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Passing the cinnamon roll test
A Woman's View
Judi Tabler color mug

Isn’t this Fall weather refreshing? The change is welcome, isn’t it?

And happiness of happiness, our hard-working garden is giving up. The only plants that have not gotten the hint yet are the tomatoes! The cucumbers knew it was their time, as well as their neighbors, the squash and the green peppers. But the jalapenos are still hangin’ in there.

This past week, the Santa Fe Trail Center in partnership with the Santa Fe Trail Association and the Fort Larned National Historical Site sponsored a weekend “Rendezvous.” This year, the 19th Biennial History Seminar theme was “Death on the Santa Fe Trail.” It was a tremendous success. 

It takes great dedication and hard work from many to present this weekend-long event. Sadly, I would miss the occasions because of company, and a full schedule. However, the committee called and asked me if I would bring two dozen cinnamon rolls for the Saturday morning breakfast. 

Two days ahead of the event, I made sure I had the ingredients, the frozen cinnamon rolls, and the aluminum, disposable pans for the preparation. I found room in the freezer for the frozen rolls, and I laid the four pans where I would find them in the rush and hurry of our activity.

Yes sir. I was prepared.

On Friday, I and my company were set to spend the afternoon at Rock Haven Spa, about an hour away. I knew it would be a push to slap the rolls into the pans to rise later in the evening, so I wanted to be sure everything was set and rarin’ to go.

On the morning of the spa trip, I began to check my assembled items. I couldn’t find the pans anywhere. I looked in every “logical” location possible. They were not on a shelf by the freezer. They were not in the cupboards, nor in the laundry room. They were not under the bed, in a closet (See? I was getting desperate!), or still in the car. 

Whatever I did with them, I certainly hid them well from anyone who would ever want to find them. Is there prize money out there for a well hidden set of aluminum pans? If so, I WIN!

Frustrated and perturbed, I decided to return to the store and buy four more aluminum, disposable pans.

Arriving home, I stacked everything in a secure spot (right in the middle of the kitchen) and we left for the spa. THIS would be an occasion where I welcomed the massage!

Arriving home about 7, the first thing I did was to slap the rolls in the pans. Then, we attended to other things like eating dinner, and describing our day to Fred. After about three hours, the rolls were raised to just the right size. I turned on the oven, poured the ingredients over the tops of the rolls, and prepared for the final phase. 

If you remember the story of the raisin cream pie, you must realize that anything could go askew at this late hour of the night. 

I contentedly slipped the pans into the preheated oven and set the timer. (Timing of these buggers is very important. I have made raw rolls, and I have turned out rocks for rolls ... so I know that I need to be exact.) About 10 minutes into the process, the oven began to smoke profusely. Cough, cough. Fred kindly remarked, “What’s wrong?”

You see, we have been married a long time, and Fred and I know to be careful with our accusations. Instead of “For Pete’s sakes, Annie, what have you done now?! or “Oh NO! Again? You burned something again? Tradition lives on!”  

No, he kindly intimated to me that something wasn’t right.

A chunky french fry was blackened and burning in the back of the oven. I didn’t want to open the oven because of the timing, but on the other hand, I didn’t want this to continue. I found a long yard stick, opened the oven, and fished the blackened thing out of there.

Fred, in the meantime, did the routine. He opened the windows and turned on the fan over the stove. Wisps of smoke twirled around the kitchen ceiling.

At 10 till midnight, precisely the time Cinderella’s coach threatened to turn back into a pumpkin, the beautiful rolls came out of the oven. 

What a relief. 

But, now, almost four days after, we still have not found the original bag of aluminum pans. Let me know if you find them.

Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at Visit her website