It’s not just in the making- SHAPING counts when it comes to dinner rolls-recipe included


Several years ago I put up a tutorial on a previous blog on how to make dinner rolls shaped like turkeys.  Actually- to my eye they look more like mourning doves, but everyone who gets one is delighted- so I’m repeating the tutorial today.  I usually make 5 or 6 dozen of these for The Bake Shop just before our American Thanksgiving- so I’ll be making these this week. 

Turkey Dinner Rolls are easy to portion- easy to shape!
Turkey Dinner Rolls are easy to portion- easy to shape!
Roll out half of dough on pastry board into large circle. Cut circle in quarters, then cut each quarter into 5ths – so you have 20 long triangle pieces of dough.

And now you shape them!
And now you shape them!
If you just want a crescent roll, roll them up from the largest end and place them with the point on the bottom- raise and bake at 375 degrees F for about 12 to 15 min.

But if you are wanting to make rolls that look like turkeys-
But if you are wanting to make rolls that look like turkeys-
( they don’t taste like turkey!)

But they LOOK like turkeys-
But they LOOK like turkeys-
I put a dozen on a baking sheet. And they raise and get all bristly looking in the oven!

Then you need to shape them, using a bamboo shishkabob stick.
Then you need to shape them, using a bamboo shish kabob stick.
Starting at the small pointy end of the dough triangle you roll up the dough about half way up and form it into a ball.

Save back a small piece to make the turkeys head.
Save back a small piece to make the turkeys head.

After you roll it into a ball (only halfway)
After you roll it into a ball (only halfway)
Then pinch the back of the ball together and press the circumference of the ball into the flat part of the triangle that you have left.

So- at this point you have a small ball attached to a flat piece of dough
So- at this point you have a small ball attached to a flat piece of dough

Using your fingers press firmly on the edges of the ball.
Using your fingers press firmly on the edges of the ball.
It will start to look like a big belly of a turkey against the flat back tail piece.

Now - using your bamboo stick -
Now – using your bamboo stick –
catch a small portion of the belly piece and make tail feathers by pressing the stick into scored lines around the belly. Don’t press so hard that you cut all the way through the dough- but you want to leave deeply scored lines to delineate the tail feathers.

Now attach the reserved all of dough b poking all around it .
Now attach the reserved ball of dough poking all around it .
Place the small ball on the top of the belly and poke around the edges to attach.
Allow to raise about 15 minutes and then bake until golden brown!(375 degrees)

They come out all cute and puffy!
They come out all cute and puffy!

And there you have them-  turkey dinner rolls.
And there you have them- turkey dinner rolls.
For Thanksgiving!

Roll recipe- makes about 3 dozen rolls.
6 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk ,scalded in microwave (about  2 min on high)
1 stick butter or margarine
2 eggs
1/2  cup sugar
1 Tbs salt
2 Tbs yeast
1 cup warm water
scant tsp sugar
Put flour, sugar and salt into large bowl and whisk together- form well in center of flour.  Melt butter or margarine in the hot milk and set aside.  Proof yeast (mix  together yeast and sugar, stir in water and watch for growth reaction- it should start growing  almost immediately).  Beat eggs and pour into well, add milk mixture (butter should be completely melted) and stir until the flour and liquid are one mass.  Add proofed yeast-(  if the yeast didn’t raise ,proof another batch, either it is too old or your water was too hot) and mix the whole mess into a sticky dough!  Flour counter, dump dough onto flour , add some more on your hands and knead for at least 10 minutes.  This is a Big ball of dough so put your muscles into it.  Grease large bowl, form dough into a ball and allow to raise, covered, for at least an hour , until doubled in volume.  Cut ball in half and roll into large circle.  Form your rolls and enjoy! 
Don’t forget to be thankful – I usually pray while making these- it makes the whole experience Totally worthwhile!

Making up Christmas potions

When I was a little girl, my mother bought Robin and I a perfume making factory for Christmas.  WE LOVED IT!!

Little eye droppers and funnels and tiny bottles with labels.

And essential oils and sweet almond oil to mix them in- it was seriously a little girl heaven. We mixed and smelled and spilled and splashed and used it up within a week. sigh. sob. groan.

Heaven over in less than a week.

And we had made such an unholy mess in that week that my mother vowed “Never again!!!”.

But we had had a taste of what it could be like- and so- we were ALWAYS finding ways to make potions.  We cut up flowers and pounded roots and mixed and shook and pulverized everything we could find that smelled good – and met with abysmal failure.  Most of our stuff was rank.  Some of it got moldy.  We quit.

Until we were adults and then we started up again, albeit slowly, very slowly.

I started making my own potpourri.  She experimented with spices.

And we started making up our potions again.

Only this time- SUCESSS!

