Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Lesson in Cinnamon Rolls

Some of my fondest childhood memories stem from big family holiday dinners. My Grandmother Joseph whipped up wonderful holiday dishes, but none more memorable than her homemade cinnamon rolls. She always timed it just right so the rolls popped out of the oven just minutes before saying grace. After the amens, I'd rush towards the rolls and toss one onto my plate, still warm. I'd quickly smother my Aunt Linda's homemade strawberry preserves on the tip. Within nanoseconds, it was devoured and I was back for more.

After my Grandmother passed, my aunts and my mother carried on the tradition, with a modern twist. They introduced a box mix to the recipe that eliminated a few steps, but still required loads of TLC. Today, my mom passed the baton to me, the next generation of family cooks. She taught me the skill of making (practically) homemade cinnamon rolls. It felt like a rite of passage in some ways. Like, I'd officially graduated to the big girl table.

Our lesson began this afternoon. My mother waltzed into my kitchen, clutching two box mixes and a bag full of kitchen utensils and supplies. We both pulled on kitchen aprons as she strewed the staples across the counter. We chatted in between mixes, rolls, kneads, and cuts. At the end, 24 perfect cinnamon rolls lined two metal pan. We covered the pans in aluminum foil and placed them in the freezer until Thanksgiving.

As we pulled off our aprons, I couldn't help thinking about my Grandmother. I imagined she'd be tickled to know cinnamon rolls still grace the holiday table. But, I suppose she'd be most pleased to hear the table was surrounded by family.

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