The Miracle of the Thanksgiving Rolls


It is not Thanksgiving without  Granny’s rolls. They come from a yeast recipe that has been passed down at least three generations. One of our traditions has been for J to make the rolls on Thanksgiving day. For many years, she has done so with our son, T. 

This activity takes place after the turkey is in the oven; the stuffing and cranberry sauce are ready; the table is set. I usually have retreated to the bedroom to nap before guests arrive. 

This year, however, our son was working in Europe over Thanksgiving. There is simply no way J, who has Alzheimer’s disease, could make the rolls by herself. What to do? 

I made the dough on Wednesday night, when I also make the cornbread for stuffing and the cranberry sauce. Into the refrigerator it went, with hope that an overnight chilling would not affect the texture or taste. 

On Thursday afternoon, I absented myself from the kitchen while J dove into the dough. She may not be able to cook generally, or to remember to brush her hair, or to feed the dog, but with a little help from a friend, the rolls came out as good as ever. More important, for at least a brief time, J felt smart and confident. A miracle indeed. 

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