Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Today I baked my mother's special Christmas cinnamon rolls. My mother served these on Christmas morning every Christmas that I can remember, my whole entire life. She'd make them ahead of time - on the day after Thanksgiving, the same day that she made the Christmas cookie dough. Then she'd freeze them. On Christmas morning we'd heat them up in the oven, frost them, and eat them after my sister and I opened our stockings (when I was little) or after the boys opened their stockings (when I was big).

Christmas was also my mother's birthday. She claimed that she liked having a Christmas birthday, that she liked having her birthday fall on this most special day of all the year.

Last year she and I baked the cinnamon rolls together. You make them with yeast, and the dough has to rise twice. The first time it rises in a bowl covered with a towel, set in a warm place. The second time it rises, it has already been rolled out and made into the cinnamon rolls.

I was nervous. I had never baked them before all my myself, and directions that have to do with yeast have a certain nerve-wracking vagueness to them: dissolve the yeast in warm water (how warm?); scald the milk and then let it cool to room temperature (how scalded is scalded? can I tell room temperature just by sticking the tip of my finger in the bowl?). What if they didn't rise enough? What if they rose too much?

And I couldn't call my mother to ask her any of these questions. I can never call her again.

But they turned out beautifully. They look delicious. I know they'll taste delicious. And the boys and I will eat them tomorrow morning, after they open their stockings, with smiles on our faces, tears in our eyes, and love in our hearts.


  1. Lovely remembrances of your mother, Claudia, that you are keeping bright! Merry Christmas!