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April 6th, 2008
cinnamon roll goodness

I’m leaving on Thursday to go hang out with my parents while my dad’s at a conference in Philly. While we’re there, my mom and I will be traveling to her hometown, putting flowers on the graves of my grandparents and visiting my Nana’s best friend Emma… who is in her 90s and still kicking.

I was trying to think of something we could do, or bring, this amazing woman who lives alone in the middle of nowhere, and I remembered a conversation I once had with my grandmother.

Every time she came to visit, she made cinnamon rolls from scratch, and I am telling you, they are the greatest things in the world. She’d get up early, mix up a batch of dough, let it rise for a few hours, then roll it out, spread the different ingredients on, roll it up and let it rise again for another few hours before she baked them in a brown sugar-butter syrup. One of my fondest memories of when I was young was eating the “ends” off the raw cinnamon-sugar-butter dough roll-ups before she placed them in the pan to rise and bake. She always made six pans (oh the deliciousness, normally two were gone on day one!), and I asked her what she did with them when she was at home (she had lived alone for over 20 years).

Oh I give them away, she said. The neighbors, your aunt comes and gets a pan and then I always give one to Emma. She loves my rolls.

So yesterday I shopped, and today I got up early and made the dough. And this dough? Not easy. For some unknown reason my mom and I have horrible luck with yeast, LOL. It’s either old, or our water is too hot, or the bowl is too cold, etc., but yeast is the bane of my baking existence. Amazingly, the yeast worked this time… granted, I bought it fresh yesterday, heated the bowl and used a thermometer to measure the water, but I was still stunned.

Now I’m waiting for it to rise and missing my Nana.

Update: Finished product!