Tag Archives: crusty dinner rolls

God’s Great Faithfulness – Grandma’s 90th Birthday

Corsage for Grandma's 90th Birthday

Corsage for Grandma’s 90th Birthday

November marked a special time in our family. We were so thankful to celebrate God’s goodness and faithfulness, especially in the 90 years He has given Grandma and for her relatively good health. When we looked at photos of her lifetime, we were reminded that while humans change, He has not, nor will He ever change.

We were encouraged by the outpouring of love from her friends and extended family. Some of them had not all been in the same room together in years. We felt as if that short open house was a preview of Heaven, when we will be reunited with our spiritual family.

My dad asked me to make a corsage for Grandma, which reminded me of another phase of life for which I am thankful. When I was a missionary kid in Lomalinda, Colombia, our school organized banquets for various reasons, and usually the girls wore corsages.

For one of those banquets, I enjoyed helping make the corsages and was thankful for the opportunity to learn from “Aunt” Char. The family-like community we enjoyed in Lomalinda encouraged the children to call the adults “Aunt” and “Uncle.” “Aunt” Char and her husband were the parents of the Children’s Home, where some of the children of the translators would stay when their parents would visit the communities they were serving as they translated the New Testament into their language.

Another one of those “Aunts”, “Aunt” Lee, lives in the same retirement community as Grandma, so we enjoyed a reunion of my brother and me with her after some years. “Aunt” Lee served our Lomalinda community in various ways, including as a nurse and in our Post Office. Grandma’s 90th birthday party reminded me of our spiritual family that has grown throughout the years. Heaven will definitely be a wonderful reunion…. we will see our Savior face to face, and we will also see our brothers and sisters in the faith.

Also in November, we enjoyed a variation on the Crusty Dinner Rolls recipe. I had more than enough dough to fill 18 muffin tins with the cloverleaf rolls… so I rolled out the left over dough, added sugar, cinnamon, and raisins, and we enjoyed the tasty little loaves. We enjoy breakfast at any time of the day, so Brody scrambled some eggs and served them with the sweet rolls. I almost didn’t get a picture since they were consumed rapidly!

Crusty Dinner Rolls as Sweet Rolls

Crusty Dinner Rolls as Sweet Rolls

It is good to give thanks to the Lord

And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;

To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning

And Your faithfulness by night,

With the ten-stringed lute and with the harp,

With resounding music upon the lyre.

For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done,

I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.

Psalm 92:1-4 (NASB)

Thanksgiving Part II

We are thankful for a special day set aside to help us focus on thanking our Lord for His work in our lives! Today, we are thankful to have the energy to exercise. When I was single, I sometimes would try to get back into the routine of walking and running regularly, but without another person to hold me accountable, I never kept up with the idea very well. Now that Brody is willing to help me keep going, we are increasing our walking and jogging. I am thankful, too, for how he helps me be accountable in my spiritual walk. When I am prone to being worked up into a lather about various difficulties, he often helps me refocus on God’s plan from eternity past and how He is working it out (Psalm 33:10-11).

 As Christmas approaches, I am thankful for the soothing sounds coming from the piano as Brody practices several beautiful Christmas songs. On Thanksgiving Day, Brody and I enjoyed a good time with Grandma and Ole and then we also visited Quaker Gardens in Stanton that afternoon. The residents were pleased with Brody’s piano concert of Thanksgiving and Christmas songs, and we enjoyed spending part of the day with them. We never thought Brody might be able to earn a little extra income from his piano playing! We are thankful for the many different ways the Lord provides for us, and we praise Him for His kindness in choosing a pleasant way for Brody to earn the extra income.

 I am also thankful for our Thanksgiving meal turning out well! This year, my turkey turned out the best ever. I cooked it a couple of days before Thanksgiving, and this time, I took a more simple approach. I combined some herbs, spices and butter and spread them over the turkey. Instead of opening the oven regularly to baste the bird, I left it alone. Since I had one of my debilitating headaches, I stumbled around in pain for most of the afternoon, and forgot about the turkey in the oven! By the time I remembered the turkey was in there, the little red “pop-up” indicator had popped up and Brody and I agreed that the bird looked well-cooked. As I removed it from the pan for its photo shoot, a wing came off, and I figured that was another indicator that the meat was cooked through. This was such an improvement over last year’s result! (Last year, the turkey didn’t cook completely. The year before that, I made a stuffing that used the giblets, and decided I’d never do THAT again! I tried some other ideas for the giblets this year, and I’ll share them later.)

 I was particularly pleased with my first attempt at gluten-free dressing! Brody and I called Daddy and Candy for a pre-Thanksgiving chat a few days before Thanksgiving, and we caught her in the kitchen, preparing for the dressing she was making for (I think) 60 people. I quizzed her over the phone for her method of making stuffing, and decided I’d give it a try this year, making adjustments to make the dish gluten-free and Brody-safe. The result was wonderful!

