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Last week I mentioned Aunt Julia who grew up in the same house as I did, and married Joe Olson, the boy “next door”.

Joe’s parents, Peter and Hannah, lived in a dugout before building this house featured with this blog. (A larger home was built on their farm before I was born, so I was never in the original home.)

We were frequent visitors to Joe and Aunt Julia Olson’s house when I was growing up, and she always offered “lunch” to us. Forenoon lunch or afternoon lunch was on either side of “dinner”, the noon meal. “Supper” was the evening meal.

I remember where she kept her store bought coconut bar cookies in the cupboard on the north wall of her kitchen. Although she was well known for her baking, I don’t know if she thought these cookies were a better treat, or it was her reserve stash to use as backup if her own cookie jar was empty.

My favorite treat made by Aunt Julia was actually her potato rolls. If my memory serves me right, she saved mashed potatoes from the Sunday meal and used them to make the rolls on Monday. It’s been a long time since I made them, but I can still smell and taste them right out of the oven.

Maybe it’s time I make a batch myself. Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try them. This is out of my book Egg Gravy: Authentic Recipes from the Butter in the Well Series.

 Julia’s Potato Rolls

1 cup flour
½ cup sugar (scant)
1 cup mashed potatoes
salt to taste
¾ cup lard
½ cup lukewarm water
1 cup sweet milk
1 yeast cake
2 eggs, well beaten

Mix all ingredients, adding flour and yeast (mixed with water) last. Set to rise for two hours in a warm place, add 5 to 6 cups flour. Let rise again, mold into rolls, rise again, and bake in moderate oven. (Note there is no oven temperature or baking time in the recipe as women knew their wood oven.)

If you try the recipe, please let me know what you thought of Julia’s rolls. You’ll be eating a bit of pioneer cooking…

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Comment by Linda "Sue" Robertson, TN on March 31, 2012 at 7:27pm

Linda "Sue" Robertson, TN said…

Linda last night I finished the "Planting Dreams" series.  I loved it!  Finishing up Cultivating Hope the tears were just flowing.  I had to stop reading before I finished that one or I would have bawled all night.  I then picked it up again the next day and was ok reading to the end.  I loved the way you wrote book 3, with it being Charlotta's last day on this earth.  Very touching and insightful.  She is a friend of mine now, gone but never forgotten.  I so look forward to the other books.   I know so little about my daddy's side of our family. Makes me wish now I did.  Daddy died when I was 13.  His sister lived in Buffalo, New York and has since passed away.   Thank you for sharing your family with us. 

Comment by Linda Hubalek on March 31, 2012 at 12:22pm

Hi Linda Sue,

By now you're done with Cultivating Hope. What did you think of the book?
The part of giving birth to one, and losing two children within a short time frame was a true story. The pictures of the kids in caskets are the only photos of the children we have. When I as growing up, these photos were in a very old padded album on a table in my grandparent's living room, but I never asked or realized who these children were until researching the book series decades later.

Comment by Linda "Sue" Robertson, TN on March 28, 2012 at 12:52pm

Hi Linda!! Thanks for the recipe.  Memories again!! My grandmother had an Aunt Jemima cookie jar that she always kept filled with goodies for me when I would go to the farm.  She kept it on top of her Hoosier Cabinet.  My brother's son has the Hoosier and I have the cookie jar.  Every time you blog you stir up memories for me.  I wish we could have a day together and just swap stories and pictures because their farm house looks much the same.  The farm was sold off after my grandfather died.  Sibling rivalry!! So sad.  There was enough land for all of us to have enough to build on. 


I am in the 2nd book of your series "Planting Dreams".   Just go though reading about shucking the corn.  Charlotta and her husband Samuel really went though a lot to come to America. Your vivid desciptions and story are captivating.  I am throughly enjoying reading these accounts even though some of it is fiction it gives the reader a glimpse of what they went through.  Those first years, having your babies in a dugout, I can't imagine and even went so far as to say that when she moved into the house she missed the security of the dugout. Amazing lady, thank you so much for sharing your families history. 

Comment by Pam/NY on March 28, 2012 at 10:23am

I don't know if my mom's recipe is the same, but we have these at holiday time! Keep the stories coming!

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