Warning: array_slice() expects parameter 1 to be array, boolean given in /home/uvatha/public_html/kayhoflander/wp-content/plugins/my-twitter-widget/widget.php on line 164

Warning: key() expects parameter 1 to be array, null given in /home/uvatha/public_html/kayhoflander/wp-content/plugins/my-twitter-widget/widget.php on line 164

Tag Archive: Autumn

Nov 20

Bread is king at Thanksgiving dinners. (From my archived columns, first published in The Examiner on November 24, 2011. The Examiner is a daily newspaper published Tuesday through Saturday, serving Eastern Jackson County, Mo.)

parker-house-rolls-840x536

“Bread is the king of the table, and all else is merely the court that surrounds the king. The countries are the soup, the meat, the vegetables, the salad, but bread is king.”

– Louis Bromfield, American novelist, 1896–1956.

Thanksgiving Day is almost here, and dinner smells wonderful, yes it does, but nothing, absolutely nothing, has a finer aroma than light yeast rolls baking in the oven.

Each autumn, as the fourth Thursday in November draws closer, I think a lot about turkey and all the trimmings, including my Dad’s sausage-pecan-apple dressing, a green-bean casserole, fried apples, cranberries, mashed potatoes and turkey gravy, sweet potatoes and a large dollop of whipped cream atop a piece of luscious pumpkin pie.

A Thanksgiving feast could possibly be the most wonderful collection of food one enjoys during the entire year, but since childhood, ‘light’ yeast rolls have been my favorite Thanksgiving Day food.

Yours, too, or perhaps not? Some say yes, some no.

However, I know this to be true, at our house kids pop these heavenly rolls into their mouths like candy. Everyone else around the table eats at least two, and my husband would think the world came to an end if we served Thanksgiving dinner without yeast rolls.

The late Emily Post, renowned newspaper ‘etiquette’ columnist and author, wrote once “bread is like dresses, hats and shoes—in other words, essential!”

When families and friends break bread together, we are indeed sharing an essential food staple that has been a part of our world since the beginning of recorded time.

Bread is important. In fact, noted American chef James Beard once called it the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods.

Out of curiosity, I researched the history of bread and learned, to my surprise, that bread, beer and yeast went hand-in-hand in ancient Egyptian culture, where bread is thought to have first originated. Bread and beer were staples of every meal there. At some point, yeast was accidentally discovered when someone dropped it in the dough, as the story goes. Possibly someone had too much beer, but nevertheless, the rest is history. The Egyptian’s flat, hard crusty bread eventually evolved into light, heavenly manna from heaven.

Today when we think of Thanksgiving dinner, we know that bread is a major element in its own right, but it is also an ingredient in stuffing or dressing, whichever you choose to call it.

Inspired by this talk of yeast rolls and dressing, I decided to search for my Dad’s legendary sausage-pecan-apple dressing recipe and found Grandma’s “light rolls” recipe as well. Two undeniable stars of our turkey dinner this Thanksgiving.

After all, bread is the king of the table.

Note to readers: There are many yeast rolls recipes to be found, and you probably have your favorite, so instead here is my Dad’s aforementioned stuffing recipe in case you would like to try it for your next Thanksgiving dinner. It’s good.

Sausage Dressing with Apples and Pecans
8-10 ounces of sausage, chopped
14 cups dried bread, cut in cubes with crusts removed
1 ½ sticks butter, melted
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped onions
4 large apples
3 cups pecans, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh sage
2 teaspoons dried sage
4 large eggs, beaten
5 cups turkey stock, maybe more if needed
Fresh chopped or dried parsley to taste
Dried thyme to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat baking dish with oil or cooking spray. In large skillet, cook sausage. Drain and remove, cool. In bowl, add bread cubes to sausage. Melt butter in skillet and add onions and celery and cook for a 3-4 minutes, add apples and cook two more minutes. Pour this mixture onto bread and sausage mixture. Add seasonings, mix, and finally stir in pecans.

Mix eggs in turkey stock and add to dressing mixture, stirring completely. Sometimes it takes more stock to moisten the mixture. Put in baking dish, cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is slightly browned and crisp, usually takes about 20 more minutes.