Today, I made some potions .

I made  ginger and vanilla milk bath powders.

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I love this fragrant and milky bubble bath- I make it mostly for myself and give away enough so that I don’t feel too self indulgent.

And I made a chai tea mix-

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The nicest thing about making your own is that you control the flavors!

I mix darjeeling tea with lemon peel, cardamom, cinnamon and milk.

-Those are my favorite- no cloves- and it is delicious with a little honey added at the end for sweetening.

And finally- Mock Boursin Cheese mix-

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Again- my favorite herbs in a dry mix that you add by the teaspoon to 1/2 butter and 1/2 cream cheese to make a wonderful spread.

I want to make up some hot chocolate mixes and some nut mixes as well.

And I love making fruitcake- it seems more like a marvelous mix of magical fruit and nuts than a recipe.  The whole process is so fulfilling to my senses that it is also like a gift I make for myself and share with others as an afterthought.

And I think I’ll make some lip balm and rose and sea salt scrub with shea butter!

Let the magic begin!

And the sock saga continues…


I admit it.

I have a fascination with socks.

Funny thing is- I don’t even like to wear socks.

I don’t even like to wear shoes- I’m mostly barefoot or in sandals.

But I like making socks! 🙂

Only, I make them from the bottom up instead of from the top down.

So the sock is made for individual feet.  You need to have an image of the particular foot to make them this way. 

Who would have thought it was so hard to get people to give you a hard copy of their foot?  I asked my brother at least two months ago for a cardboard cut out of his foot.  I still don’t have it.  I asked his daughter to help him draw around his foot and send me a copy on paper.  Still – no foot.

I asked my niece, Meredith, for a cut out of her foot.  She lives in Japan- I can’t just go and do it myself.

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but that doesn’t help when I need a pattern for her foot.

I told her of my dilemma and she put her foot up to the Skype camera.

I will spare you that particular picture.

I finally traced Cynthia’s foot which is the same length and general size- pared it down to make it slimmer-


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here they are!  Knitted with wool Meredith brought me from New Zealand.

Now I’m working on a pair for Luke!

Bamboo and wool in a charcoal grey!

A basketful of quince…

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I picked them several weeks ago.

And they didn’t look very good then.

And then- life got very busy.

I was preoccupied with knitting.

Mainly socks- but a couple of cosies got into the basket as well.

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And then the baby was born- and I got to be resident Grandma most of this week!

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So when I came home today, and smelled a sweet and earthy smell in my kitchen- I found this basket of wrinkly quinces.

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-wrinkled and browning-

Which I intend to make into pickled quinces, tomorrow.

Here’s the recipe Robin and I found at least 16 years ago- in hopes, someday of having a bumper crop of quinces.  We never did.  So we never made it.

This is the year of the pickled quince!


6-7 quinces

15  fluid oz. cider vinegar

1 1/2 lbs sugar

rind of one lemon

3 whole cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

1 inch piece of ginger root

1 allspice berry

2 vanilla beans


Put the vinegar, sugar and lemon rind into an enameled saucepan.  Wrap the spices in a muslin/cheesecloth bag and add to the pan.  heat until sugar dissolves, cover and simmer10 minutes.

Peel and core quinces and quarter.  Add them to the pickling juice.  Simmer for about 1 hour, or until quinces are soft but still hold their shape.  Cool in the liquid.  Strain quinces and place in a clean preserving jar.  Bring the liquid to a rapid boil and cook until reduced by half.  Pour over the fruit which should be completely immersed.

Place the 2 vanilla beans in the jar and cover tightly.

Keep a month before using.

I’ll let you know how they turn out.

Does anyone know what you use pickled quince for?  I’m thinking it would be like an appetizer, something akin to watermelon rind pickles.

I wish I remembered WHY we were so anxious to make these.

They sure have a lot of good spices in them.

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I want to get them done so I can go back to these socks-

bamboo and wool in a charcoal grey!


pickled quince x 2

I got two jars and only one blister!

The quince was really a pain- most of it was thrown away!  But I ended up with two small jars and I’m happy with that!

Dhal- or what I have been calling spicy Indian soup for years!

And I made soup from a link Celia had on her blog- Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

I can’t figure out how to put up the link from this update area, but look on the blog list on my sidebar

and you will find her!

I love this soup- I lost my recipe I had been following before!  And I just discovered this has a great

glycemic index for diabetics!  Yes!  I love it when a plan comes together! (cue A-Team music)

A bouquet of prayer

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I’m expecting  a new grandson, soon.

That means Willow is expecting and ripe with this baby.

This morning – in anticipation of the event- I walked around the yard- praying for them.  The baby, Willow, Luke and Aidan.  Praying for safety and timing, for wisdom and strength, for health and endurance, for joyous beginnings.  Just praying.   And as I walked and prayed, I picked a branch here, a spray there, a pinch, a pull, and suddenly- a BOUQUET was in my hands.

