Self-care, Joy and Cinnamon Rolls

In my last post I talked about food as self-care and which foods I use in this way.  Some of these foods I eat more often than others.  Some are healthier than others. I guess you could also call some of these foods comfort foods.  (Sometimes comfort and self-care are the same thing.) Sometimes my self-care includes a… ahem… cinnamon roll.

Here is the recipe I use for cinnamon rolls (a.k.a. sticky buns in my family). We make this recipe about two times a year.  Everyone in my family loves these and they disappear very quickly, sometimes becoming the stuff of which battles are made. My grandmother, Aldea, used to make these on holidays. I have made only two small changes to the original recipe, one for health and the other for preference.  I have substituted white whole wheat flour for the white flour.  I do this quite often in recipes and they turn out just as tasty as the original, if not better.  Quite often the foods we love can be made healthier with a tiny change such as this. I also began putting my finished but unbaked rolls in the fridge overnight so I could bake them right before eating.  This way everyone gets a warm and gooey cinnamon roll.  What could be better? (Getting a massage while eating your cinnamon roll?)

I consider making and eating these with my family a few times a year to be part of my self-care.  In making them and teaching my kids to make them I remember doing the same thing with my grandmother which makes me very happy.  I loved my grandmother with all my heart and she taught me many things.  She taught me to bake, to sew, to garden and to knit.  She sent me to massage school. I think of her every time I do these things. Teaching me these things, she shared her time and knowledge with me, showing me how much I was loved and valued. It is wonderful to know that you are or were so greatly treasured by another. Remembering her, I experience sadness because I miss her but I also feel joy.  Feeling joy and knowing how much I am loved is part of self-care for me. I am always looking for ways to find joy.  If that means eating some cinnamon rolls - then so be it - and thank you grammy.


Aldea’s Cinnamon Rolls (a.k.a. Sticky Buns)

3 pkgs dry yeast
3c. water
3/4 c. sugar
3 tsp. salt
10-10.5 c. white whole wheat flour
2 small eggs
3/8 c. veg. oil

Soften yeast in warm water- add sugar, salt and half of flour.  Beat thoroughly, add egg and oil.  Gradually beat in remaining flour until smooth.  Knead the dough for a few minutes and then cover with damp cloth, let rise.

2c. packed brown sugar
12 Tbs. butter
6Tbs. light corn syrup

1c. sugar
2 Tbs. ground cinnamon

In small saucepan combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup.  Cook and stir until butter melts and mixture is blended.  Pour mixture into 13x9x2 inch baking pan.  Sprinkle with pecans.  Divide dough half and roll each into a rectangle on lightly floured surface.  Brush each rectangle with 1.5 tbs. Melted butter.  Mix together sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle ½ mixture over each rectangle.  Roll up and pinch ends together.  Slice into 18 pieces.  Put rolls in pans with syrup.  (You can cover now with tin foil and keep in the refrigerator overnight if you don’t want to bake them until the next day.) Allow to rise about 1.5 hrs. in a warm place. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 12-15 minutes.  Allow to cool 30 sec. before inverting pan.


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