Monday, October 7, 2013

I found my Aunt Eva's roll recipe; I continue to miss her, but maybe I won't have to miss the rolls

    Pictured above is my Aunt Eve Lehman Hurdle's roll recipe as it appeared in the 1976 Marshall County Historical Society Bicentennial Cookbook.
    I recently saw another roll recipe on Facebook and "shared" it so it would be on my timeline. It wasn't long until a cousin chimed in about how she sure would love one of Aunt Eva's "little pan of rolls," as she called them when she dropped by.
    Aunt Eva would make and freeze a huge batch of these rolls on a Saturday, or perhaps another day when she had household help. She then would deliver them at the first sign of a sneeze by a friend or family member. Some people called them Eva's "death rolls," because they were often the first food item to arrive after the death of a loved one. Aunt Eva never beat the Grim Reaper, but she came close a couple of times.
    They were truly good; better than Sister Shubert by a long shot.
   I'm not sure what "fat" means. Jinny assures me it means Crisco. I've done some reading and some outstanding rolls use lard. Jinny can't stand the idea of using lard, so I will either use the lard secretly or use Crisco for the "fat."
    Likewise, I didn't know how to "scald" milk. I found this tutorial on how to scald milk for recipes.
    I haven't "tested" this recipe. I know I should, but I spent some time looking for it and decided to share it while it was on my mind. I plan to make a few pans soon. If any reader should beat me to it, by all means let me know how it turns out.


    I would guess that Aunt Eva met my Uncle Joe Hurdle at the University of Southern Mississippi. Uncle Joe and Uncle Jake (and others?) attended Southern, then Mississippi Normal College, because their first cousin was married to the president, J.B. George.
    It was such a different world back then. I doubt many college presidents today would allow their wife's cousins to take up residence in the president's home to scrimp on college expenses, but that is what they did.
    Uncle Jake's college expenses were defrayed by a $25 per month contribution made by his first cousin, Jimmy Hurdle, the son of Gid Hurdle of Taylor (my great-uncle). While Jimmy attended the Mississippi Synodical College in Holly Springs my grandfather gave him $25 per month on condition that he would repay the loan by helping one of his cousins when it was his turn.
    While Uncle Joe and Uncle Jake were attended Southern, my maternal grandfather was also earning a degree, so that he could enter the Methodist ministry. He had already served as a school superintendent of the Philadelphia schools in the 1920s, so I find it interesting that it took more college education to be a preacher than an educator. I know Uncle Jake was on friendly terms with my grandfather at USM; not sure about Uncle Joe. So it ended up being an odd coincidence when my parents met.
    My grandfather, Inman Moore, managed the campus bookstore while he was a student. The school gave him the use of an acre or two of land where the football stadium is today so that he could have a couple of milk cows. He would milk the cows in the morning and my mother and Uncle Inman would deliver the milk to a few faculty members each day.
    Aunt Eva was a native of Meadville in Franklin County, and read the Franklin Advocate until her death. (I had the pleasure of visiting with Advocate editor and publisher, the late David Webb, some years ago and he couldn't get over how much I looked like Aunt Eva's nephew, a Lehman. I explained that Aunt Eva and I weren't blood kin, but he insisted that I still looked like her nephew). Her parents immigrated from Germany, and she had the chests they used to contain their belongings on the ocean voyage refinished and proudly on display.
    I miss her. I miss her rolls.

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