It was built on the wings of prayer- the pine for the mountains Willow was raised in, the eucalyptus for its fresh enduring fragrance, parsley- that’s for perseverance, sage for wisdom, rosemary for remembrance, bittersweet for the pain and the joy to follow, lavender for the sweetness, and lemongrass for the freshness of spirit.

I didn’t plan what to pick- this is what I had available in my garden today- but it is all appropriate for a new mother and baby.  I brought it inside and wrapped it together with a ribbon and added a bow- a prayer bouquet.


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Of course, I am also prepared with baby and little boy toys-

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Flowers are fine- but the way to Aidan’s heart may just run along a Thomas the train railway track!

Small Joys

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The smell of eucalyptus in my living room!


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Knitted pumpkin tea cozies!

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Clam chowder on a coolish evening.

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Easter lilies blooming in the fall.

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Turkeys made from pressed leaves.

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More knitted tea cozies!

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Stevia finally blooming!

And all of you, my friends!

I love to hear from you- and know that we are touching each others lives in ways that make us better- in small ways that make us stronger- in joyous ways that make the world smaller and easier to deal with each day.

I loved watching the cheering worldwide when the Chilean miners came up from their long immurement.  We need to cheer each other on and celebrate those things that are joyous. 

Thank you for cheering me on!

I am NOT obsessed with socks…

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I just have to make about 7 more pairs.

I made these grey alpaca for Willow- and they fit perfectly.

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” You want me try them on here?

Right now?”

Yes- so I can see if they fit.


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They Fit!

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And so do these!

But if I don’t make a whole lot more, I will forget HOW to make them.

I can’t read a pattern- I have to memorize the steps.

So I’m on a great sock adventure!

Now I have to get some more fine wool.


Yankee Peddler and eucalyptus wreaths

Every year in September- there is a huge craft show/sale with an American Colonial theme here in NE Ohio.  The crafts and foods are made without the use of modern technology, the crafters give demonstrations of their work and there is the wonderful fragrance of wood smoke and cooking food in the woodsas you go from booth to booth.

Aidan and Willow and I had a great time this morning watching the blacksmith make hooks and the candle wicks being dipped into the beeswax, the ladies weaving baskets and peeling apples for fritters.  We ate corn on the cob and fought off the yellow jackets.  We listened to dulcimers being hammered and fiddles being picked and bag pipes being tortured (just kidding, I like bag pipes).

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We saw brooms being made and used a hand drawn drill.

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And danced with the music that was sung for the enjoyment of a happy little boy.

I also bought some eucalyptus and made some wreaths.

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eucalyptus, rosemary and lemongrass

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It smells so good and fresh and looks so ready for the holidays.

Why is it still September?

Happy things-

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Some things make me smile- others make me happy.

Mostly it is people and relationships that make me happy, so when some thing makes me happy, I want to share it.

This blue yarn makes me happy.  I bought it from the woman who raised the sheep that grew it.  She handled the skeins like they were old friends and I imagined as she put them into the bag she whispered goodbye.  The dye is called mountain blue and I haven’t yet decided what to do with it, although I have been thinking it would make a lovely large bowl.

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And this sock makes me happy.

I knitted it over the weekend and enjoyed watching as the pattern appeared.

It is tailor knitted to fit my foot and I will be even happier when I knit up it’s twin.

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This little lavender doll makes me very happy!

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I’m always looking for another way to use lavender and this little doll, following the pattern of pine needle dolls adds a totally feminine cast to the herb and needle doll collection.

🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂

What makes you happy?

Creeks and Gingerbread cemeteries!


Here are a couple of pictures Jordan scanned in for me.

The first couple are of Yellow Creek- summer and winter.

My sister, Robin, took these pictures about 14 or 15 years ago, but they are much better quality than I could get from the bridge or road.


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These are so filled with memories of happy times- watching our kids grow up messing about down at the creek.

The next pictures are from a scrapbook Allyson made me that holds the pictures of the gingerbread houses I’ve made over the years.  On Celia’s blog, Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, I mentioned in the comments that I had made a cemetery in one of the gingerbread creations I made, called The Village.

I thought you might like to see the Village- but I didn’t couldn’t take the pictures off of the page, so you may have to click and zoom to see them better.


The cemetery is next to the church in the upper right hand picture.  In front of the bare brown trees and behind the big evergreen tree.  The Village has all sorts of activity going on, children sledding and throwing snowballs, dogs chasing sleds, and a snowman being built.


I’m sorry the picture quality is so bad.  I am not a great photographer now- but 15 years ago I was even worse!

A little history for this September evening.