Buttermilk Rolls Stuffed Cornish Hens with Apricot Glaze Sage Dressing Walnut Molasses Pie Howdy, Howdy, Howdy! November is the month of my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving! Roasted turkey, candied yams, dressing, smashed ‘taters and gravy, sweet peas in cream sauce, pecan pie, homemade ice cream, apple pie, rhubarb pie- need I say more? Oh, I forgot the homemade Buttermilk Rolls. You can’t have a real Thanksgiving meal without fresh made rolls! Every time I make a batch of buttermilk rolls, the yeasty smell of the dough rising always brings back fond memories of my boyhood and the Holiday season. The first thing my mother would do on Thanksgiving morning was to mix up a batch of dough and set it on back of the stove in a big blue bowl to rise. That wonderful aroma would permeate the whole house and awaken a fourteen-year-old boy (who could sleep until noon back then), at an early hour that was usually only seen on a duck hunting morning! I knew that around 7 a.m. there would be a big stack of Buttermilk Hotcakes with scrambled eggs waiting for me too. After breakfast there were things to do to get ready for the usual assortment of aunts, uncles and cousins that were always at hour house for the holidays. My job was to make the homemade ice cream. Now back in 1952 there was no such thing as an electric ice cream mixer. The one my mother bought in 1946 made a gallon or more of ice cream, had a wooden tub the mixer sat in and had a BIG hand crank to turn it with. It was powered by one tall, lanky teenager! (Me.) While I ate breakfast Mom would mix up the ice cream mix and fill the mixer, and by the time I was through eating Dad would be back from the icehouse up on Main Street with a 25-pound block of ice. I’d place the ice in a big washtub, chip it, fill the mixer tub, pour in a big handful of rock salt and commence to cranking. Even outside there on the patio, while I was cranking that old mixer, I could smell that dough rising in the kitchen. After an hour or two you couldn’t crank it anymore, so you iced it down and salted it good, then covered it with a piece of canvas, followed with an old quilt, folded real thick. Of course, the chilly weather really helped to keep it cold, so by 9 a.m. I was usually through making the ice cream. By then, the smell of a turkey roasting had filled the air, along with those heavenly rolls, setting there rising, with a little halo over each one! (I just knew they were manna from Heaven!) Around noon my aunts and uncles would start arriving and before you knew it, it was four o’clock and time to eat! Of course by that time a fourteen-year-old boy could eat his weight in a Thanksgiving meal and usually did! When dessert time came around and the ice cream was dolloped on the pie, one of my aunts would always say, (she couldn’t cook a lick!), "I don’t know how you have time to ‘whip up’ such delicious ice cream!" Whip up? Whip up my foot! She used to say that every year, and when she did, my dad would give me one of his, "if you open your mouth I’ll kill you" looks! That worked until I reached the age of 16, and was 6’2" tall and weighed 200 pounds. Come Thanksgiving of 1954, same aunt, same thing, but different answer this time. I informed her that my mother didn’t "whip up" that big helping of ice cream she wolfed down every year. Her nephew (me) had been up at daylight cranking on that ice cream mixer so she could enjoy it for dessert and had done so for the last six years! The only thing that saved my life was the fact that all of my other aunts, uncles and cousins laughed their heads off! Even my dad kind of grinned, but a glance at my mom got me one of her "chicken hawk" looks. So right after dinner I skipped out the back door, fixed up my old ’36 Ford sedan and took off over to my buddy Bob Mingarm’s house, where I stayed until my folks went to bed. However, next morning my mother and I did have a little "come to Jesus" meeting and I promised her I’d mind my manners a tad bit better in the future. She did allow as to how what I said was kinda funny, and my aunt never again brought up the subject either! It always amazes me how the smell of some things can bring back such memories. I’m sure you folks have such memories that you associate with favorite foods or smells too. I hope that they’re all good ones and maybe humorous too. Well, it’s kind of chilly here on the mountain this morning. I cooked my last meal on my "summer kitchen" two days ago, so it’s put up for the winter. Come on into the kitchen here by the stove where it’s warm. I’ll pour you a cup of Cowboy Coffee and we’ll swap some vittle fixin’ stories! While I was going through my collection of recipes looking for some that would be appropriate for the season, I ran across my mom’s recipe for Buttermilk Rolls and that’s what jogged my memory of the aforementioned story. Even though that has been 48 years ago, this morning as I pulled that card with her recipe on it out of my recipe box, almost instantly the wonderful smell of yeast dough rising seemed to fill my kitchen! I knew right then that I had to share this one with you folks this month. Buttermilk Rolls 1 Pkg. Yeast 1/4-cup warm water (110º) 1 1/2 cups Buttermilk, warmed to 110º 1/2-cup vegetable oil 3 TBSP sugar 1 tsp. Salt 1/2 tsp. Baking soda 4 1/2 cups flour Dissolve yeast in the water for 10 minutes. Beat in the buttermilk, oil, sugar, salt, soda and 2 cups flour until smooth. Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead for 6-8 minutes. Place in a large, greased bowl and turn to grease all sides of the dough. Cover and put in a warm place to rise for 1 1/2 hours. Punch dough down. Divide into 18 balls. Place on a greased baking sheet, cover and let rise until doubled in size. Bake at 400ºF for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. When these rolls are hot from the oven I could butter ‘em and wolf down about six of them along with a big tall glass of cold milk, in just about the time it used to take my mom to say, "don’t you touch them rolls!" (And then I’d hit that back door like a scalded cat!) This next recipe is one that I’ve had for a few years and whenever I’m in the mood for roast chicken or turkey it really fills the bill. It is satisfying and doesn’t make a lot of leftovers. I know a lot of you folks are in the same stage of your life as I am. My kids are all raised and moved away, and I live by myself. So I don’t fix a huge traditional holiday dinner that much anymore. Occasionally all of my children will make a point of spending Thanksgiving with me or maybe some other family will come for dinner, but usually I’ll fix this one and it’s just right for one or two people. When I fix this dish for myself, I freeze the extra to have a week or so later. It also makes for a "special" lunch when friends drop by. Stuffed Cornish Hens with Apricot Glaze 4 Cornish game hens, cleaned and washed well 1 6-oz. Box Long grain rice with seasoning 2 tsp. Tarragon leaves Salt and coarse ground pepper to taste Glaze 1 12-oz. Jar apricot preserves or jam 4 TBSP butter 1/3 cup Orange flavored liqueur Preheat oven to 350º. Prepare rice according to the package directions. Rinse hens and pat dry. Stuff the hens loosely with cooked rice. Fold the wings back and tie the legs together. Season the outside of the hens with tarragon, salt and pepper. Place breast up in a baking pan. Sauce: Combine preserved, butter and liqueur in saucepan. Heat, stirring until well blended. Baste the hens with glaze and put in the oven. Bake the hens one hour and ten minutes, basting frequently with the sauce. Serve with the remaining rice. (A side dish of steamed vegetables goes well with this dish.) You just can’t have a Thanksgiving meal without dressing of some kind. It’s kind of like Lester without Earl. It’s okay I guess, but it’s just not the same! Here’s a recipe that I’v

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