Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas From the End of the Dirt Road!

Christmas Greetings from the end of the dirt road where the year has been good to us all
We’ve had so much rain that the desert is covered in grass that is thick and tall.

So the cattle are fat and that makes us grin, we’re thankful for the blessings that overflow
And that includes hearing from all of you whom we are so thankful to know.

We’re hoping that this finds you all blessed, and that life is treating you well
And that during this crazy, busy time of the year, you’re able to slow down for a spell.

You’ll be glad to know that this is the last year that I plan to hound you with a poem
The kids are all grown and my rhyming is retiring as I prepare for an empty nest at home.

They grew up so quickly that it made my head spin, but I’ve loved every step, every day
Now we’re sending them out with a hug and a prayer that God will guide them safely along the way.

Tyler is 20, forging his path, he signed up for the Marines recently
We’re proud and yes, I am scared, but he’s in God’s hands and that’s the best place to be.

So please keep him, and all who serve and protect, in your prayers when you pray
He’s working on the ranch till he leaves, and we’re enjoying having him here for the holiday.

He’s eating me out of house and home, and I love it, but boy, can he make cookies disappear
He still plays the guitar, loves to shoot skeet, and this fall he brought home a nice deer.

Caitlin is crazy-busy with concurrent college classes this year
Physics, Chemistry, and Algebra were once perplexing, but through hard work she did persevere.

And it all paid off when she saw all those A’s and finals were a thing of the past
One more semester and she’s headed off to college…the years went by way too fast.

Her time in the saddle has been cut severely; guess you can blame it on the Periodic table
But she still plays the piano, shoots shotgun, and rides whenever she is able.

Gary still puts in long days; he doesn’t know how to slow down
He’s up before dawn, and home after dark, days are good when he doesn’t have to make a trip to town.

I avoid town too and we joke that we’ll be hermits one day
I’m still quilting and gardening and keeping folks fed and thankful God’s hand guides my way.

May your Christmas be blessed with everything good, family and friends gathered round
Here’s wishing you health, peace and joy; may New Year adventures abound.

Here's a video I ran across that I wanted to share with y'all:

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Crazy-Good Cinnamon Rolls

I found these in a cookbook given to me by dear friends about 19 years ago and I have just recently discovered this recipe. And to think I could have been eating these for 19 years! Probably a good thing I didn't!

I tried to get a photo of the full pan, but it was next to impossible. I pulled them out of the oven as our son was walking out the door to saddle up and when I turned around, he had his hand out with a paper towel in it. I told him they were hot, but that did not deter him and he walked out, juggling it in his hands. I'll bet he devoured it before he even made it to the pens.

I made these the other day and shared them with the dear family who lives at North Camp. They are moving away and we are sad. I was hoping these cinnamon rolls would make them stay. Sigh. I guess they're not quite THAT good.

However, don't let that dissuade you from making these delectable rolls on some cold, frosty morning.

Crazy-Good Cinnamon Rolls

2 Tbsp. yeast
2 c warm water
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c shortening
1 Tbsp salt
2 eggs
6 c flour
4 Tbsp butter, softened
1/4 c brown sugar
1/8 c sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 c powdered sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 Tbsp milk

*Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs and salt. Alternately add yeast / water mixture and flour. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead very lightly. Place in greased bowl and let rise 1 hour. Punch down and roll out into large rectangle. Spread with softened butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Roll up and pinch seams to seal. Cut into 1 1/2" pieces. Place in a 9x13" pan and 5 rolls in a 8x8" pan.

The original recipe calls for all rolls to be placed in a 9x13" pan, but when I made them all in one pan, they rose over the top and the middle  rolls didn't bake through. In two pans, they were big and fluffy and tender and perfect!

Next time I make these I might try them in my big lasagna pan.

Cover and let rise overnight. This step makes these the perfect breakfast recipe because you just pop them out of the fridge and into the oven. Bake at 325° for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Drizzle with glazed frosting (I doubled the frosting glaze because we like more gooey-ness) and be prepared to be adored by everyone who eats them.
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