Friday, November 28, 2008


During our Thanksgiving shopping, I mentioned to HH that we needed some more yeast. He insisted we did not, as we had a whole bag of it in the freezer. I let it go. I'm wishy-washy like that.

At 10 pm on Wednesday night, after working 10 hours, shopping 3 hours, making 4 pies (from scratch) and 40 gallons of Cranberry Waldorf salad, I threw together the cinnamon roll dough and waited the appropriate amount of time for it to rise.

Nothing. My lump of dough sat in the bottom of the bowl like a . . . a lump.

I THEN looked at the expiration date on the yeast: May 2008. I guess yeast cryogenics isn't all it's cracked up to be, because all my yeasties were DEAD.

We HAVE to have cinnamon rolls for Thanksgiving Day breakfast. It's a Commandment!

Luckily, my local grocery story was still open, so Small Son and I dashed over and got some new, live yeast (and some treats), threw the old dough out and started over. This is a new recipe from Alton Brown on the Food Network. If you have a show on Food Network, all your recipes are supposed to work beautifully. Especially if one follows the directions. I followed the directions, and after waiting for the rising again, we peeked in the bowl and . . . another lump. By this time it was 11:00 pm and I had had enough. I rolled that dough out anyway and formed it into little, skinny spirals, covered it with plastic and some towels, and put it in the garage where it is cold to think about things. Then I Went To Bed.

Enough is enough.

In the morning, sure enough, they were still skinny spirals. Thanks a lot, Alton. Don't you try your recipes before airing them?

I was rushing to get working on time, so I put them in the oven anyway. Lo and behold, half an hour later when the timer went off, they were nice, fat, golden, HOT cinnamon rolls! Whaddaya know!? Sorry I doubted ya, Alton.

I sat upstairs in my little closet working away (not very hard, truth be told), listening to the chatter of children and the clatter of pots and pans from the kitchen downstairs . . . and the occasional glass breaking . . . and was thankful I had taught them all to cook (or they had just learned, I'm not sure which), to set the table, and to work together. Based on these pictures, it's amazing they did any work at all! It was so nice to get off work at 2 pm and have dinner ready. Some people I talked to were going to work all day, then cook all afternoon, THEN have Thanksgiving dinner. I am very thankful.

We sat down to a table crowded with our favorite foods, with more favorites lying in wait for afterwards, and the banter began. Some of the more interesting things we discussed were how to arrange the living room furniture to accomodate the Christmas Tree, and that we were going to have to start doing daily sit-ups to strengthen HH's stomach muscles so his back wouldn't hurt so badly. Then somebody mentioned that we would have to admit to the Bish that although we might not have daily family prayer, but we do have Daily Family Sit-Ups. Somebody else extrapolated from this that we would also have to admit that we don't have Family Home Evening exactly regularly, but we do have Family Movie Night. We laughed at the idea that this would be an acceptable alternative.

The best part was that everybody was happy to be there. Nobody wanted to be anywhere else with anybody else (although this is often the case the rest of the year). Smiles and laughter and horsing around were everywhere. It was a lovely day.

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