Sunday, October 21, 2012

Grandma's rolls

For as long as I can remember, my mom has made my Grandma Walter's crescent rolls for special dinners like Thanksgiving, Christmas, big family dinners, my birthday, etc. They are my very favorite rolls. Mom always got up early (sometime between 5 and 6 am) to roll them out so they could rise and then be cooked before it was time to use the oven for other things. To this day, seeing them sitting on the table under the white dish towels as they rise makes me happy.

I always used to think they were hard to make or took a lot of time. I remember there have been times when my mom made the rolls for my aunt's Thanksgiving dinner. Then I decided one day to take the plunge and learn to make them myself.  Well, they are super easy to make, and require no kneading. I think they might seem a little labor intensive because the dough has to be refidgerated over night and then they have to be rolled out and have to have about 5 hours to rise. Of course, I plan it out so I don't have to get up early to roll them out, but even that takes only about 30 minutes.

Mom still makes them better than I do, but she has 30+ years of practice on me.  Even without all the practice, they are dang good!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Applesauce

I helped my mom and dad make applesauce the other weekend. Mom has 2 apple trees. Homegrown apples and then homemade applesauce are so good. It's kind of a messy job (or maybe it's just us) but it's worth it in the end.

I took my bottles home and immediately made a batch spiced applesauce bread with pecans and chocolate chips.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Books I love, part 2

Another series of books that I really love is the Death In…  series by M.M. Kaye.  M.M. Kaye was born in India and was a British army wife who spent a good part of her life in exotic foreign places where her husband was stationed. She wrote mysteries or “whodunits” in some of the places she had lived.  The book are Death in Cyprus, Death in Zanzibar, Death in Kashmir, Death in the Andamans, Death in Berlin and Death in Kenya.  Goodreads gives them an order but they don’t need to be read in any particular order since they don’t have any characters or places in common.  I tracked down hardcover copies of every one of them some years ago through online used book stores and re-read them every couple of years or whenever I need a pick-me-up.

These books are a prime example of why I read. I will never be a British army wife and definitely not get to visit war torn Berlin, or Kashmir, or Kenya’s Rift Valley of those days, but for a few hours when I’m reading these books, I can be transported to a life vastly different from mine.  While they are works of fiction, I can get a glimpse of what life might have been like for women traveling in the 1940’s and 50’s or following a husband’s army regiment. Some of the language is a little old, as are the slang phrases, and can take some getting used to. I can see why not everybody would love them, but I do and would highly recommend them to anybody who likes historical fiction or cozy mysteries.