Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - 62

F L AV O R S

A Grandmother's Storied Rolls, a Swig
of Eggnogg and a Touch of Divinity
These time-tested recipes speak of community, connection and tradition.
By FRED & JILL SAUCEMAN

Amid Uncertainty, There are Rolls
In the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic last winter and
spring, yeast and flour suddenly became valuable, and
very scarce, commodities, as Americans returned to the
comfort and security of baking. Store shelves were cleared
of these basic kitchen staples.
Like many other Americans, once we were able to secure the precious ingredients, we resurrected recipe files
long forgotten, to celebrate the centrality of bread. This
is one of those cherished recipes we will now return to
during the holidays.
The National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough,
Tennessee, originated, in part, because of a pan of rolls.
Held every October since 1973, the festival brings visitors
from all over the world. The festival's founder, Jimmy
Neil Smith, learned to appreciate the telling of stories in
the home of his grandmother, Pearl Jackson.
"My favorite storytelling
memory is, as a child, sitting around the dinner table
with my family, long after
the dishes were washed and
put away, nibbling on my
grandmother's leftover Parker
House rolls and listening to
stories," recalls Smith.
He never forgot the connections and the memories
those rolls created within his
family. Years ago, he shared
the recipe with us.

Pearl Jackson's rolls helped start
Jonesborough's annual Storytelling
Festival. Photo courtesy Jimmy
Neil Smith.

62

BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

Pearl Jackson's Parker House Rolls
1 pint milk (In Mrs. Jackson's parlance, "sweet" milk)
1 package dry yeast or fresh cake yeast
¼ cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
5 - 6 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon salt
¼ to ½ cup melted butter or margarine
Scald milk until a skim comes on top. Set aside to cool. Now
dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water and allow to get bubbly. Place the milk in a large mixing bowl. Add
remaining sugar, melted butter, yeast, half the flour (2 to 3
cups), and mix well. Cover
mixture and let set for an
hour. Next, add the remaining flour with salt added.
Add more flour if needed to
make a stiff dough. Cover
and let rise to double thickness (approximately 1½ to
2 hours). Punch down and
knead on a floured board.
Roll dough out on the floured
board to ½-inch thickness.
Cut in rounds, dip in melted
butter, and fold over. Place
in a greased pan about ½
inch apart. Cover with waxed
paper in a warm place for 45
minutes or less until almost
double in size. Bake at 475500 degrees until a medium
brown-around 10 to 15
minutes.


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Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020

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