Mom has been very excited and has been making preparations for weeks. She has been preparing a big surprise for Alli (my new sister-in-law, Jacob's wife). She has been making room in the rec room for a brand new Ping Pong table! Alli LOVES ping-pong and my mom is more than happy to provide her with her every wish (how is it that youngest children always get that? Even when they marry in?!) and my dad is very excited to stir up a little competition and attempt to give Alli a run for her money.
Mom has made assignments for dinner and I have been commissioned with the Honey wheat dinner rolls, and three desserts: Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie, and Peggy's Famous Sweet Crescents. I have also been designated the official roll-making teacher to help Alli gets some hands on experience with some bread dough. I'm a little wary because I don't know if Alli wants to learn . . . or if Jacob wants her to learn . . . or if mom thinks she ought to learn. If it's the first--hurray--I can't wait. If it's one of the others I hope Alli doesn't mind--I promise to make it easy on you, sis --she's pretty happy-go-lucky so I'm sure she won't mind.
The pumpkin pie and apple pie recipes are just the basics. I'm not allowed to change the traditional recipe AT ALL, under penalty of complaint from my husband and father. The honey wheat dinner rolls are just my own blender wheat bread recipe formed into dinner rolls (now that I looked at that recipe I guess I've developed a new recipe minus starter, plus honey, molasses and more wheat--I'll post it next week). I am making these rolls because my mom is allergic to the ingredients in the other rolls I'm making.
The second set of rolls/the third dessert, Peggy's Famous Sweet Crescents, are a very special recipe that I'm required to use under penalty of my husband not speaking to me for a very, very long time. His only requirement ever for Thanksgiving is "mom's rolls", everything else is more or less negotiable. I make sure to make them every year. These rolls are so soft and sweet and yummy. They are divine. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without them. To Dave they are the meaning of Thanksgiving: something worth giving everything else up for, traveling half-way across the world for, establishing a new country for to have the freedom to make and eat them as you please. I'm exaggerating a bit but these are still dang good rolls!
Peggy's Famous Sweet CrescentsThese are so absolutely, incredibly delicious. You will be amazed and astounded with their light texture and you will be sucked in by the sweet aroma and taste. These are better than dessert. These are Thanksgiving. Have a good one!
(My name for them, not hers. She's more humble than that.)
In a medium bowl combine and allow to rise to double (proof):
2 pkgs yeast (2 Tablespoons)
2 T sugar
1/2 c warm water
In a medium saucepan melt over low heat and then allow to cool to lukewarm:
1 cup water
1/2 c shortening
1/2 c sugar
1 t salt
In mixer bowl beat:
3 eggs until fluffy
Add the shortening mixture and the proofed yeast mixture to the eggs. Add:
6 cups flour
Mix well for 5-8 minutes using either the paddle attachment or the kneading attachment. Dough will continue to be sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise 1 hour. Punch down dough, lightly spray dough and cover again. Place in refrigerate and let rise 8 hours or overnight.
Divide dough into 3 parts. Melt and combine:
1/2 c butter
1/2 c shortening
Roll each part into a circle about 14" in diameter. Brush each circle with the melted butter/shortening and then sprinkle generously with sugar (Peggy does not reveal how much sugar she puts on them, I think this is her big secret. Put on more than you do over crepes but less than you put on cinnamon rolls--if that helps). Cut the circle into 12 triangles, like a pizza. Roll triangles beginning with the large end to the small. Place the rolled rolls on greased sheets. Brush tops of rolls with any excess butter/shortening and sprinkle with a bit more sugar. Let rise to double (may take up to 3 hours).
Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 8 minutes until lightly browned. Cool slightly on a rack.