County Line Springtime

County Line Springtime

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Resurrection Rolls

"I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date.
"No time to say 'Hello," 'Goodbye,'
"I'm late! I'm late! I'm late!"

The White Rabbit was late in Alice in Wonderland. Easter has come and gone, and this recipe would have been more timely before the big day. For several years, I've looked up recipes for Resurrection Rolls, but I didn't actually make them until last Friday, prior to our Saturday Easter celebration in Topeka. 

I could wait until next year and hope that I remembered I had this recipe lurking around in the files. But I had a request for the recipe. Plus, Jill says she likes these better than cinnamon rolls, so I will likely make them again before Easter. 

The rolls represent the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, thus the name. You put a large marshmallow inside a piece of dough and seal it up. After baking, the roll is hollow inside.

If you want to make them with children, grandchildren or a Sunday School class, here is the symbolism:
  • The piece of dough represents the cloth they wrapped Jesus' body in for burial. 
  • The marshmallow represents Jesus' body.
  • The butter and sugar-cinnamon mixture represent the oils and spices His body was anointed with for burial.
  • Seal the roll tightly around Jesus' body, like the stone was rolled in front of the tomb to secure it. 
  • Wait for the "rising." (Obviously, you're not waiting three days, but you can make that point with the children.)
To speed up this process, you can use frozen yeast rolls that you've thawed instead of making the dough from scratch. I've also seen several recipes that use a can of crescent rolls (and less butter, sugar and cinnamon, since you're only making eight rolls.)

If you're using this for a Sunday School class, you can read the story from the Bible as the rolls are baking. They are so good you won't want to wait until next Easter to make them. And the Easter story is one we should remember every day, not just once a year amidst white lilies and brand new dresses.
Homemade Resurrection Rolls
Makes 32
1/2 recipe Kim's yeast roll dough
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

32 large marshmallows

Make yeast dough as directed. (Click on the above link or use a favorite homemade yeast dough recipe.) Let rise until doubled in bulk. Divide dough in half. Use the other half for crescent rolls, cinnamon rolls or additional Resurrection Rolls.

Divide remaining dough into 32 pieces. Mix sugar and cinnamon together. Dip large marshmallow into melted butter. Roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Flatten one piece of dough. Put marshmallow in the middle of dough, wrapping the dough around and securing the marshmallow inside, making sure it is well covered. Dip into melted butter again and then roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. You can place the balls in muffin cups or place 16 each in two 13- by 9-inch pans. Let them rise until doubled. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes until lightly browned. When you open the rolls, you'll find that the rolls are hollow inside, like Christ's empty tomb. (I did find that the rolls boiled over a bit in the muffin tins, so you need to line the oven with foil if you choose muffin tins.The marshmallow does melt out, making a gooey sauce in the bottom of the pan, which you don't want in your oven.)
Today, I'm linked to Wake Up Wednesdays. Click on the link for recipes from across the country.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Kinley and Hannah didn't get the most eggs at the Susannah Wesley United Methodist Church Easter event and egg hunt. But I'll bet they won the prize for most paparazzi and cheerleaders. Besides their Mommies and Daddies, they had three sets of grandparents and an uncle at the event. Let's just say the cameras and iPhones were clicking away.

On Saturday, the cousins went to the Easter celebration at Jill's and Eric's church. It began with stickers, coloring, games and "fishing" for prizes.
Then, it was time for the egg hunt.  The children were told they could collect 19 eggs each, which seemed to be a generous amount to me. Kinley left with 4. Hannah gathered 2. They were much more enthralled with the church playground. That seemed OK with the parents, who were already contemplating how to ration the candy. (Maybe the Dads were hoping for more so that they could "borrow" some.)
After the gender reveal and naptime for two girls, it was Round 2 for Easter egg hunting. Again, the slide provided a distraction, but they did manage to find all the eggs - eventually - with plenty of encouragement.
We took the girls on a field trip to Orschlen's to check out the baby chicks and the bunnies. We did not purchase either item.
The Sunday morning service at Susannah Wesley was packed with music, which Kinley and this Grandma loved. It was also fun to see Kinley go to children's sermon by herself and get a prime spot right by Pastor Maria.
After church, it was time to take photos in Kinley's Easter finery.
They were usually action shots!
She is one busy girl!
The Kansas wind turned out to provide more than just a method for messing up Easter hairdos. It also propelled a pinwheel from Kinley's Easter basket from Grandma and Grandpa.
We also got her a couple of Llama Llama books. (It's one of her favorite characters.) Mommy helped her add some Minnie Mouse bling to her wardrobe.
Mommy's and Daddy's basket also had the movie, Frozen. (Eric wondered whether it was a gift more for Jill or for Kinley). But I hear it was a hit with the short girl at their house. Grandma wishes she'd been there to see it and relish the soundtrack with my little music maven. Maybe next time! It was a great weekend - even without an afternoon movie matinee!

