Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The 'Lost' Sunday & "Perky" Cinnamon Rolls
This Sunday brought a close to the series 'Lost'. Not just a show, but an institution I've invested several years dedicated to watching: Wondering what the black smoke meant, If the castaways would get off the island, Are they even on an island, Will Kate end up with Jack or Sawyer. So many questions! After watching the finale, I now feel I have some of the answers. At the very least, I was left with enough suppositions to form some conclusions of my own.
If you were a fan, maybe you'll recall the first season, when Sawyer was reading the Richard Adams book 'Watership Down'? I had read the book about a year earlier and being so presently familiar with it, believed that all the answers for what was to come would be in that book. Turns out, as the show unfolded, that clue would become more and more meaningful.
My Take: Ultimately I think the show explored the potential good and evil that exists within all of us. I believe it served as a didactic, and sort of litmus test, albeit on a grander scale, for who in us would show up when faced with decisions that, though serve for the better of everyone: humanity, including ourselves, asks us to make sacrifices to our individual sense of comfort and what we think we believe. And how achieving more of one state than the other, conscious acts of good over evil, transcends even our sacrifices and determines the place we'll call home, and moreover, what "home" is for each of us. For Jack, that was being surrounded by the people he loves. Earth, Heaven, some alternate sideways world, the location of which notwithstanding.
In the end, my heart was broken when Jack and Kate exchanged "I love you's" and kissed, knowing they may not see each other again. This made the reunion of Sawyer and Juliet bittersweet, but it all worked out. Hugo, a character I hitherto didn't like, emerged as a hero. Ben learned he did matter. I cried two and 1/2 times, one of which was really ugly. And they all made it "home."
"So much good, so much evil. Just add water."
— Markus Zusak 'The Book Thief'
For me, home is everything in my life that represents healing: books, exercise, my fiancé, cooking, fresh air, and on ad infinitum.
What is home for you?
Cappuccino Cinnamon Rolls
Recipe courtesy and Adapted from Taste of Home
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
3/4 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
1/2 cup homemade buttermilk (Add 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar to 1/2 cup whole milk, stir. Wait 10 minutes or until curdled and stir again before using)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
5-1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 teaspoons instant coffee granules (optional)
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
*Icing/Frosting recipes' follow directions.
To large bowl, add water, sprinkle yeast over-top and allow to dissolve. Next add warmed milk, buttermilk, sugar, butter and 4 cups flour. With a mixer on medium speed, or using a fork, beat or stir until smooth. You may not need all of the remaining flour, but using some, stir in a little at a time, enough to form a soft dough. You want the end result to be a little sticky.
Turn dough out of bowl onto a floured surface; Knead for about 6-8 minutes, or until dough becomes smooth and elastic. Wash, dry completely and grease the large bowl. Return kneaded dough to large greased bowl and turn once. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise in warm place until dough has doubled in size, approximately an hour.
After an hour, punch down risen dough and turn out onto a large floured surface (you'll need the room). Trying to get as close as you can to 18-in. x 12-in., roll out dough into rectangular shape. Using brush, completely cover dough in layer of butter. In small bowl, mix brown sugar, coffee granules and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough leaving 1/2 in. of the edges clear of the sugar mixture.
Select one of the 18 in. long sides and roll seam over, continue to roll dough in same direction until complete (think jelly-roll style), pinch seam to seal. Recipe yields about 12 cinnamon rolls; cut into 12 slices.
Grease 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan; place rolls, cut side facing down, in pan. Cover with plastic and allow to rise a 2nd time until doubled in size, 30 minutes approximately.
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake rolls for 22-28 minutes or until lightly brown in color. Sit pan on wire rack and allow to cool some. Spread icing over rolls while still warm. Serve immediately and Enjoy.
This is just a matter of taste, but I thought I would give cream cheese icing a try since I've always had traditional powdered sugar glaze. I prefer the latter, but just in case you like cream cheese icing on yours, I'll give you the recipe for both, tradition sugar and cream cheese icing.
Cream Cheese Icing
1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons milk
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, confectioners' sugar and milk. Beat until creamy.
Traditional Confectioners' Sugar Icing
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
Milk or cream (2 to 4 tablespoons), more if needed
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and, with hand mixer on medium, mix until creamy.
This is what your dough should look like before kneading.
After the dough has been kneaded.
After the dough has been allowed to rise.
After the dough has been rolled out, sprinkle with sugar mixture and begin rolling one of the long sides into jelly-roll.
Cut your rolls into 12 slices and place, cut side down, in greased pan.
Voila! Eat while still warm.