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The Gift of Slow Foods

Life regularly takes place at a rapid pace. One of the gifts of the holidays is an opportunity to slow down and enjoy the process of preparing dishes to share with family and friends. This month’s recipes require time to rise or to slow roast in the oven. Whether you prepare these recipes—or those from your own family’s tradition—I wish you the gift of slow cooking this Christmas and holiday season!

The Gift of Slow Foods

Cranberry-Orange Breakfast Rolls

Yields 1 dozen rolls
Cranberry-Orange Breakfast Rolls



For the rolls:

  • 1/4 cup room-temperature orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher slat
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup room-temperature butter, cubed
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce

For the icing:

  • 4 ounces room-temperature cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract



For the rolls, combine the orange juice and yeast in a large mixer bowl. Allow to stand for several minutes until the yeast is frothy. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add the eggs, vanilla and orange zest to the yeast mixture and beat well. Dump in the flour and mix. Slowly add the cubes of butter and continue mixing until fully combined. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. (Alternatively, mix in a stand mixer with a dough hook attached, on low for 5 minutes; scrape the bowl as needed.) Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until double. Or, place in the refrigerator and allow to rise for 6 to 24 hours. 

After dough rises, line a baking sheet with parchment. Punch the dough down and roll it out into a 12-by-18-inch rectangle. Spread the cranberry sauce over the entire rectangle. Fold the short sides of the dough in toward the center (like a letter) to create a 12-by-6-inch rectangle. Starting on a folded edge, cut the rectangle into 12 strips (1-by-6-inches). Tie a loose knot in the dough and tuck the ends under. Place onto the prepared baking sheet. Cover rolls and allow them to rise for 30 minutes. Bake in a 375°F oven for 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.

While rolls are baking, prepare cream cheese icing: Add all icing ingredients to a mixer bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth; add additional cream, as needed. Use a spoon or piping bag to drizzle over the rolls after they have cooled for several minutes.


Hannah Smucker's Amish Rousch

Yields 1 roasting pan full
Hannah Smucker's Amish Rousch



  • 1 turkey (approximately 12 pounds) 
  • Kosher salt 
  • Black pepper 
  • Poultry seasoning 
  • 3 cups butter (6 sticks) 
  • 1 stalk of celery (1 pound), cut into 1/4-inch dice 
  • 12 eggs, beaten 
  • 6 loaves white bread



Season the turkey generously with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Roast according to package directions until fully cooked. Remove from the oven and cool. When cool, remove the meat from the bones and cut into bite-sized pieces. (Reserve the bones and drippings for stock and gravy!) Refrigerate turkey until the day of your meal. On the day of, melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the celery and cook until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add it to a large roasting pan. Allow to cool slightly and add the eggs. Tear the bread into 2-inch pieces. Working in batches, add the bread to the roasting pan. Use your hands to vigorously mix the bread with the liquid ingredients. Continue adding bread and mixing with the hands. (Tip from Sondra: “The more you smoosh it together, the better it will be.”) Put a lid on the roasting pan. Place into a 350°F oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven. Stir well, scraping from the bottom. Season with a generous amount of black pepper. Turn the oven down to 325°F. Continue stirring and adding pepper, every 30 minutes for 3 1/2 hours. The dressing should become toasted, but not dry.