The Gifts That Keep On Giving

When I arrived at work on Monday morning, I was initially a bit startled by the sight of my desk. Usually piled high with an accumulation of the previous weeks’ work and whatever current project I’ve been focused upon, I could actually see the surface of the desktop in places. Had some helpful elves come in over the weekend and sorted and recycled the accumulation?

Nope. I had just forgotten that I had done it myself on Friday in preparation for the arrival of new computers this week in the Daily Globe newsroom. Next on the agenda to be tackled is the sackful of clippings that is under the desk — unseen by anyone else, but I know that it’s there. The shopping bag was bestowed on me well over a year ago by a friend who had clipped out various recipes and articles over the years — many of them written by my mother and a few by me.

Such “gifts” are not unusual. I often am on the receiving end of much-yellowed clippings from DotMom’s “Mixing & Musing” column as people clean out their own files of stuff.  And I appreciate the thought. It’s always fun to reminisce over some of Mom’s writings — in small doses. The big bag that currently resides  under my desk is a bit overwhelming, and since I haven’t found time to go through it in more than a year, it will likely end up in the recyclables in the near future. It’s time to purge.

But I have found time to peruse another recent acquisition — a cookbook passed on to me by Peggy Olson, who was downsizing and thought I might find some blog material in “Better Homes 75 Years of All-Time Favorites.” Published in 1997, it was compiled as part of the Better Homes and Gardens magazine’s 75th anniversary and is filled with tidbits from its history and many, many recipes, And Peggy was right — it makes for some interesting reading.

For instance, did you know that the original name of the magazine when it started in 1922 was Fruit, Garden and Home? It was changed in 1924 to more accurately reflect the publication’s mission.

BH&G also pioneered the standardization of how recipes were printed, using a precise list of ingredients, exact measurements and nutritional information.
I will share more from this history/cookbook in future blogs, but will start out with a recipe from its first content section “Morning Glories” — breakfast items, of course. The picture of this one caught my eye — an impressive spiral pastry that resembles a funnel cake — but made simply using frozen bread dough.

Super Colossal Cinnamon-Pecan Ring

Two 16-ounce loaves frozen white bread dough, thawed

1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ cup chopped pecans

2/3 cup sifted powdered sugar

¼ teaspoon vanilla

milk

Grease a 14-inch pizza pan and set aside. On a lightly floured surface, flatten dough slightly. Cut each loaf into 4 pieces (8 pieces total). Form each piece into a rope about 18 inches long. Brush entire surface of each rope with melted butter or margarine.

Stir together the granulated sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Place mixture in a shallow pan or on a large sheet or foil.

Roll 1 rope in sugar mixture to coat evenly. Shape rope into coil in center of prepared pan. Roll another rope in sugar mixture. Attach securely to end of first rope and coil around first coil. Continue coating remaining ropes with sugar mixture and attaching them to form a 10- to 11-inch circle. Sprinkle any remaining sugar over ring. Sprinkle chopped pecans over top.

Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled, 30 to 40 minutes. (Or cover with plastic wrap and let rise overnight in refrigerator. Before baking, remove from refrigerator and let stand 15-20 minutes.)

Bake in 350-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped. If necessary, cover with foil the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning,

Cool 15 minutes.

Stir together powdered sugar, vanilla and enough milk (about 2 teaspoons) to make a thick glaze. Spoon over ring. Serve warm, cut into wedges. Makes 12 servings.

1 Response

  1. Clarice Fager

    Hi Beth, Love everything about you!!!!!! Just in time with that great recipe. I am having Circle soon and was wondering what to serve? Well, you just made up my mind. Take care and Blessings, Clarice

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