May 6, 2016

A Tribute to Mom

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With Mother's Day right around the corner, I've been thinking about my mom and all the wonderful meals she cooked for her family.  I've shared many of her recipes over the years from entrees and side dishes to breakfast, desserts and foods she made only for holidays.

After she died, as I boxed up the contents of her kitchen -- the electric skillet she received as a wedding present; the measuring cups and spoons she taught me to use as a child; the white plastic mixing bowl she bought at a Tupperware party -- it hit me that I would never eat her cooking again.

It's been almost two decades and I still miss my mom and her cooking. Although there have been birthday cakes, there's never been another one of her made from scratch, three layer coconut cakes with a cooked white icing sprinkled with coconut.  While I'd love to have one more piece of her butterscotch pie, the food I miss the most, though, is her homemade rolls.

Growing up, I can't remember an Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas that there wasn't a basket of icebox rolls on the table.  These rolls also showed up on birthdays, when we had company, or when there were leftover mashed potatoes that needed to be used.  Family and friends weren't the only recipients of these rolls.

A few months after we moved, a repairman was working in the house while a batch of these rolls were baking.  He raved so much about how wonderful they smelled, my mother buttered a couple of rolls while they were hot and gave them to him when he left.  He started eating one as he walked out of the house and said he would be glad to come back any time she was making rolls.

Mom always told me the secret to good rolls was not using too much flour when kneading and cutting out the rolls.  For years, she made the rolls with homemade mashed potatoes, but later on substituted instant mashed potatoes without any discernible difference.  I don't have any pictures to share because I've never made these rolls.  It's also why I didn't elaborate on the directions.  The recipe is exactly as it appears on my mom's recipe card.  

Thanks, mom, for all the wonderful memories, delicious dinners and the strawberry covered recipe box filled with the recipes of my childhood that I can cook for and with your grandchildren who never had the opportunity to know you.

Happy Mother's Day from my mother's kitchen to yours!

Icebox Rolls

2/3 cup butter
3/4 cup scalded milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup cold mashed potatoes 
1 (1/4 oz.) pkg. yeast, dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
4 cups or more all-purpose flour

Melt butter; add to scalded milk.  Add the sugar and salt; let cool to lukewarm.  Add beaten eggs, potatoes, yeast and flour.  You've added almost enough flour when the dough is hard to stir and you have to turn it out on a board and knead it with your hands.  Add flour until the dough will not stick to the board; knead until smooth and elastic.  Put dough into a bowl and let rise until double in bulk.  Roll out and shape rolls.  Place on a greased baking sheet; let rise about 1 hour.  Bake at 400° until nicely brown.

© Margaret's Morsels