According to my online Merriam-Webster dictionary, tradition is the “handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction.” How I wish I could sing the word “tradition” to you like Tevvy did in Fiddler on the Roof! Traditions are like warm slippers, a cozy fireplace and a hug from a loved one.
With the flip of the calendar page, November is here and family traditions come to mind. Traditionally, November is the month I start decorating for fall. I know many of you have had your orange and yellow decorations out for a couple of months already. Pumpkins can be seen everywhere! Yet I seem to always be slow on the decorating side of the calendar. So, traditionally, November is my fall decorating month.
Living full-time in the RV has changed my traditions slightly. Gone is my mother’s huge turkey platter, the one with the crack that we used only for show, yet it had to be on the table anyway. I no longer buy dozens of mums to place around the yard…I don’t have a yard! And gone are the days of celebrating Thanksgiving with family on the calendar day of Thanksgiving. This year, my sister started a new tradition for us, we celebrated Thanksgiving on Labor Day…complete with all the fixins!
The first day of November was when my husband and I traditionally turn the furnace on for the first time of the new fall season. Traditions are usually good things but this is one tradition I am willing to break now that we live full time in our RV. If the fifth wheel cools off to 59 degrees, I don’t care what time of year it is, I’m turning on the furnace!
Another tradition I would have been doing was stocking up on fresh dug potatoes and carrots. The large soup pot comes out and would soon be filled with beef stew or corn chowder. In the RV, the large soup pot is replaced with my new Instant Pot…replaces six different appliances and takes up much less space.
With the cooler weather comes the desire to bake bread, warming the house and making it smell heavenly. No candle can hold a wick to the smell of freshly baked bread coming right out of the oven.
When our mother was still with us, she would traditionally burn the gravy. Not all traditions are good traditions so someone always had a backup of canned gravy. Mom has been gone thirty years already and it is now traditional to tell the story of her burning the gravy every year for Thanksgiving and it is also traditional to now serve homemade gravy without burning it first!
Another tradition for the family is my Brown Sugar Oatmeal Rolls. We lost our oldest sister a few years ago and this was her favorite roll for the holiday. For a couple of years, I did not make these, but tradition has stood the test of time. We now include these rolls at every family gathering and Thanksgiving meal. I want to share with you my sister’s favorite dinner roll recipe. With this recipe, I include my prayer for you to have a wonderful holiday full of wonderful traditions with the making of many more traditions in your future.
BROWN SUGAR OATMEAL DINNER ROLLS
- 2 cup water
- 1 cup quick oats
- 3 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 package active yeast
- 1/3 cup water, warm
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 ¾ to 5 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
In a saucepan, bring to boil 2 cups water. Add oats and butter. Cook and stir one minute. Cool to lukewarm.
In mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/3 cup warm water. Let yeast sit for 5 minutes. Add oat mixture, sugars, salt and 4 cup flour. Mix until smooth. Turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding enough flour to stiffen the dough. Place dough in greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover with a damp towel and let rise until doubled, usually about one hour.
Punch dough down. Let rest for ten minutes. Shape into 18 dinner rolls. Place in two greased 9 inch round pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 21 – 24 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.