October has to spell cinnamon. Cinnamon Buns to be precise. And as I had never made them before I was determined that they be a success. But the entire process felt like a birthing, a careful process, one that I guarded with utmost diligence. I wanted to prove something to myself more than anything else. And it was challenging, to say the least.
There is lots of flour to begin with. Well not lots but enough to cause your arms and hands to cry out in pain with all the mixing and stirring and kneading involved. I was fine up to the point where I had to find a warm place to allow the dough to rise because our house is cold. The men will disagree with me, but believe me if you are a woman in this house you will find that it is cold. Very cold. Unless you throw on three cardigans and a pair of fleece boots and a hat that is, but by then you tend to end up looking like an eskimo who hasn't seen her neck in over ten years. But nobody seems to notice me but that's another blog for another day.
I thought the linen closet might be the best place to stow my beautiful, smooth and silky dough. It was warm in there. The water heater dominates. It hisses like an old, gurgling steam train. I placed it up on the shelf by clearing off the pile of vacuum bags and hot water bottles. It nestled close to the water tank. I tiptoed away . I crossed my fingers.
After forty minutes I opened the door in the fashion of stealing into a room where a sleeping child lies in dreams. The dough had barely risen. Thought bubbles erupted. Panic. Sweat. I took the bowl down from the shelf and paced around the house like Lady Macbeth, uttering strange things like; failure, waste of flour, nothing works just like my writing. I suddenly started to feel extremely hot. I even shed a cardigan.
It was then that I saw the sunlight streaming in through the glass doors in the porch. I opened the door. It was like a hothouse in there, an oven, temperature surely a guaranteed 1000 degrees. I put the bowl with my precious baby, sorry dough, on the wicker chair and covered it with a towel. I crept away. I waited. I waited. Looked at the clock. Glanced at the recipe. Made the filling by combining the cinnamon and sugar, a handful of raisins. I waited.
I went back after ninety minutes. The dough was glorious, it filled the bowl, doubled if not more. I took it back to the kitchen like a queen with a trophy. Dusted the flour on the counter, rolled out the dough, painted it with butter, sprinkled it with the filling, rolled it up into one giant sausage, sliced it, put it into a pan, placed it back in the porch again until the buns rose and swelled. I dabbed some milk on top to ensure a golden finish and popped them into the oven.
Oh the smell. Oh my god. October I love you. Cinnamon drenched October Cinnamon Buns and powdered sugar icing. And this is what happened; I take the buns out of the oven, they are a deep shade of warm sunshine. I ice them by drizzling a haphazard sprinkle of white and then I say to H, we have to taste them and we do and we stand there in the kitchen, five fifteen p.m. gorging on buns, warm from the oven. One of my sons comes into the kitchen, takes a bite and shouts, 'Starbucks eat your heart out'! Beautiful baking from nothing but flour and yeast really. Now, the words have to come from ink and paper? No, sorry, stupid, they have to come from me. If only it were that simple. Now where did I hide the recipe for that?