Thanksgiving went off without a hitch so I shouldn’t be filled with fear and dread thinking about hosting Christmas dinner – but I am. Jim and I have our own traditions and both of us are too obstinate to give up any of them. So, Christmas dinner involves both a ham and a turkey, mashed and au gratin potatoes, stuffing, cranberries and sweet potatoes that only I and my mother will eat and several vegetable dishes. Last year I spent 7 hours in the kitchen, was exhausted, and had a half-cooked turkey (thanks Mom and Dad for your for once-in-a-lifetime-agreement but totally wrong advice about the doneness of the turkey) and many “white foods” – an offense to my Mom’s artistic sensibilities 😉
The food was good, everyone appeared to have a good time, but I was miserable. Ever since, I’ve flirted with the thought of Chinese take-out for Christmas – it’s sooo “A Christmas Story” that it would be somewhat fabulous . . . .
Thanksgiving was easy largely because I had a co-chef in the kitchen, my brother-in-law Dave – the Oregon, not the California Dave really, what are the chances of having two brothers-in-law named Dave). Dave took on the cooking of the turkey, the gravy, the chocolate pecan pie and pumpkin pie and the dinner rolls. But Dave will not be with us for Christmas. And while I can handle dessert, Jim can take over gravy and I will solve the turkey problem with a turkey breast, there are still the dinner rolls to consider. Pillsbury is just not the same.
Fortunately, Dave shared his recipe and gave me permission to share it with you.
Dave’s Dinner Rolls
• 5 to 6 cups flour
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1-1/2 tsp. salt
• 2 package of yeast
• 1 cup milk
• 2/3 cup water
• 1/2 stick margarine
• 2 eggs
In a large bowl add 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Add milk, water margarine to sauce pan; heat over low heat until warm (120 to 130 degrees). Add to dry ingredients; beat 2 minutes with electric mixer. Add eggs and ¾ cup of flour. Beat two minutes. Stir in enough flour to make dough stiff. Knead 8 to 10 minutes (Dave lets a bread maker do his kneading). Cover with plastic. Let rest for 20 minutes. Divide into 3 pieces. Roll 10” long. Cut into 10 pieces. Form into balls. Put into greased pan. Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 375 degrees.