Just hearing the name cinnamon roll, makes me hungry and ready to eat. These delicacies have stayed as one of my favorite foods for years. When I see one on a menu that I have never tried, there is a good chance I will try one. I normally find out who the baker is, it is a necessity to be made right on the premises.
Just the thought can make me visualize that dough rising and the smell of them cooking. There is a touch to make perfect dough, which seems to come with experience. I have tried a variety of recipes and wish I had one of the best I ever enjoyed, my mom’s. This is the roll that I use as my comparative to all others I eat. The very best that I took for granted growing up.
As a kid my mother would get out a huge earthenware bowl and begin her labor of love. Nothing was going to be measured except perhaps the number of packets of yeast she used. When we were younger she sometimes passed us a piece of the dough to play with. We would roll it, form it in a variety of shapes, while she worked her magic. And magic it would be, twelve to thirteen dozen rolls would come out of her little kitchen. Pans would be sitting all around the house, letting their sweet dough rise to perfection. She would call all the mothers and tell them she was making them, and not to make a huge dinner for the kids. All the kids were invited to our home for a feast, as many as you wanted. There wasn’t going to be that long wait for dinner after school, they were hot and ready to eat when we came home.
For parents that we also took for granted, I had one of the best on those special days. Who cared if they had parents at home, many were ready to join our home. With a large family many had shared our table, my mom just said, "I will just put another potato in the pot." Holding our stomachs after eating our fill of cinnamon rolls often involved telling how many one ate. It may be a while before she made more, so it was nice to have a break before gorging ourselves on too many again. They all disappeared on the day they were made.
When I moved away from home, I started looking for a big earthenware bowl to make breads in. I thought it was all in the bowl, and was surprised to find you could make a smaller batch than what I had seen done at home. Many times I had these gourmet delights mailed to me and even made instead of a cake for birthdays. I tried to make my own, but they have never made it close to the real thing, my mom’s.
One day I get a call and hurried to the hospital to find my mom comatose from a severe stroke. She lay on her back for weeks, blankly staring at the ceiling. We took turns sitting with her and I shared my tale with her many times as well as the nurses taking care of her. I made some of my best breads and other goodies to share with these caring people. Time came when we had to make a decision to unplug her ventilator, a hard one to do. It didn’t seem fair to have to let someone go this way. When they pulled out the tube she made a gasping breath and came back to us. She still wasn’t very coherent but we had a parent back, and my father his spouse. Through assorted therapies and a long stay at a care center we took her back to her home. Talking one day she asked me out of the blue if I remembered her cinnamon rolls. The memory returned that she had enjoyed making them. I retold the stories and shared how my friends still asked if she had made them. She smiled at the treasured tales.
A call one-day told me to come over and try a cinnamon roll. It had been over three years since I had had one, and I dropped everything and went running. Sitting in a wheelchair she smiled and told me to help myself, they weren’t good cold. They lacked a lot of the similarity they once had, but I ate until I nearly burst on a pan of true love. I share this story with the happy baker each time I eat one, as I have with you. Would you like another one, they aren’t as good cold.