Monday, April 21, 2014

It's A Girl!

Kinley is getting a little sister!
After their sonogram on Friday, Jill made a checkerboard cake for the big reveal on Saturday with the Grandmas, Grandpas and siblings. She had done something similar when they announced their first pregnancy, but, at that time, the cake was pink and blue, since they didn't know what they were having.

Uncle Brent just may have been pumping Kinley for information before the big moment.

"Are you having a brother or a sister?"

"A sister," she'd say.

"Are you having a sister or a brother?"

"A brudder," she'd say.

Jill then informed us that she would repeat whichever was the last option she heard. So much for any help from the Big Sister.

For the meal, each guest chose a pink or blue plate so we could tally the guesses. There were more pink plates than blue. (None of us figured it was a puppy.)

I can give Kinley lots of advice about being a big sister, since I'm the oldest in my family, too. I was 15 months old when I became a big sister to a little sister, Lisa. (I had just turned 4 when my second sister, Darci, was born, and 9 1/2 when my brother, Kent was born.)
I just hope Kinley and her little sister will get along as well as she and her cousin, Hannah, who is a month younger.
Though they had a squabble or two, most of the time, they were best buddies during a day of gender revealing, Easter fun and lots of giggles.
Photos by Jillian Ladd
We're looking forward to September to meet the newest granddaughter!

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Jesus Tree

Good Friday seems to be anything but good. But if we get through the darkness of the Crucifixion, there is hope.

Last Monday, we moved cattle from one location to another. As Randy backed the trailer up to the barn, the pickup scraped up against a thorny tree at the old farmstead.

"Hey, look!" I told Randy. "It looks like the crown of thorns that Ben has on the altar."

"It's a Jesus tree," Randy confirmed.

Later, as I waited for the guys, I  examined those piercing thorns that would be like a weapon against flesh. And, during this Holy Week, I was once again reminded of Christ's great sacrifice for me.
Later, as I stood at the barn door waiting to close the trailer gate, I looked up and saw a cross formed by beams in the old ramshackle barn. Even on a cloudy, overcast day, the light illumined the snow-dusted cross.
When I look at the cross, I also see a mirror held up to our souls. Each of us hears the whisper of the serpent and at times succumbs. The story of the cross is our story. ... Something in us is broken. ... When I look at the cross, it reminds me of all the things inside myself that I don't like to admit are there, all the ways I've betrayed and denied Christ or hurt other people, all that is in need of redemption and grace. The cross leads me to gratitude and awe. ... I want to walk in His footsteps. I want to live as a citizen of His kingdom. I want to love as He loved." 
Rev. Adam Hamilton from "The Way: Walking in the Footsteps of Christ"
During this solemn day of Good Friday, I still look forward to the promise of Resurrection that we will celebrate on Easter Sunday. We're the blessed ones. We know the rest of the story. May it impact every facet of my life today and every day.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Grass Is Always Greener - Unless It's White

