"Let's have a merry journey, and shout about how light is good and dark is not. What we should do is not future ourselves so much. We should now ourselves. "NOW thyself" is more important than "Know thyself." Reason is what tells us to ignore the present and live in the future. So all we do is make plans. We think that somewhere there are going to be green pastures. It's crazy. Heaven is nothing but a grand, monumental instance of future. Listen, now is good. Now is wonderful." ~ Mel Brooks
Friday, January 28, 2011
The fabric of our lives, woven together by thin strands of irreplaceable chords.....relationships,moments,thoughts,memories,wishes. In this grand tapestry where the story of our lives is told, I am honored to hold a piece of the cloth so dear to my heart. My daughter, Bella. Today is Bella's ninth birthday. She's made it through a very rough seven year transition. She is figuring out her way among her social circle. Admitting to us that our lives are so very different than those she encounters on a daily basis that it is a struggle sometimes to remain authentic. What an amazing journey to be on, not only our own separate journey but then along the one that our children take. It is a journey. All of a sudden it began the moment you knew that a life was growing inside your womb and then *POW* there is this little creature, all new and small. Who knew that being a mother would cultivate the most unpredictable garden.
Bella is our second child. She is twenty-one months younger than her older brother and six years older than her younger sister and seven and a half years older than the baby. She is an amazing sister. She is loyal, loving, compassionate, concerned, protective, honest, and simply perfect. Her gentle smile and ice blue eyes will pierce even the hardest stone. She can melt a heart from miles away. Our little angel. She is a healer, a fairy, an imp at times. She is simply divine.
Our Bella doesn't ask for much but this year she did request Mama's cinnamon buns. I'm always looking for a reason to perfect my recipe, and her birthday is the perfect day to try them out......again. How could I not indulge my darling on her birthday?
To make the dough you dissolve on packet of dry active yeast to 1/2 cup of warm water. Add a little honey so the yeast has something to nibble on. Next mix together 1/2 cup of hot milk, 1/4 cup of sweetener, 2/3 cup of butter, 1 tsp. salt, and one egg. Mix this together until it turns into a syrupy, golden bowl of goodness. Add 1 1/2 - 2 cups of flour. Mix this in with until it's a sticky, gooey mess. Then, add the yeast mixture. Stir this together and add another 1 1/2 - 2 cups of flour. Add it in slowly and stir. When the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl begin to knead it, in the bowl, and add more flour as you need to keep it from getting sticky. Do this for about 5 minutes. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise until it has doubled in size. About 1 hour or so.
When the dough has risen completely roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Aim for a length of 15-18 inches and a width of 9-12. The shorter the dough the less and fatter the buns!!! To make the filling, that gorgeous, cinnamony, crunchy concoction that makes you close your eyes and think "YUM" is very simple, indeed. Mix together about 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, 2 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon, and chopped pecans. That. Is. It. Melt a stick of butter and brush it onto the rolled out dough. Sprinkle your filling all over, being careful not to over fill the edges. To roll the dough, start from the side furthest from you. Roll the dough toward you, making sure to keep the rolls as tight as possible. Using a serrated knife, slice the ends off and then slice your rolls. You can choose how thick you like, I tend to cut mine 3/4 - 1 inch in width. Leaving me with 14 or so buns. If you've used all of your filling go ahead and make a little more to cover the tops of the cinnamon buns with. Bake them for 30-45 minutes at a 350 degree oven.
It's true that only the simple things make life grand. Knowing that these little gems covered with a sea of cinnamon goodness brings joy to the heart of my Bella makes it that much more joyful for me to grant this wish of pure sweetness. Happy Birthday, my darling.