Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hope Rises: Orange Bowknots

In Sunday school with the youngsters a couple of weeks ago, we were hearing the stories of Jesus and the events that led to the crucifixion. These stories have become passé to many it seems but not so to one little girl who had been propped against me on the floor. The leader was telling of the betrayal of Jesus and this feisty young one sat upright and said, “WHAT? They were mean to Jesus? Why were they MEAN to JESUS? You mean his friends were mean to him? WHY?

Good questions, little one.

Her indignant, darling, freckled face has come across my mind more than a dozen times the last few weeks when I read the paper, listen to the news, or think about ways life has gone wrong. Then her voice comes to mind and shakes my complacency. WHAT? I think, how could this happen? Why are people sometimes cruel, why do bad things happen? Why don’t we all say, “WHAT?” more often, even to the meanness that lurks in our own hearts or to the ways that we fail to do right?

We do know though that wallowing in the "what?" can cause us to despair.
Abbbot Nichols ( asks “Do you ask too much of God? Know that when God’s prize is downfalling, you may find a rising. When God's favor is silence, you may find a melody. When God's blessing is suffering you may sense deep peace. The heart of darkness is new light. The heart of despair is fresh hope. The heart of death is eternal life."

As I thought about this, it seemed important for me to turn to Grandma's cookbook for a recipe that would rise, like hope does when we don’t want to be stuck in the what. We have to do the work. We gather the important stuff, knead until the life giving yeast is spread throughout, and give it a warm place to grow. Rising, growing, living...the good news of Easter.

These rolls are soft and buttery with just a touch of orange flavoring.
Orange Bowknots
1 1/4 cups milk, scalded
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 package yeast
2 T grated orange peel
5 cups flour
Combine sugar, salt, shortening, and scalded milk.
Cool to lukewarm and add yeast to this mixture.
Add beaten eggs, orange juice and grated rind.
Beat mixture thoroughly. Add four gradually, mixing to a soft dough. Cover and let stand 10 minutes.
Knead and then let rise until double its bulk.
Roll dough 1/2 inch thick. cut in 10 inch strips 1/2 inch wide. Tie each strip into a knot. Place on baking sheat and let rise again until double in size. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.
Spread with topping made of:
2 T orange juice
1 tsp. grated orange rind
1 cup confectioners sugar

From the Mennonite Community Cookbook (1950).

Happy Easter

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