The Best Dinner Rolls Ever

The Best Dinner Rolls Ever

There's no such thing as the perfect dinner roll.
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As we all know, this past week was Thanksgiving. Since we weren’t with any extended family, my family was super laid back. It was just the four of us, and my best friend, who was unable to make it home for the holiday. How it usually works is we watch the parade in the morning, and my mom and I cook all day. If you’re not cooking, your job is to stay out of the kitchen, and do the dishes after dinner.

I enjoy cooking, but to be quite honest, trying to coordinate everything to be ready at the right time, and cook different foods at different temperatures can be frustrating, and especially stressful when there is a room full of hungry people waiting to eat dinner.

This year, I volunteered to make the dinner rolls, and two of my Grandma’s recipes: scalloped pineapple and sweet potato soufflé. Grandma’s recipes were simple enough, and turned out great, despite the fact that I had never made them before. However, the rolls were a process. The recipe I had was supposed be exactly like the bread at Texas Roadhouse, but I figured it would be slightly better, since it would have that homemade taste. I had made these at least twice, and I remembered one time it not going well, so I wasn’t sure how they were going to turn out, and if there’s one thing I am not a fan of, its failure.

The first thing I had to do was boil milk, and this didn’t go well at all. I poured two cups of milk in a saucepan, and placed it on the stove over medium heat, exactly as the recipe said to do. After a few minutes, the milk started to burn. As I continued to stir, more and more burnt pieces began to float up from the bottom. I gritted my teeth, took a deep breath, and dumped out the milk. Time to start over. I measured out another two cups of milk, poured it into a clean saucepan, and this time placed it over low heat. I pulled up a chair and watched that milk extra carefully, giving it a stir every minute or so. After a couple minutes, it started to burn. Again. After taking an even deeper and more frustrated sigh than before, I decided to let the milk cool, and then strain it.

So the milk was sitting in the mixing bowl, free of any burnt particles, and the next thing I had to do was find a substitute for honey, because of course, there was no honey in the house, and I didn’t check the recipe until Wednesday night when there was no time or energy left to make a run to the store. Anyway, honey is just a liquid form of sugar, so that was easy enough to substitute. I finished mixing up the dough, kneaded it, and set it aside to rise.

These rolls take a couple hours to rise enough so that they are nice and fluffy. After about two hours, I began to roll out the dough, and shape it. Once the rolls were cut out, they needed to rise another hour. This is about the time when I started to worry again that they would not turn out right, because the last time I made them, they didn’t rise enough, and we had flat rolls for dinner. Granted they were not totally flat, they just weren’t as fluffy as they should have been. My family didn’t mind at all, but as I said before, I am not a fan of failure. Anyway, they rose quite nicely, and after checking on them halfway through baking, I was happy to see that they were nice and fluffy.

The house smelled of freshly baked bread, along with the other things that were cooking. I took the first two trays of rolls out of the oven, brushed them with butter and garlic, and upon placing them in the bread basket, I noticed something. My rolls were BURNT. The bottoms were an ugly dark brown. A frown appeared on my face, and then I realized something: these rolls are just like us.

In the same way that I had to knead the dough to make this bread, God molds us and shapes us into who we are. None of us are perfect, and though it may appear that some are, all we have to do is look inside, or, in the case of the rolls, turn them over. He didn’t make us to be perfect, we all have flaws, but that’s what makes us who we are. My last tray of rolls came out much better, as I removed them from the oven two minutes before the timer went off, but if you saw the way they were shaped, I’m sure you would agree that these rolls were far from perfect.

Psalm 139:14 says “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (NIV). Never forget this. He made each one of us to be who we are; we are not meant to be perfect, so we shouldn’t strive to be. We were meant to be imperfect, we were meant to have flaws, and these flaws make us who we are.

Cover Image Credit: google.com

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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To The Big-Hearted Girls Who Just Can't Hit The Block Button

Your compassion for others knows no bounds, and that's why you can't seem to let them go.

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Not everyone is worthy of your good heart.

It might be hard to accept that, but it's true. The ones that don't deserve your attention and your care always out themselves. Maybe they take advantage of your kindness, maybe they use you for your love, or maybe they hurt you because they envy some aspect of you or your life. Whatever the case may be, I know you feel the pain from it. I know you are not naive enough to believe that they don't mean the hurtful things they say or that the awful things they put you through are only mere accidents.

Your problem is that you have too big of a heart. You love giving second chances and when they screw that chance up as well, you just can't help yourself from giving them a third, a fourth, or a fifth. Far too easily you are swept up in this cycle of forgiving and forgetting, only to have it blow up in your face time and time again.

You know better.

How many times have you sworn you wouldn't help them again, that it was the last time you'd speak to them, only to snatch up your phone the second you see their name pop up across the screen? How often have you cried over someone who only wanted to be a part of your life when they needed something from you?

Stop giving your all to people that don't care.

Trust me, I know it's easier said than done. It's a difficult habit to break, but once you do you are completely and utterly free from the toxicity. If you're looking for a sign to block that boy who has done nothing but break your heart, or if you were waiting for your cue to finally end that friendship that does nothing but make you feel small, here it is.

Unfortunately, not everyone is going to treat you with the love and respect that you so freely give. Most of the time the people that treat you like crap are just crappy people. It's not your responsibility to save every troubled soul, and you've probably learned by now that not all of them want to be saved.

There's nothing wrong with looking for the good in people, but when they start to drain you of your light you need to have the strength to let them go.

To the girls gifted with hearts too sensitive and ready to burst with compassion, it's OK to cut ties with those who hurt you time and time again. It doesn't mean you've stooped to their level; it doesn't mean you're a bad person. You tried your hardest, but toxic people rarely change their ways. You don't deserve that kind of pain.

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