A Busy Thanksgiving Week

Well, it’s about time I posted about Thanksgiving, don’t you think? Sorry it’s taken me so long, but it’s been a full week, with lots of food, family, and fun!


Let’s start at the beginning. On Monday—almost a week ago—we headed for Washington to spend Thanksgiving week with Sara and Sean and their family. We took Kona with us, because Sage was stuck in bed for the week under her doctor’s directions.


I was a little nervous about traveling with Kona; I wasn’t sure how he’d handle being away from his mom and dad and flying on a plane, but can I just say that I would take him anywhere! He was an excellent traveling companion, and we had a thoroughly enjoyable time with him.

We were grateful for the “leash.” (I’m not sure if there’s a more acceptable word these days, but that’s what I called it back when the girls were younger.) Kona’s leash doesn’t look much like the ones we had with the girls though; it was a monkey complete with a little pouch for surprises. Without it, we would have been carrying him most of the way, but thanks to the leash, Kona could roam and explore and still be safe. It was definitely a lifesaver.


We kept busy all week long. On Tuesday we had some business meetings, and on Wednesday, Sara and I spent pretty much all our time keeping the kids occupied and out of Dad and Grandpa’s hair—they were busy laying tile in the kids’ bathroom. That was a huge undertaking, but I’m happy to report they finished it—just in time for us to board the plane for our flight back on Friday.


Thursday we had Thanksgiving dinner with Nicki and Travis, who are friends of Sara and Sean. It was delicious food and great company, and the table was set nicer than my table ever is! We made six dozen orange rolls for dinner, which is my traditional contribution, along with a myriad of other things. I also enjoyed watching Sidney and Seth make the name plates. They called Nicki and got a guest list, complete with correct spellings, and you could see the great sense of accomplishment they felt as they checked each name off the list. Stella was so hungry that she started eating the name plate--we took that as a sign that we needed to get her real food!

We arrived back home Friday, and Saturday I opened the refrigerator and realized I missed having Thanksgiving leftovers. When Shalae and Sage both called and said they missed my orange rolls, we planned Thanksgiving 2, which we just finished earlier this evening. Besides Shalae and Sage and their families (Phoebe slept through the entire meal!), my dad and his wife, Justine, came, and Grandpa (Sterling’s father) was there, of course. It was a great way to wrap up a busy but wonderful Thanksgiving week!

In case you’re interested, I’m including the recipe for the orange rolls—Thanksgiving and Christmas just don’t feel complete without them.


Orange Rolls (3 dozen)

In a small bowl, sprinkle 2 Tbs. dry yeast in ½ c. warm water and let set during next two steps.

In a large mixing bowl (I use a Bosch with the kneading paddle) combine 1 c. hot water, ½ c. softened butter, ½ c. granulated sugar, and 2 tsp. salt.

Beat 3 eggs separately in a small bowl, and add to slightly cooled mixture in mixing bowl.

Combine all above ingredients.

Mix in 2 ½ c. white flour until smooth. Then add another 2 ½ c. white flour until sticky smooth.

Leave covered in bowl in refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight.

2 ½ hours before baking, divide dough into thirds.

Roll dough into rectangle and spread 1/3 of the orange mixture (below) evenly onto the dough. Roll long ways and slice into 1” thick pieces (approx. 12 rolls per roll). Place in foil muffin cups. Repeat for all three rolls. (You may use paper cups, but if you use the foil cups, the rolls—and the orange mixture—don’t stick to the foil.)

Let rise approximately 2 hours and bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden.

Orange mixture

Combine ½ c. softened butter, 1 c. granulated sugar, and finely grated orange peel of one or two oranges, depending on your taste. (I use two.)

Just a note:

If you want to make healthier (I didn’t say healthy—only healthier) rolls, you can substitute white flour for wheat flour. I used to do half wheat flour and half white flour until my family whined enough for me to relent and go back to completely white flour. They love me again! And it’s only a few times a year, so why not?

Also, you may want to adjust your temperature and cooking time. We are at approximately 5,000 feet and this works perfectly for me; however, when I was in Washington, the tops browned faster and the centers weren’t quite done. They were still yummy, but not as good as tonight’s rolls.

If you really want to impress your guests, add a little more butter and sugar to the orange mixture. I know, I know. . .maybe that’s why we’re not a big Thanksgiving dessert family—the orange rolls are as good as dessert any day!