Do you enjoy cooking for others?
I’ve noticed that the act of cooking and/or the sharing of the food seems to draw people together.
Something I learned from my mom, my grandmas, and a lot of friends over the years, is that putting love and compassion into cooking can really make a difference in someone’s life. What I love about sharing gifts from the kitchen is, it makes it easy to “show up” in people’s lives at times that might otherwise be awkward.
For instance, it’s hard to know what to do for a friend who suddenly lost her dog, but dropping off a pie or cookies expresses care and concern in a not so intrusive way.
I also love how cooking is personal. It’s a great opportunity to make someone’s favorite dish or if someone is allergic to say, wheat, different recipes can accommodate that. It’s almost like cooking has the ability to sometimes bridge that gap between wanting to do something for someone, yet not really knowing what to do. When I don’t know what to do, I bake.
I thought it’d be fun to share ideas and maybe have a recipe swap, if you’d like. Right now my go-to recipe is cinnamon rolls. I like that they are easy to transport if I need to drop them off to someone miles from my home, and they mail quite well. A few weeks ago I mailed some to Iowa, and I heard they arrived intact.
So, my first recipe I want to share is:
Baby Super Man’s Cinnamon Rolls (named for my friends’ miracle baby that I wrote about in my story called Extraordinary Events)
Mix 1/4 oz pkg quick rise yeast with 1/4 cup warm water (110 -115 degrees). Set aside until it bubbles and activates the yeast.
Meanwhile, mix 2/3 cup milk, 1 egg, 1/4 cup melted butter, and 1/4 cup sugar together. Add in yeast mixture.
Mix in 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 and 3/4 cups of flour one cup at a time.
I mix with a spoon and knead by hand. After kneading about 5 minutes or so on a floured board or counter, shape into a 12 x 8 rectangle. Brush the dough with a 1/2 cup of melted butter.
Sprinkle 1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar over the melted butter on the dough and pat down slightly. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cinnamon over the brown sugar.
Starting on the 12 inch side, roll the dough up so that it is 12 inches long when rolled. Cut into 1 inch slices. Put into a greased pan. I use a glass 9 x 12 pan. Let rise. Depending on the weather and the coolness in the house, sometimes I let mine rise in a slow oven at 170 degrees with the oven light on.
When they are raised, bake at 375 degrees for about 15-25 minutes, depending on whether they rose in the oven or on the counter.
Top with your favorite frosting or glaze.
So far, Little Bit and I have made many pans of these cinnamon-y delights. Now, we even have requests for them. I love the idea that he is learning compassion through cooking, just like I did, and that he sees the happiness that a simple offering of food can bring each time, when we deliver the rolls.