Happy Thanksgiving! (and the day after)

I’m taking a couple of days off from my CRAZY life for Thanksgiving break. Just in time because I really needed a break — life has been nuts. Well played Mr. Turkey. I needed this.

My family is all gathered together in Minnesota, and of course I’m not there — which is a little sad, but okay, because I will be there for Christmas in one month! And one of my favorite things about being a Jacob is Ben’s family’s tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving. It’s not just one powerful meal on a Thursday afternoon. They make a big deal out of it. They rent a beach house in Virginia Beach and the whole family hangs out there for much of Thanksgiving week. It’s a lot of fun and you end up spending a lot more quality time together when you’re all together in one house for a few days. :)

It’s lovely to be at the beach. The past few days have been overcast, but today is sunny. No matter what the weather, though, it’s fun to watch the huge waves crashing on the shore.

Yesterday (on Thanksgiving Day) of course most of the day was spent making the huge meal. After that we always watch Elf. Best movie ever.

I think I might like the day after Thanksgiving even better than Thanksgiving itself. And no, not because it’s Black Friday. I don’t usually go shopping, and if I do, it’s in the afternoon once all the crazies have gone back home. ;-) I love how relaxing Thanksgiving is, and I don’t want to spoil it with a hectic and potentially dangerous trample-fest. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad — I wouldn’t know — but I’m just not interested.

What AM I interested in, then? One word: baking. During the week we have been at the beach house I have made cookies, homemade pretzels, pumpkin pie, apple pie bars, and just this morning, caramel rolls. Among other things. I don’t know what it is, but anytime I have a minute these days I just want to bake something delicious and feed it to appreciative people. Which the Jacobs are. The caramel rolls this morning turned out delicious … even though I used refrigerated dough because I was out of flour.

Want to make some? You’ll need 2 cans refrigerated breadstick dough, lots of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and heavy cream.

Grease 2 round pans and preheat the oven to 375.

To make really easy homemade caramel sauce: In a saucepan, combine 1 stick butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup heavy cream, and a pinch of salt. Heat over medium heat to boiling, watching and stirring it so it doesn’t stick or boil over. Remove from heat. Pour about 1/3 of the caramel sauce into one of the greased pans, another 1/3 into the other greased pan, and reserve the last 1/3 for drizzling on the rolls after they are done.

Open up the 2 cans of dough. For each can of dough, spread the whole piece out on the counter without separating it into pieces. Drizzle melted butter all over the dough and sprinkle with brown sugar and plenty of cinnamon. Roll up from the short end to make a log. Then use a knife (or dental floss) to cut into six rolls. Once you do this with both cans of dough you’ll have 12 rolls.

Put the rolls into the caramel-sauce-coated pans and stick those babies in the oven. Bake about 15 minutes — rolls will be browned and caramel sauce will be bubbly. Remove and let them sit for about 5 minutes to let the sauce thicken a bit. Then invert them onto a plate and drizzle with the rest of the caramel sauce. Serve to your grateful family. :-)

Happy Thanksgiving!

All photos taken by my talented brother-in-law Jonathan Jacob.

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