Friday, July 31, 2009

For shame, Ole, those are for after the funeral

On Tuesday, Jenny and I picked up our brother at the central Wisconsin airport, then headed to my aunt Rita's house. This was the best place to be because 1) my uncle is a fourth-generation butcher and makes the best sausage in the world and 2) this was where the baking was taking place.

In my family, if you don't work, you don't eat, so we were conscripted immediately to make rolls for the funeral lunch.

The camera-shy team at work -- three aunts and Jenny.

Two of the camera lovers: my sister and my aunt Mary Ann. They are weighing the dough to exactly 1.9 ounces, although Jenny later admitted she just worked on the average and made hers in the range of 1.8 to 2.0, which is Not Right for so many reasons. My mom's side is a bunch of perfectionists, so I don't know where Jen got this slacker attitude, plus Jen is a neo-natal nurse practitioner and she knows that precision matters. Would you give a preemie 1.8 oz of a drug instead of 1.9? I don't think so. Fortunately, the rolls turned out OK.

The finished product. There were five huge bakery trays of rolls -- dozens and dozens. There must have been 150 people at the funeral and there were still rolls left over, yet I was not smart enough to put a few in my purse. I did, however, snag some apple strudel and some lemon bars.

PS You don't know the joke? Here it is. Ole is on his deathbed. The pastor has been to see him to give him the last rites. He is just waiting to die. Then he smells this delicious aroma from the kitchen. Too weak to walk, he rolls out of bed, falls to the floor, and starts crawling: out of the bedroom, down the hall, to the kitchen.

He gets to the kitchen and pulls himself up to the counter. As he is reaching for a fresh out of the oven rhubarb bar -- his favorite dessert in the whole world -- Lena slaps his hand and says, "Ole! Those are for after the funeral!"

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