Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thursday Thinking – The Orange Roll Blunder

Orange rolls were recently served at a baby shower for Ande. I suspected when I saw them in the muffin pans that they were my mother’s recipe – they had a pulled apart center and a crystalline, crispy coating just like hers. After I ate one of them I was almost sure it was my mother’s recipe and when I read the recipe I was certain it was the same.

For several days after, Cali and Ande raved over those orange rolls. When I told them, individually, that it was the same recipe I grew up with they both wondered why I hadn’t ever made them if I knew they were so good. I said, “Well, my orange roll recipe was that one originally, but I thought I could improve it so I made some changes.”

They were both mystified and with slightly raised eyebrows said, as politely as possible, “You think your orange rolls are an improvement to that recipe?”

I explained, “Well, at the shower we ate the orange rolls fresh out of the oven. It’s a completely different roll when it is a day old. The crust is so hard you have to peel it off to get to something soft. So the first thing I changed was to bake them on a cookie sheet instead of in muffin pans to eliminate that crusty outer layer on each roll.”

Each girl said that the outer layer was their favorite part and was what made them so good.

I explained that the refrigerator dough in the orange rolls was the rage back in the 60s and 70s. Mom and Aunt Pat made them (with or without the orange peel) for wedding receptions, wedding dinners, Thanksgiving dinners, and every other fancy dinner you can think of. But, after a few years of making the new and improved orange rolls on the cookie sheet, I decided what they really needed was a softer and different dough. I experimented with several different recipes over the years until I found the current cinnamon roll dough I was using.

Both girls said, “But orange rolls aren’t cinnamon rolls.”

Mind you, this same conversation happened with each daughter at different times. At this point of each conversation I laughed and said, “I guess I know that now. Funny how I thought I was making improvements all those years. I think it’s time to go back to the original recipe.”

I now know the only thing I needed to change was the batch size. I didn’t need to revolutionize the roll. It’s not like anyone had ever raved over my orange rolls anyway; in fact, when the two flavors – cinnamon and orange – were offered side by side few people ever took the orange. Lesson learned: improving something by changing it isn’t always better, sometimes better application is the only change necessary.

I know I’m not alone.  Society is making the orange roll blunder:
  • “We can improve the family organization,” society said, and then replaced the expectations and responsibilities of the father to preside, provide, and protect and the mother to nurture with selfishness, social programs, and alternate families and lifestyles. 
 We don’t need to improve the family organization; we need to improve us, the people, within the family organization.
  • “We can improve the Constitution,” society said, and then usurped authority and granted pseudo powers with mandates, orders, agencies, services, programs, and bureaus. 
 We don’t need to improve the God-given and divinely-inspired Constitution, we need to better use it to preserve freedom.
  • "We need a new morality with more freedom of expression,” said society, and then threw away the virtues that make people free while championing the vices that enslave. 
 We don’t need a new morality, we need to better live the old morality.

I wish society would go back to the tried and true recipe.  The adjustments we've made to the family, government, and morality in the last several decades are not working.    

Because I had long ago gotten rid of the original orange roll recipe, tonight I copied the new, old one into my cooking journal and added, “Be careful where you make the changes to this recipe” in the margin.

Society, take note.


Cali said...

I don't think we were "mystified"... more like stupefied. I've been thinking about those same things this week. I love you mom.

Rachel said...

No, no, no, no, NO!! I don't want to ruin your post or anything, but I SWEAR that your rolls are ever so much better!! I hate the crusty old ones. You could send me your new and improved recipe and it can be MY original. I'll claim it for you so that it doesn't die.
...but I do like the message. :)

Haley Krumblis said...

Oh I do hope one day my taste buds change and I appreciate orange rolls as much as everyone else in our family. Mom made the recipe a few weeks ago and I just thought, "Ugh, orange rolls." Ha ha, but we did make Ryan try them. His response, "Why is fruit in bread?"

Lucy said...

Oh, Jane, you are so wise. Great writing. Great, great writing.