Secret Sweet Delivery
Have you ever made homemade bread? If so, you know the yeasty scent that fills your home after the dough has risen to the occasion. You’d think you’d smell this in a bakery, but I think the deliciously baked bread overpowers the more earthy scent of yeast. It is a smell I will always associate with good times. I tend to fan the flames of love and kindess with homemade baked goods — as many of you can attest. There is rarely an event or celebration where a cake, plate of cookies or Pyrex of brownies doesn’t show up when I’m invited.
When Thanksgiving rolled around this year, I had a bunch of family friends invite me to their tables. I was touched. With my parents in Texas and my brother in Colorado, the holiday wasn’t going to be the same. Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday, namely because it involved gathering for such a great meal with the people I love most — without the pretense of gifts, religion or any of the other things that often cause strife at the dinner table. Instead, it’s just the family, a giant bird and a lot of carbs.
Okay, sometimes there is still strife; for the most part it is such a sweet, comforting, relaxing holiday.
This year, I was sick. Before I fell ill, I managed to celebrate the holiday with two families who have tentatively added me as the olive-skinned leaf on their otherwise fair family trees. I cannot tell you how much I love these two clans, but needless to say — I am very thankful. Something I ate Wednesday provoked food poisoning and ended up in bed early Thursday night and stayed there for the next 36-hours or so. (Netflix is not a good roommate. While she entertains, she refuses to go to the drug store and her soup is crap.)
Before the stomach bug caught me, I launched a master plan to bake and deliver six pans of homemade cinnamon rolls to celebrate the many friends who are my Phoenix family. I should have made twice as many. I didn’t have enough to give away.
Today’s adventathon is yet another project really anyone can do. I know my food photos often provoke “how I wish I could do that!” comments, but let me be completely honest: if I can cook it, so can a trained monkey. I have no natural talents or abilities in the kitchen. In fact, we weren’t allowed to cook in my parent’s home and my first culinary “delights” were over an illegal hot plate in my dorm room. Emily (the fabulous college roommate) would tell you — I managed to screw up ramen most times.
Like anything else, cooking just takes practice and patience. I find these come easier when I really want to eat what I am cooking. I also find being in the kitchen relaxing and I truly believe there is no easier way to share your love than by giving someone food you’ve made with them in mind. I quickly heard from all six recipients. The cinnamon rolls were still warm and I could almost hear them licking their fingers over the phone.
So, give the recipe a whirl. And consider finding a handful of friends to celebrate with a pan of warm, baked love. I can promise you that this act of kindness won’t soon be forgotten. Also, it is a very inexpensive way to provide a lot of happiness to your community.
Here are the changes I’d make to the recipe in the future:
– I’d add a cup of walnuts and Craisins
– I’d add a dash of nutmeg and cardamom
– I’d use the same amounts but only bake 4 large casserole dishes in lieu of the intended 7 small pans