Serves 10.

Nov 24

Bread is king at Thanksgiving dinners

“Bread is the king of the table, and all else is merely the court that surrounds the king. The countries are the soup, the meat, the vegetables, the salad, but bread is king.” – Louis Bromfield, American novelist, 1896–1956.

Thanksgiving Day is here, and dinner smells wonderful, yes it does, but nothing, absolutely nothing, has a finer aroma than light yeast rolls baking in the oven.

Each autumn, as the fourth Thursday in November draws closer, I think a lot about turkey and all the trimmings, including my Dad’s sausage-pecan-apple dressing, a green-bean casserole, fried apples, cranberries, mashed potatoes and turkey gravy, sweet potatoes and a large dollop of whipped cream atop a piece of luscious pumpkin pie.

A Thanksgiving feast could possibly be the most wonderful collection of food one enjoys during the entire year, but since childhood, ‘light’ yeast rolls have been my favorite Thanksgiving Day food.

Yours, too, or perhaps not? Some say yes, some no.

However, I know this to be true, at our house kids pop these heavenly rolls into their mouths like candy. Everyone else around the table eats at least two, and my husband would think the world came to an end if we served Thanksgiving dinner without yeast rolls.

The late Emily Post, renowned newspaper ‘etiquette’ columnist and author, wrote once “bread is like dresses, hats and shoes—in other words, essential!”

When families and friends break bread together, we are indeed sharing an essential food staple that has been a part of our world since the beginning of recorded time.

Bread is important. In fact, noted American chef James Beard once called it the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods.

Out of curiosity, I researched the history of bread and learned, to my surprise, that bread, beer and yeast went hand-in-hand in ancient Egyptian culture, where bread is thought to have first originated. Bread and beer were staples of every meal there. At some point, yeast was accidentally discovered when someone dropped it in the dough, as the story goes. Possibly someone had too much beer, but nevertheless, the rest is history. The Egyptian’s flat, hard crusty bread eventually evolved into light, heavenly manna from heaven.

Today when we think of Thanksgiving dinner, we know that bread is a major element in its own right, but it is also an ingredient in stuffing or dressing, whichever you choose to call it.

Inspired by this talk of yeast rolls and dressing, I decided to search for my Dad’s legendary sausage-pecan-apple dressing recipe and found Grandma’s ‘light rolls’ recipe as well. Two undeniable stars of our turkey dinner this Thanksgiving.

After all, bread is the king of the table.

Note to readers: There are many yeast rolls recipes to be found, and you probably have your favorite, but here is my Dad’s aforementioned stuffing recipe in case you would like to try it for your next year’s Thanksgiving dinner. It’s good.

Sausage Dressing with Apples and Pecans
8-10 ounces of sausage, chopped
14 cups dried bread, cut in cubes with crusts removed
1 ½ sticks butter, melted
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped onions
4 large apples
3 cups pecans, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh sage
2 teaspoons dried sage
4 large eggs, beaten
5 cups turkey stock, maybe more if needed
Fresh chopped or dried parsley to taste
Dried thyme to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat baking dish with oil or cooking spray. In large skillet, cook sausage. Drain and remove, cool. In bowl, add bread cubes to sausage. Melt butter in skillet and add onions and celery and cook for a 3-4 minutes, add apples and cook two more minutes. Pour this mixture onto bread and sausage mixture. Add seasonings, mix, and finally stir in pecans.

Mix eggs in turkey stock and add to dressing mixture, stirring completely. Sometimes it takes more stock to moisten the mixture. Put in baking dish, cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is slightly browned and crisp, usually takes about 20 more minutes.

Serves 10.

Oct 13

Epilogue: what ever happened to Red and Autumn, savvy mountain dogs?

“The greater love is a mother’s; then comes a dog’s.” – Polish Proverb


A reader asked me last week about a column I wrote in the fall of 2006. It was about Red and Autumn, tough, savvy mountain dogs, and their unusual love story, not just love for each other but for humans as well.

“I saw your column last time about Henry, the cat,” the reader said, “but what ever happened to those mountain dogs you wrote about once. You have to be fair and write about dogs, too, not just cats,” the reader laughed.