The grass was undoubtedly greener on the other side of the fence ... even on Monday with a covering of snow. 
Because of their earlier shenanigans of repeatedly ignoring the electric fence and going for several unsanctioned strolls to the wheat field, it was time to move the cow-calf pairs at the round top. When we woke up to a couple inches of snow Monday morning, I campaigned with the Farmer that perhaps this job could be done on a different day. It was to no avail. And with good reason: When the guys got the 4-wheeler out of the trailer, the cows again departed for the wheat field.
It took some coercing for them to return to the pens.
You remember I told you about No. R55 who didn't leave the pens when all the rest of her buddies did? We discovered why on Monday morning. She had a new baby. It all made sense to me then: What heavily-pregnant female wants to do any more walking than necessary? She held down the fort while her friends were out gallivanting around.
On Sunday evening, April 13. She was the only one left in the designated area!
On Monday morning, April 14, we discovered why: She finally had her baby.
When we got the rest of the mamas and babies in a smaller pen to load them into the trailer, we left these two behind. The new little heifer was a bit slower than her older "classmates." These two got their very own chauffeured ride later.
Even though I was regretting not wearing heavier socks, I had to admit the snow made for a picture-postcard scene as the trailer left the old farmstead.
It took several trips to get all the mamas and babies transported to the corral east of our house. Since it's permanent fencing rather than electric fence, we'll hope the crew decides to stay in until we move them to summer pastures in early May.
They don't know how good they have it to get their meals delivered every day. It's a service I could use on occasion. I'm afraid Elroy's, Joan's and The Gathering Place don't deliver.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sunday Strolls

I had just cleaned up the supper dishes, and I'd clicked on the DVR button to see what television show we could watch sans commercials on a lazy Sunday evening.

And we got the phone call.
If you have cattle, you've gotten the phone call I'm talking about.
It was a neighbor who said, "You have cattle out."
So much for cuddling up on the couch with my pillow and the remote. 

Instead, we donned shoes and sweatshirts and went to look for the escapees. When we got to the round top corral, there was one lone mama cow in the lot where she was supposed to be. Thanks for your cooperation, ma'm. I should have gotten your number so I could publicly thank you, but I was too busy scanning the horizon for your friends.

The rest of her compatriots had hightailed it to the south. We spotted them beyond a shelterbelt of trees on wheat. Randy drove the pickup and honked the horn, while I waved my arms and said, "hey, hey, hey" out the passenger window.

Thankfully, they turned around and headed back without us having to go and get the 4-wheelers.
Note the dust they are kicking up in our dry wheat field.
Once they got back to the proximity, they didn't seem to want to cross where the electric fence was down. Kind of ironic, since they'd crossed it to begin with.
But, with a little more encouragement, they went back where they were supposed to be.
I stood at the south edge of the fenced area while Randy restretched the electric wire and then turned the battery back on.

Little No. 447 was the first curious bovine to come and check me out.
I had several observers by the time Randy came back to pick me up. Cattle really are curious creatures.
Unfortunately, sometimes their curiosity takes them beyond the fence ... and interferes with a lazy Sunday night.

A week later, we hit the repeat button. I was settling down with my book (and, who am I kidding?, a Sunday afternoon nap), when Randy raced upstairs for pliers and said we had cattle out. It was the same group. The book (and the nap) would have to wait.
Again, No.  R55 was the only one who stayed behind. (I know it looks like they don't have anything to eat, but they were having their meals catered. With more reliability than Pizza Hut delivery guys (at least out here in the boonies), the guys have been delivering hay and water. R55's compatriots were just tempted by greener pastures (also known as wheat fields) on the other side of the electric fence.
I finally had to get out of the pickup to urge this mama and baby along. The baby was convinced it was starving and needed a snack during their march back to the corrals. (It sounds like a typical demanding toddler, don't you think?)

We got them herded back in.
Enough of these Sunday roundups (and other days, too. I just missed out on them.) The boss decided it was time for a change of scenery for this ornery bunch. And weren't we lucky? We got to do that job in snow and cold. Bad timing seems to be the theme, doesn't it?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Schizophrenic Weather

Stafford First United Methodist Church
It was 96 degrees on the bank thermometer when I drove by on Saturday afternoon.
It seemed that we had bypassed spring and skipped ahead to summer.
But the palm branches at Sunday's church service waved in a chilly, overcast day.
And then, overnight on Sunday, we hightailed it back to winter.
A couple of inches of snow blanketed the forsythia ...
and the quince, weighing down the delicate pink flowers with a coverlet of white.
And wouldn't you know it? We needed to move cattle. (More on that later.)
I might have been sorry that I complained about the 96 degrees. While I waited, I distracted myself from the shivering by taking photos. (I should have worn a heavier pair of socks.)
This morning, it was 22 degrees. That's a drop of 76 degrees in a couple of days. (Time will tell how the wheat crop copes. It's a long time until harvest.)

Kansas weather is undeniably schizophrenic.