Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Today is my Grandma Mabel’s birthday.  Unfortunately, she’s no longer here on earth to celebrate it with all of us. Last year, I wrote about her in this blog post.  There are still so many things that remind me of her – picking blueberries, cooking a simple yet tasty meal, being around family, listening to kids and grandkids. 

There are so many things I wish I could share with her – the new farm, my grandkids, stuff I’ve written.  And there are questions I’d love to ask her – what made her fall in love with Grandpa, what was life like as a newlywed in 1934, what was it like to care for, a husband, six kids, a herd of dairy cows, chickens, assorted pets and crops without all of life’s modern conveniences?

My Grandma knew how to do things that it takes me hours of research on Google and Pinterest to figure out.  And she knew them from being with and watching other women, not from watching a YouTube video.  It makes me a little sad to think of everything that we’ve forgotten about how to live in our world, how to grow things and tend animals and put food by to last until the first crops in the spring.  It’s unfortunate that I didn’t realize how important those things were until it was too late to learn them from her.

Even so, it’s not too late to emulate the lessons she taught by example, how to work hard, how to laugh, how to listen, really listen, how to be humble. It didn’t matter how many exquisite angel food cakes she made for birthdays and other celebrations, every single time she said it probably wouldn’t be very good.  And let me tell you, it was way more than good!

Another gift from Grandma was her yeast rolls.  I have no idea how many times I’ve made this recipe, but every time it turns out great and people want to know how to make them.  The proper thing to do is divide the dough into equal parts and make half into rolls and half into cinnamon rolls.  If you’ve got time this coming weekend, I highly recommend making up a batch of each!

Grandma's Rolls

Grandmas Cinnamon Rolls

Dissolve 1 package of yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water.

Pour 1 cup of scalded milk (whole milk is best) over:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

Stir so that the butter melts. When lukewarm, add yeast mixture.  Add 2 cups of flour, add one egg, and beat.  Add 1 and 1/2 cups of flour and mix well.  Cover, let rise until double.  Pour onto floured surface.  Shape into rolls or cinnamon rolls and put into buttered pan.  Cover, let rise for 30 minutes.  Bake in a 350 degree oven – 20 minutes for rolls and 25 to 30 minutes for cinnamon rolls.

For cinnamon rolls, roll the dough into a rectangle and spread a liberal amount (I’ve never actually measured it) of butter on it.  Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over butter (again, I’ve never measured it, but I’m pretty generous with both).  Roll up and cut into 2 inch thick slices and place in a buttered pan.  Bake as directed above. While still warm, mix powdered sugar, butter and milk together to desired consistency and frost the cinnamon rolls.

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