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Cinnamon Roll Saga

How is it that sugary goo tangled arm-in-arm with sunshiny-yellow butter morphs into a creation that snaps our tastebuds into smiling salute, but at the same moment prompts our doctors to caution, “Watch it now, Easy does it.”? Ah, life. Incredibly wonderful, yet patently unfair as regards the consumption of such things that at their origin told of golden-grain fields, herds of glossy girl cows, cackling hens, and not to forget the standing forest of trees whose bark yields the aromatic twirled spice that is basic to a notable cinnamon roll.

DSC_0347For some time now I have observed the practice of foregoing the creation of these and similarly cautionary delectables until Jerry and I have company . . .or some analogous festive occasion that might beg for such formation. Through the years I have tweaked recipes until I have settled on a basic yeast roll, and in so doing, have wondered if said dough could serve as foundation for a master cinnamon roll. The problem lay in the fact that while reserving such for guests, I also have an aversion to test-driving on company. (What’s a girl to do?) So, a couple of days before Independence Day I announced to a few persons of interest that on that day–this special holiday–I would conduct a cinnamon roll test-run. Perfect!

DSC_0352DSC_0353About mid-morning Rebecca called saying her earlier plans had dissolved, and she’d be up for a visit. I smiled, told her of the cinnamon roll experiment, and what time we would be eating.

“I’ll be up to help you judge, Mom.”

I had told Jerry we would have one for breakfast, but although I was up at 5:30 to get them started, things happened, and we wound up eating a regular breakfast, holding the thought that the rolls would be great for a coffee break. Or dessert for our big meal if worse came to worse.

DSC_0355We would eat at 3:00. Jerry grilled brats. I fried potatoes, made a salad, and Rebecca put together a green bean casserole, using Mozzarella I had in the fridge instead of the Swiss she needed. Saved a market run.

We dined on the back deck, and well before we had cleared the table after eating the tasty food, I announced there would be no interval between dinner and dessert. Too eager. We made coffee, I plated the huge rolls, and carried them out. They were soft and gooey. . . And! perfect.

DSC_0358DSC_0359DSC_0364Rebecca decided against taking any home with her. I wrapped two, placed them in the freezer, and placed one on a dish, covered it with a glass dome and placed it inside the oven.  Should stay fresh like that and Jerry would have it the next day for a snack, I was sure.

DSC_0371I believe it was around  8:00  in the evening when I detected movement in the kitchen, and as I watched a gentleman moved from said area, a well-filled plate in his hand. Jerry grinned.

“Where did you get that cinnamon roll?” I asked.

“In the freezer.”

Well, here we are on July 5th, and this nice cinnamon roll  I saved for Jerry is still available. I suspect in a couple of hours, though, that it will not remain in such fine form; rather it will have become a sweet, gooey memory, and its origin of flora and fauna will be a forgotten speck of the ages.

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On The First Night of Christmas

“Jerry, I’ll probably talk myself out of it, but I’m considering making cinnamon rolls.”

“You what?”

“I’m thinking of making cinnamon rolls.”

It was around 6:00 Sunday evening. Jerry and I sat before a blazing fire in our home in Crestline.

The day had started early, and with a fast pace we had moved; through loading all the wrapped presents and other paraphernalia from the motor home into the car, the Sunday morning church service, good-byes and Merry Christmases to all there, then another stop at Walmart for the final stash of milk and meat that we would need in Crestline. The roads were a mess, neighbors had told us, so I wasn’t counting on making any quick trips down to the store once we got home.

We probably weren’t 50 miles out of Havasu when we started seeing snow. First it was visible on the distant mountain peaks, then shortly there were patches beside the road, and by the time we were 50 miles east of Barstow on Highway 40, there was massive snow everywhere, finally coming right up to the freeway edge. I have never seen such wide-spread snow in that high desert area.


No one could have a better neighbor than we do in Ken McDaniel, who lives directly across from us. After the second recent snow, he cleared our driveway, knowing we would be arriving.

“Shirley, it is so thick, and its been so cold, that the bottom layer is ice, and I wasn’t able to get it completely cleared,” he warned a few days ago as we spoke on the phone.

A couple of runs at it were required, but about 3:00 in the afternoon as Jerry adroitly managed the spinning tires, our trusty four-wheel drive Jeep responded properly, and in a few minutes we were inside our garage.

Up the garage stairs all that stuff must be carried: we considered leaving it because we knew some strong youngsters were scheduled to make an appearance in a few hours, but we flexed our muscles, called up resolve, and managed the whole thing ourselves. Finally, our kitchen was mounded with grocery bags, the inside stairs were covered with the wrapped packages, the laundry was propped beside the washer, and Jerry and I wilted into chairs. I brewed a strong pot of coffee, and before I tackled storing all those groceries, and starting the laundry, I sat before one of our glass doors and admired the “winter wonderland” in which we would spend a few days. I believe this is the most snow I’ve seen since we’ve lived here. The last storm alone dropped 18 inches, and atop what had fallen only days before, we have between 3 1/2 and 4 feet of snow. The berms are massive.

Anyway, here it was about 6:00, the groceries were stored, our personal things had been put away, I had started the laundry, and I had this wild idea to make cinnamon rolls.

“Why do you want to make cinnamon rolls now, Shirley? You’re going to wear yourself out.”

“Oh, I was just thinking of Andrew and his dsc_0020family driving up from San Diego and how neat it would be if when they get here around 9:00 or 9:30, hot cinnamon rolls would be waiting for them.”

I didn’t talk myself out of it, and about 9:15 when they roared up the driveway having to make a couple of runs at it as we had, I was just putting the cinnamon rolls in the oven.

Pappy already had on his robe when up the garage stairs Andrew’s five bounded. Chloe was the first to get a hug.

Christmas has begun!