize and got my picture in the local paper.  My daughter likes to look at those newspaper articles before she goes to bed at night.

However, the rolls are made now and the obligatory two are in my stomach, so my thoughts are turning to a different tradition surrounding baking.  This one hasn't been around for quite so long, but feels like it has.  Kat is traveling many miles to my house (twice in one month!) with her daughter and we will decorate gingerbread houses, much like we have since we met.  This year we will be joined by my niece and a very excited small boy who has been talking about the pets his gingerbread man will have.  We will be decorating a fairy house, a carousel, several more traditional houses, and yes, pets. 

Hope your Thanksgiving is filled with family, friends, food, traditions and active imaginations!


  1. Hoo boy.
    Look at us after all these years! So alike and so the same.
    Your handed-down recipe is for something sweet and wonderful, carefully written in perfect script in your spiral bound notebook, which I don't remember you ever not having.
    My handed-down recipe is for basic white bread. An extra egg to be added for holidays, of course. It's written on the back of a scratch piece of paper, taped up on my fridge.
    But, we both posted pictures of our rising dough and our traditional recipes. Same values, same ideals.
    I can't wait to make gingerbread houses tonight!
    And, save us a roll or two?

  2. My mouth is watering, even though I'm still recovering from Thanksgiving dinner.

    I was up until 2am last night making spelt bread and pie crust. I got up at 7:15 this morning, put the turkey in and then went back to bed "for a few minutes." I didn't wake up again until 10:20! And everyone was coming at noon!

    It was all fine, though. It just gave me the excuse not to worry about non-essentials. Like dusting the TV.