This is Nana. Nana was the name we called our Great-grandmother on my father's side. She was a little silver haired firecracker and one of the best cooks I ever met in my life. I went to Nana's house everyday after school and all summer long. I remember her always being in the kitchen. You could walk into her kitchen and get hot cooked breakfast from 7-9am, lunch from 11-1pm and dinner from 5-7pm and she always had enough for everyone. Nana's background was German so her idea of soul food was Cabbage and Potatoes, Beef Brisket and her Yeast rolls. For years as a child I would go to the store for her to get the ingredients for them including dry active yeast (Must be Fleishman's) sugar, All Purpose flour, Crisco and a few other things. Nana would spend hours working on these rolls and they made the house smell so warm and cozy ( I wish it was a candle scent). If you ever asked her how they were made she would tell you "a pinch of this, a little bit of that" and never did the mix the same way twice so we could memorize the steps.
In my freshman year of college Nana died, and although I did master her Cabbage and Potato recipe, her yeast rolls went to her grave with her and my Aunt Clara and I have spent the last 20 or more years looking for that recipe.
So this month as the weather turned cold and the thought of Nana's yeast rolls came to mind Clara and I each took a shot at the recipe and between the two of us and a little help from the Food Network and The Joy of Cooking cookbook we came up with very similar recipes, mine however is dairy free. This recipe takes lots of patience and care but once you eat one or three of them you will know that all your hard work was worth it. So without further ado here is my version of my Nana's Yeast rolls
Nana's Yeast Rolls