Tag Archives: Sweet 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)

Sweet Rolls and the Sweet Exchange

Gluten-free Sweet Rolls

A few months before we decided to publish our book, a friend on a very strict gluten-free diet asked me to develop a sweet roll recipe she could enjoy. Usually, something unique has to occur for me to invest time, energy and ingredients in experimenting with a dessert. For example, both of the cakes I developed were for receptions for friends who were either getting married or renewing their vows. In this case, since my friend was craving the sweet rolls, I decided to work on the project.

A couple of years ago, I posted some tips for following the recipe in our book. You may want to refer to that post before beginning your sweet roll preparation.

In the event that you would like to try preparing the recipe on pages 178-179 of A Recipe for Survival,  I took some video to show how I work with the dough. I prefer to add the water in the recipe so that the dough rises better. It’s a very moist dough.

Gluten-free sweet roll preparation

It starts out as a small amount of dough,

Gluten-free sweet roll dough ready to rise

but then after an hour or so in my oven with the pilot light on, it rises very well.

Our gluten-free dough has risen!

But that means that I need to add more tapioca and/or rice flour just before and while rolling out the dough in order to make it workable.

This was the first time that I tried recording videos, so the results are not stellar as far as lighting and technical quality go, but I didn’t want to invest another day in making sweet rolls and videoing the process. Brody is good at editing videos and cleaning up the rough start I make to video projects; however in this case, he could not do anything with the footage due to how I saved the files off the camera onto the computer. So, here they are, in unedited form. To give credit where it is due, the CD you will hear in the background of the videos is Acoustic Hymns 20 Favorites Featuring Jack Jezzro produced by greentree records. It is one of my favorites to play while I’m at home, cooking.

YouTube Videos

Tea with gluten-free sweet rolls

Based on some conversations with my gluten-free friends, I suspect they dream of a stack of sweet rolls with a cascade of icing!

Gluten-free Sweet Rolls with Icing

A person who craves sweet rolls which don’t make him/her ill may consider this recipe and the results precious.  In fact, one person recently described these rolls as “amazing.” However, even more precious and amazing is the judicial transaction referred to as “The Sweet Exchange” in a 2nd century letter to Diognetus from Mathetes. You can find a helpful background for this letter and the English translation of the original letter at www.earlychristianwritings.com. The letter has been divided into chapters and verses for ease of reference. Chapter 9, verse 5 is the verse which has inspired sermons and songs mentioning “The Sweet Exchange.”

Even sweeter than the tastiest food here on earth is the knowledge that Christ took on my sin and God gave me Christ’s righteousness. Only through Jesus Christ is God both just and merciful. I see His justice in His punishment of my sin in Christ. He shows His mercy by not giving me the punishment I deserve.

All my daily pain, difficulties and disappointments fade into the background as I meditate on the kindness of God to give me Christ’s righteousness and take away my sin. God’s Word calls my good works apart from Christ “filthy rags.” Remembering those verses in Isaiah adds depth to my understanding of a new song, “His Robes for Mine,” our church learned a couple of years ago. This rendition of His Robes for Mine is particularly inspiring and encouraging to me. While preparing this post, I played this over and over. I discovered that I craved it just as I used to crave chocolate! The lyrics for the song can be found here.

Perhaps you’ll enjoy making these “amazing” gluten-free sweet rolls, but more importantly, I pray that you will be encouraged in your difficulties as you meditate on God’s truly amazing grace toward helpless sinners.

Romans 5:6 (NASB) For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.