Pumpkin rosemary buns

Yeasted pumpkin rosemary buns

Yeasted pumpkin rosemary buns

The other morning I was feeling a little raggedy, I hadn’t slept too well, so I had a piece of toast. Toast! Just toast and salted butter, but it tasted like the most perfect thing ever. I don’t have toast very often, and I’d underestimated its restorative powers. And then this morning our Isaac had toast and scrambled eggs, and it seemed like the most perfect thing in the world to be a little person eating toast and looking through a toy catalog a few weeks before christmas. So my word for today is toast. I love nearly all of its meanings, except for a few that I’ve just read on urban dictionary which I seriously doubt anybody ever uses. I love warm golden toasted bread or rolls or bagels, of course, with butter or jam or cinnamon. I like the idea of toasting somebody or something…holding up a glass and declaring your love, admiration and gratitude. I like things that are toasty and warm, especially in this weather: dogs, blankets, beds. I like toasting as a form of poetry to music, especially as described in Bob Marley’s Put it On…it sounds as though he can’t help but describe his gratitude because the spirit moves him so deeply.

    Feel them spirit
    Lord, I thank you
    Feel alright now
    I’m gonna put it on, I put it on already
    Good Lord, help me
    I’m not boastin’
    Feel like toastin’

I just read about a person called the “toastmaster,” who arranges and announces all the toasts, and I’ve decided that this is my new career goal, my dream job. When a person feels so much happiness or love or gratitude that they need to speak it aloud, they come to you. You hold up your hands and cry, “Pray silence for a toast!” And everybody raises their glasses, which are spilling over with good cheer. And wherever you go, when people see you they feel moved to shout out their esteem and appreciation for whom or whatever they are currently esteeming and appreciating. And apparently the subject of a toast is also called a toast, and these toasts will abound, eventually we’ll all be someone else’s toast, and everybody will feel proud and happy. Toast.

Pumpkin rosemary buns

Pumpkin rosemary buns

These rolls are very good toasted! I had some leftover pumpkin purée (from a can) and I decided to add it to a yeasted bread recipe. And I decided to make it savory rather than sweet. I added rosemary and a little bit of coriander powder, because I’ve recently resolved to use coriander powder more often. It adds a lemony floral flavor, which I liked but the kids didn’t. So feel free to alter the spices to your family’s tastes. I baked these in a large shallow muffin tin, but you could probably just plop the batter on a baking sheet. They might spread out and be a bit flatter, but they’d still taste good. Texturally, these are soft and a little chewy, and they go nicely with soup or stew. Or just eat them TOASTED with butter!!

Here’s what I believe to be some footage of Sir Lord Comic beautifully toasting.
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Tender cheese-filled buns

Tender cheese-filled bun

Tender cheese-filled bun

I love the word “soul.” I like the sound of it, it’s a pretty word, a soul-full word. I love all of its different meanings, and the fact that none of them can be precisely pinned down. They’re all a little vague and shifty, but in a beautiful way that makes you want to think about them more, and try to see through the mist. Of course I looked it up in the OED, and it has more meanings than I ever knew, and they all sound like poetry to me. “The condition or attribute of life in humans or animals; animate existence; The principle of intelligence, thought, or action in a person (or occas. an animal); The seat of a person’s emotions, feelings, or thoughts; the moral or emotional part of a person’s nature; the central or inmost part of a person’s being; Strength of character; strongly developed intellectual, moral, or aesthetic qualities; spiritual or emotional power or intensity; (also) deep feeling, sensitivity.” Þri þinges þet byeþ ine þe zaule, beþenchinge, onderstondynge, and wyl! I like to think about soul as some part of you that you own, some essence of your creativity and your intelligence and your honesty and your vision that’s yours alone and can’t be taken away. Some spark that keeps you alive and lively, despite the often soul-crushing realities of life that we all face. A fire within us, that warms us and lights our way and shines through the dullness and the man-made ugliness.

    So they build their world in great confusion
    To force on us the devil’s illusion.
    But the stone that the builder refuse
    Shall be the head cornerstone,
    And no matter what game they play,
    Eh, we got something they could never take away;
    We got something they could never take away:
    And it’s the fire, it’s the fire
    That’s burning down everything:

And, of course, this is the season of all souls, of tiny spirit fires in jack-o-lanterns, of ghostly souls all around us keeping us company in the increasing cold and lengthening darkness. So this week’s Sunday interactive playlist is a little subjective. It’s songs that seem soulful to you. Not specifically-labeled “soul music,” although that’s more than welcome, but songs in which a person seems to be singing from their soul, or songs that ravish your soul. “Now is his soule rauisht, is it not strange that sheepes guts should hale soules out of mens bodies?” So add it to the list yourself, or leave a comment and I’ll try to remember to add it through the week.

These aren’t exactly soul-cakes, of course, but they’re very good! They’re a brioche-type of dough, tender and flaky, with a filling of cheese. I used goat cheese and sharp cheddar, but you can use whatever cheese you like. I didn’t use too much cheese, just a tablespoonful or two, so they don’t have a gooey center, the cheese kind of bakes into the bread in a pleasing way. Of course you could always use more cheese if you want a molten center. A big lump of mozzarella might be fun!

Here’s a link to the collaborative playlist.

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