New Pastry Chef in the Derry Household!

This year I was really worried that I wouldn't be up to making the traditional fragunas on Christmas Eve but Tim promised since he had the day off (and the Country Club was closed) that he would help me. However, he insisted that he would only help on the condition that he could experiment a little. He had some strange ideas including lemon juice instead of butter which I nixed. I made sure that I had all the ingredients including those for his unusual variations and as we prepared to start the assembly of the fragunas, mixed the dough in my mixer with the dough hook and set it aside to rest while we gathered all the other items, we realized that there was no ROLLING PIN in the house. My old rolling pin had severely cracked last year and Tim had thrown it away and not told me. So we set to work trying to locate a rolling pin to make our pastries - we called Mary-ellen, no luck, called Ron Preller - his was in use, Giant and Home Goods didn't one either. We tried to peel the label off of a bottle of wine but that didn't work so we ended up using my tiny little pastry roller.

Tim was very proud of how his dough had risen in the bowl. (It didn't seem to matter I was the one who told him to cover it and place it in a warm dark corner.) He proceeded to make several new variations of the old family favorite. Of course, I insisted on some regular old standbys but Tim moved on to honey, cinnamon, raisin, nut in one roll, regular with nut in another roll, chocolate raisin nut in another, next came chocolate cinnamon raisin, and finally the last roll was cooked whole and sliced after cooking.

Honey was a disaster - it seemed to ooze out while cooking and everything was a bit too sticky and not very sweet. Those with nuts (chopped walnuts) were good. The chocolate ones seemed to have concentrated in a small area of the pastry so we need to trying refining it in the future but worth another try. Tim seemed to enjoy the experience of trying new variations - I wonder if the bottle of wine had anything to do with it.