While spending a month with my parents this summer, my mom commented one day about how she and I are very different cooks.  While I prefer to incorporate lots of fresh herbs and love international flavours, she leans toward the more classic meat-and-potatoes kind of cooking.  It’s something we have learned to appreciate about each other; when we’re together, my mom requests that I make hummus and souvlaki while I go weak in the knees for her Yummy Chicken, roasted turkey or fresh buns.

Those of you who know my Mom know that her fresh buns are infamous. They really are velvety soft pillows of carbohydrate perfection. In my early 20s, I tried making buns a few times and each time was a colossal failure (yeast dough and I  simply do not work well together).  After Jeff and I got married, I eyed his bread machine suspiciously for a year before learning that this amazing contraption could

turn out perfect dough, no matter my lack of talent for kneading.  Between the machine and some very old but fantastically seasoned bread pans, I think I’ve come up with buns that even my Mom would be impressed with.


Almost My Mom’s Buns
from my own trial and error
Yield: 1 dozen hamburger buns or 2 dozen dinner rolls

1 cup water
2/3 cup milk
2 Tbsp margerine or shortening
3 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp yeast

Measure ingredients into dough machine in order recommended by manufacturer (I do it in the order listed above). Select dough setting, push start, then sit back & relax. When cycle is complete, turn onto floured surface. Divide into buns; 12 hamburger size or 18-24 roll size. Shape each piece into a smooth ball, place in pan and cover with a light towel. Let rise in a warm and happy place until nearly double- about 40 minutes. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Time yourself to see how long you can wait before devouring the first one. Enjoy!

Saturday was a chilly day here on the Wet West Coast- a day that called for soup and buns. Growing up, I never really took a shine to my mom’s borscht and ate it as infrequently as I could get away with. While living in Eastern Europe, I learned to make and love true Russian Borscht- with beets, beef, and lots of fresh dill. And the most important part- a dollop of sour cream. Jeff joked that in spending an afternoon baking buns and making borscht, my Mennonite-ness was unquestionably and strongly intact! No doubt, there is something really comforting about eating food that within my heritage, is tradition. It just feels like home.


4 thoughts on “Tradition

  1. you need a link to your Borscht recipe!! The buns look great and you are right, yeasted dough is a bear. My world changed when I got my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and I decided it's all in the kneading too. And just fyi we've enjoyed your mango grain salad all summer, thanks for posting.

  2. Hi Angela! Yes- I also LOVE my Kitchen Aid for making dough (and many other things). It's funny- I used the gift certificate your parents gave us as a wedding gift to buy mine! I think of them often when I use it.

    I didn't think a borscht recipe was exciting enough to post but will do that later today. It is so great to hear from you- I hope your family is well! Stef

  3. i've been stalking your blog since this summer, now it's a habit! keep up the good posting! And when your soup looks that delish in the picture you HAVE to post a recipe! hehe

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