Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Geezer's Journal

I am basically a lazy bum and today, Thanksgiving Day 2013, I am going to prove it.  Son #2 and I arrived at Grandma and Granddad's house last night (after finding the Washington ABC store to stock up on Jim Beam for his Maple View Farm's egg nog).  The Ex-Ex and Son #1 will arrive around noon today. Son #1 now works in the world of retail and his store, Omega Sports, opens at 6:00 am Black Friday, the shopping day near and dear to some Americans, the day after Thanksgiving.  He is an assistant manager now.  (I am thankful for his salary and benefits.) He worked until closing last night and has to set up a display or something this morning before picking up his dad and heading down here.
As I was setting up to start writing, my mother-in-law served me a warm home made cinnamon bun to go with my coffee.  I didn't even have to get my own breakfast.  (Are you reading this, Sister-in-law?)

Mother-in-law is a self-taught cook.  She credits her faithful Betty Crocker cookbook that has seen her through more than 50 years of meals and, in her words, probably saved her marriage to a hungry cattle rancher.

And since I am still being lazy, instead of telling a story of my own, I am going to link you up with A Geezer's Journal, written by Richard Goodman and let you read about his kitchen adventures, learning how to cook at the hands of a French chef.  Richard's book, French Dirt, is one of my favorites.  When I read this entry, I felt as if I was in that kitchen with him.  Read his blog and then come back for Mother-in-law's cinnamon bun recipe.  You'll have to make your own coffee.  My father-in-law is busy making more for me.  See how lazy I am?

Bertie's Cinnamon Rolls
makes two 9x13 pans of rolls

2 cups warm water
2 packages dry granular yeast
1/4- 1/2 tsp. sugar
Sprinkle the yeast on the water, add sugar and let set until bubbly, about 10 minutes.

4 cups all-purpose flour

Gradually stir in flour in 2 additions, using the amount necessary to make it easy to handle.  Use a spoon and then hands to mix in flour.  When the dough begins to leave the side of the bowl, turn it out onto a lightly floured board to knead.

To knead:  Fold dough over toward you.  Then press down away from you with heel of hand.  Give dough quarter turn, repeat until it's smooth, elastic, and doesn't stick to board.  Place in greased bowl, turning once to bring greased side up.  Cover with damp cloth and let rise in warm, draft-free spot (80-85˚) until double, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours).  Press two fingers into dough.  It will leave indentations when dough is doubled.  Punch down and divide in half.  Flatten dough and shape into rectangle.  Dot the dough with butter and then sprinkle with a cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Roll it up into a log shape and, using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 1-inch slices.  Repeat with second dough.  Make cinnamon topping.

Boil for one minute-
2 cups brown sugar
4 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup butter
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
** recipe also calls for 4 Tbsp. Karo syrup, but Bertie didn't use it

Cool and pour into two 9x13 pans.  Put cinnamon rolls on top of topping, sides of rolls touching.  Let rise again until double (30-45 minutes).
Bake at 375˚F for 20-25 minutes.

Bon appétit!  Happy Thanksgiving!  I am thankful for my family and friends, old and new.  


Richard Goodman said...

PS, Sab, what do you mean by "Ex ex"? Did you marry him twice? That would make a great blog post! Geez

The Sabbatical Chef said...

A long story! One that is told a bit in an earlier blog but definitely a big part of THE book that will be written some day... What can I say- he finally came to Paris. Mieux vaut tard que jamais, as the Frenchies say.