The reader’s question made me curious as well. I decided to find out what happened to those two after three years since I first encountered them.

When I first met Red and Autumn, they lived in the mountains in Teller County, Colorado, southwest of Colorado Springs. Elevation: 9494.

EPILOGUE: three years later. A car hit tough, indestructible Red since I first wrote the story. A vet who lives nearby saved his life, but Red is crippled and in constant pain. Red’s adoptive family, where he stayed when not wandering the mountains, cares for him full time now. Autumn never leaves Red’s side since his accident and does not venture across the mountain to her home and family anymore. I am told Red will give you a bark, but he is no force. They stay close to the house and avoid the bears.

If you want to hear the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey used to say, take a look at their love story, written October 28, 2006.

“Red and Autumn are savvy dogs”

We were hiking in the Rocky Mountains when Red appeared from behind a huge mossy boulder, the kind of rock formation you often see in the Colorado high country.

I was expecting a bear and was somewhat prepared for that potential encounter, if one can be prepared to meet a bear.

Instead, a great red-haired street-tough dog, a stray, growled at me. He came closer. I did not move a muscle.

About then, my brother stepped out of the woods with bear stick in hand and called to Red.

Apparently, he and Red knew one another.

John threw Red a doggy treat.

I learned later that my brother always keeps doggy treats in his pocket in case Red wanders through the forest and surprises him.

The thought crossed my mind that doggy treats in one’s pocket might possibly attract bears as well, but I dismissed that notion for the moment anyway.

I was aware that in the fall bears are consuming 20,000 calories a day in preparation for their winter hibernation.

Doggy treats could do nicely for the bears as an appetizer for their main course, the human carrying the doggy biscuits.

“Don’t worry,” John said. “No bears around right now. Don’t worry about the dog either. Red has been abused, dumped in the mountains, and is actually afraid of you.”

Red, adopted by a kindly neighbor who feeds him, still runs wild in the woods. He is as much a part of the mountain wildlife as are the bears.

John asked me to look across the clearing.

“There’s Autumn, Red’s friend. I wondered if she was with him today,” John said.

Autumn is a motley sort of animal, an Australian sheep dog with a black and white and grayish coat and haunting eyes. She never steps too far from the safety of the woods and rarely moves into a clearing.

That is, until Red signals her through some uncanny method of communication between the two of them that it is OK to travel further.

What a peculiar relationship these oddly paired dogs have.

Red travels nearly five miles one way every few days to visit Autumn at her home across the mountain. Then, the two make the five-mile trek back to spend a couple of days with Red’s adoptive humans.


When the time to go arrives, and they somehow instinctively know that, Red and Autumn begin their journey back across the mountain to Autumn’s family.

Red may stay a night or two with her or come straight back.

No one knows why or how the two communicate so well.

After awhile without her, Red heads off in her direction to escort her back to his place.

My brother will say, “Well, there goes Red. He must be going to get Autumn.”

She always comes with him, but only for a day or two.

When she is ready, Autumn signals Red that it is time to walk her home.

Once she stayed too long, and her worried humans came looking and drove her back in the truck. It was too far and too dangerous for her to walk alone.

Red knows that, and he is there to protect her.

On one occasion, while visiting at Red’s place, Autumn was attacked by a bear.

Red, of course, came to the rescue, although Autumn suffered an injury to her leg. Happily, she survived.

I was thinking about all this and how amazing these two creatures are when I realized I was standing in a clearing alone halfway up a mountain.

My brother, my sister-in-law, and my husband had climbed much higher up the mountain on some exploratory mission, and I was left in an open meadow.

Choosing to stay behind due to my arthritic knees, I realized all too quickly that I was without help, and I was standing near a tree where bears had recently discovered a honeycomb. The evidence of their meal was left on the ground.

I sensed I was not entirely alone, so I began to turn slowly watching my backside in all directions.

No bear stick. The mountain climbers had them.

No Pepper Spray. It was in the truck.

Then, at the edge of the woods, I spotted Red. He did not bark. He did not want a treat. He did not move.

He was on bear watch and guard duty, not for Autumn this time, but for me.

Older posts «