Shirley’s Bakery in Provo, Utah has a well deserved reputation in our town. They make scrumptious white and wheat rolls so the carb kings and the healthy among us are happy and they have cinnamon rolls to die for. If I could remember to call them weeks in advance to place my order, I was rewarded with simplified prep for the holidays. If I forgot to call ahead, it was a madhouse and I was doomed.
I used to make my own rolls for Thanksgiving when I was younger and more ambitious. Amy Dacycyzn came through for me again! Have I mentioned that she has been my new best friend since the 90’s? She had an old Betty Crocker recipe that are in the BC cookbooks before 1986 that she shared in her newsletter. They are called “Potato Refrigerator Rolls”.
Three things happened to convince me to go back to my roll baking ways:
- A niece happened to mention that she loved “my” potato rolls to me this year– I was like “Really??!” I honestly didn’t think it made much of a difference, so why not go to easier? I loved getting the compliment, but put it on a high shelf somewhere in my brain.
- I attended my aunt’s funeral this summer and one of her maxims was, “Homemade is always best.” Which I have pondered about and which is usually true.
- Then a friend said she uses frozen rolls for Thanksgiving “because she loves the way they make the house smell.” Hmmmm, if I am making the switch from bought to frozen I might as well MAKE MY OWN…
These three sparks of data aligned to make a linear plane to convince me to make my own rolls for Thanksgiving. That it was actually a good idea! The beauty of this recipe is that you make a batch and it will stay good in your refrigerator for 5 days. I substitute half of the flour for wheat flour, and I freeze the dough into little knots because I transport them to our Thanksgiving over an hour away. I could make the knots with the dough on Thanksgiving Day but I choose to do it earlier for efficiency’s sake. The day of, I take them and put them on a cookie sheet a few hours before dinner to thaw and raise. The second link below works way too hard to add potatoes to her recipe, but she had other good info so I decided to include it. This recipe really can be very simple–as in saving a cup of potatoes in the freezer whenever you bake, boil or mash them.
involve and teach your children.
The Triple Play–All Star–Fireworks element is making them with your children. You can make the recipe with them, or if you are feeling harried, just have them help on the back end, when it’s time to form the dough right out of the refrigerator or plop balls of frozen dough on cookie sheets to thaw and bake. I loved helping my children create mental models of how things work, and how much they can learn to do, if I was willing to teach them. I always had to do things like baking with my children in the morning, when my will power was still full and I had more energy.
Let your children help with the work it takes to make Thanksgiving happen. It builds that feeling of honest effort and the reward of the meal reinforces that.
I love this recipe–the easiness of it and how happy it makes me to include these old friends and star performers in our Thanksgiving feast! What are some of your favorite go-tos for Thanksgiving?