Big Family, Small House, Lots of Love and Laughing

I suggested to my Mom that while we were up in SD, it would be great to have a get-together so I could see some of the assorted relatives, since the “big” Christmas doings were going to be held the following Tuesday, after we had gone home, but when there were actual KIDS there.

Nice of me to invite people over to her house and ask her to cook for them, huh? But at least I knew I would be there to help.

By the time things settled in and the roll dough was stirred up, the ham was in the roaster, and the cranberry salad was in the refrigerator, we had 15 people in total attending. The rest of the menu included my Aunt Connie’s Scalloped Corn (recipe to follow, someday, it is out in the car in my knitting bag and it is COLD out there) (you have to have plenty of gravy for my family, gravy is a food group to us), mashed potatoes and gravy (pork gravy from a mix, but I added a lot of ham juice, a little milk, and then some corn starch to thicken, and it was good), sweet potatoes, relish tray, Aunt Trish’s raspberry salad, and Aunt Eileen’s brownies. No one had any room for the brownies after lunch so Ken and I mostly got to eat them for the next day and a half, and that was no problem, because they were awesome.

My parents’ house (where I grew up) is small, it is a 12′ wide trailer with an addition. So you can get about 10 people around the table in the kitchen.

And then there were 5 people at the kids’ table in the addition living room (built on to the trailer house.) The youngest person at the kids’ table was 26. The oldest person, was, well… we just won’t discuss that. He could have been at the grown up table but the Broncos game was on in this room and he pulled rank on me.

You know you are from a big family when you are 42 and you are still sitting at the kids’ table.

This is by NO MEANS the largest crowd we have had in this house, at least this time there was no one sitting on the bed in the bedroom with TV trays. Big family, small house, lots of love and laughing, we make it work.

And I decided we should have a buffet table to facilitate dishing up.

Sorry, picture is a little crooked. And I forgot and took the picture AFTER everyone had dished up, but there was really no stopping us once we got started.

Aunt Eileen announced that in all of her spare time (she has about as much spare time as I do) she is putting together a family cookbook, and she would like as many digital pictures of recipes as possible, so that means more food pictures and more recipes for this blog too.

My mom’s rolls are infamous, they are what gets grabbed 1st if anyone has the chance. My cousins were into them on the kids’ table because we put them out on plates rather than on the buffet table. Very difficult to resist fresh, hot bread for very long.

So here is the recipe:

Speedy Roll Dough

Measure 6 1/2 cups flour.

Combine 2 cups warm water, 1/3 cup sugar, and 2 Pkg Dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp). Stir until dissolved. Add 3 tsp salt and 2 c. of the flour. Beat 2 minutes with electric mixer (or stand mixer). Add 2 eggs and 1/3 cup shortening. Beat 1 minute. Work in remaining flour (by hand or with dough hook). Do not add all flour if it gets too stiff, or add more if it is too sticky. Cover and let rest in bowl 20 minutes. Shape and let rise 40-45 minutes, until approximately doubled in size. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Makes two 9 x 13 pans cinnamon rolls, 1 cookie sheet ranch rolls (shape into golf ball size rolls), or 3 loaf pans Holland rolls. (Mom also calls these side-by-side rolls, you make a cylinder of dough about as long as your hand is wide, and about an inch in diameter, when you pop them out of the loaf pan, they separate nicely.) Could be made into any other shape you desire, for that matter.

I will post pics of this recipe someday, but I don’t make that many rolls very often……I can’t even find a picture of “Holland Rolls” that look like hers, so I really need to take one.

4 thoughts on “Big Family, Small House, Lots of Love and Laughing

  1. I am going to try her rolls .. They are less rich than the recipe that I use … and will be better. Could I use oil instead of crisco? Your mom brought rolls for last night, as normal. You need to talk about Ken and rolls – or have you promised not to tell stories about him?

  2. I would replace the Crisco with butter before oil, using oil and or butter will change the texture.

    I was debating telling the Ken/rolls story, maybe at some point. Maybe when I get some bread made and the picture posted. : ) Thinking of making Holland rolls this weekend to give to neighbors who helped dig my car out.

  3. Butter worked well. You need to tell your thousands of fans that you can put the dough in the fridge overnight. I did half yesterday for hamburger buns (very good) and half today for dinner rolls (rising in the oven with a pilot light that makes it nice and toasty for rolls to rise).

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