 For the garnet yams and the green beans, I chose a simple method that I knew would work for Brody. I followed the Grandma’s Green Beans recipe from A Recipe for Survival (page 91), and for the yams, I steamed them and then simply reheated them with a bit of key lime juice, butter, salt and a slight drizzle of honey. The results were tasty side dishes without all the extra creamy and sugary additions often found on Thanksgiving tables – we felt good after eating – no pain from overeating nor from food disagreeing with us.

 The cranberry sauce turned out well, too! Using the relish dish from my great-grandma made it taste better … well, at least it made it look better! 🙂 It tasted really good, too. I’ll share that recipe eventually.

 The gravy was wonderful! I’m so excited about how everything turned out, that I haven’t decided yet which recipes I’ll save for a second book, (if the Lord wills) and which ones I’ll post now. I’m thankful for how our eating has improved over these 3 and ½ years! My initial recipes in 2009 kept us alive, but weren’t really worth repeating later as I learned more about cooking without wheat, rye, oats, barley, corn, potatoes and onions. I am thankful for the improvements over the years! Be encouraged – if you are struggling right now to find foods that work for you or your family member, keep on experimenting! In time, you’ll develop recipes that work for your family, too!

 Not pictured are the pumpkin pie and the crusty dinner rolls. In our household, the half-life of crusty dinner rolls is approximately 20 minutes, and since I used much of the batch to make the dressing, not a single roll was available for the photo shoot. Brody made the pumpkin pie the next day while I was working, so we didn’t have that for the photo. But, you’ve seen Aunt Nellie’s Pumpkin Pie (page 163 of A Recipe for Survival and a Sample Recipe on this website) in previous posts anyway. The green salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing (page 154 from A Recipe for Survival) rounded out our gluten-free, tasty, economical and pain-free meal. These are wonderful reasons to give our gracious Lord much praise and thanks!

Thanksgiving Part I

A Gospel Primer, by Milton Vincent, continues to help me focus on the glories of God’s love. As we approach Thanksgiving Day this year, I remember God’s many blessings to me. Topping my list is God’s meeting my spiritual needs through Christ. I am also thankful for Brody and for improved health for both of us. We are thankful for our families and friends as well as the jobs God has given us. We are also thankful for a loving church family at Bible Church of Buena Park.

I experience countless other blessings each day which I know I take for granted. I pray I will notice God’s kindnesses toward me more readily each day. Since we discovered how much Brody’s health improves when he avoids even trace amounts of gluten, oats, corn, potatoes and onions, we have grown in our appreciation for recipes which 1) don’t make Brody sick, 2) are economical, 3) taste at least somewhat appealing, and 4) have a texture that is, at the least, not appalling! 🙂

 So, when I tried a new dinner roll recipe for him recently, and it turned out well, we were very thankful! Using a similar thought process as described in detail in A Recipe for Survival, I converted a normal gluten-filled recipe from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook,* to make these gluten-free crusty dinner rolls. On my second experiment, I wanted to try a little more tapioca flour to see if the rolls would be a little more fluffy. The second experiment was well-received by my taste-testers last night, so now, I am willing to share the recipe with you! If the Lord wills, we’ll one day publish another book with more recipes. By that time, I imagine this recipe will have improved even more (I will try adding rice bran and flaxseed for my next experiment), but for now, we are thankful for this recipe! I hope you enjoy it, too – if you tweak it to meet your needs, I’d enjoy hearing what you did to make it work for your particular special food needs.

Crusty Dinner Rolls

Dry Mix:

¾ tsp xanthan gum

¾ tsp salt

½ cup rice flour

1 ½ cup tapioca flour

1 ¼ tsp yeast

 Wet Mix:

1 cup goat milk

1/3 cup raw cane sugar

1/3 cup butter

1 tsp yeast

Final Additions:

2 beaten eggs

1 cup rice flour

1 cup tapioca flour

 Combine the Dry Mix in a bowl and stir well. For the Wet Mix, warm the milk, sugar and butter in a sauce pan until the butter is almost melted. Stir in the 1 tsp yeast. While the yeast is warming up in the Wet Mix, prepare the Final Additions by beating the eggs and also combining the rice flour with the tapioca flour in a bowl. Also, lightly butter a cast iron skillet for extra crusty rolls, or butter 18 standard-sized muffin tins for clover-leaf rolls.

Pour the Wet Mix into the Dry Mix. Using a hand mixer, mix well. Add in the Final Additions; you will likely have to finish stirring the dough by hand with a wooden spoon. Form the dough into a sphere in the bowl.

Melt 1 Tbsp of butter and then spread it on the top of the dough and as much as possible, spread some down the sides of the sphere of dough. The dough is quite sticky and more moist-looking than “regular” dough.

Cover the bowl with a moist towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Divide the dough into half and let it rest for 10 minutes. Form little spheres of the dough to make clover-leaf shapes if using the muffin tins, or place the spheres into a cast iron skillet. Cover the dough with a moist towel and allow it to rise for 30 minutes.

Spread a little melted butter on top of the rolls and bake them at 375 F for about 30 minutes, or until the tops are a golden brown. Immediately remove the rolls from the pans and cool them on wire racks. We enjoy these with butter and honey.

*Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, 11th Edition, Copyright 1996, Meredith Corporation, Des Moines, Iowa, p. 102.