27 January 2011

Baking day Tuesday...on Thursday

I realize I'm late this week.  It's been that sort of week.  I did not win the sweater I wanted, which didn't really surprise me, but sometimes I fool myself into thinking I'll become one of those lucky people that win things.  But then I did win something!  I entered a giveaway over at boboloo and I won some cute little crayon rolls, which I always have thought I would make, but I never do.

Today,  someone managed to lock us out of the bathroom.  Nobody is fessing up, but I can't pick that dang lock.  Bobby pin is too short, paper clip is to flimsy and nothing else will fit in that dang little hole!  There is no key to it here and from the looks of the door knob, this has happened before to previous tenants.  There's lots of little scratches, and the hole is a bit stretched from something being forced in there.  If I don't get this figured out soon, I may be taking the entire knob off.  That, or busting through with my body.  Fine day to actually drink as much water as I'm supposed to.  So here I am, trying to take my mind off of this situation for a bit.

It was a big baking day today, not entirely on purpose either, but first, a story:

About a decade ago,  I was a college student.  Every once in a while some friends and I would go to an little cafe/ice cream shop for a change from all the fast food that college students seem to live on.  It was attached to a gas station and decked out with coca-cola paraphernalia from top to bottom.  At first, it was just an ice cream run, but then we noticed the other menu items.  It was run by a little old lady, in fact I think the name of the place was Gramma's Ice Cream, or something similar to that.  She appeared to be a sweet little grandmotherly lady, but she had quite the sharp tongue -never approving of my friend's hairstyle- and such a funny sarcastic sense of humor.  I think that's why I liked her so much.  She would make any variety of baked potato you could think of, polish dogs, with all sorts of toppings and she introduced me to something called a bier-rock.

I had never heard of it before.  Cabbage and burger, wrapped in bread dough and baked.  It's like a self contained sandwich.  I guess snowmobilers would stop to get them, wrap them in foil and put them in the engine area while riding their machines.  Then when they were hungry, their lunch would be all nice and warm for them.

When I  left school I basically forgot about them.  That is until I was perusing through a cookbook that I have, and I came across a recipe for runzas, which are the same thing as far as I can tell.  I guess it's been about a year now that I have been making them.  They are quite labor intensive, especially with small hands helping, but judging by how quickly they disappear, they are quite a hit.  I really like to make them for those long work days on the ranch because they are so contained.  We don't have to have a cooler to hold all our sandwich making supplies, which is always a mess.  And I can easily hand one to my dad when he is needing to refuel, but not yet ready to quit and get off his horse.  He can eat while he rides.

It occurred to me this past week, as I kept forgetting to find things for my husband to take to school with him to eat, that these little runzas are the perfect answer.  I can make a bunch, freeze them and then send one or two with him in the morning.  They will be defrosted by the time lunch comes around, and there is no shortage of microwaves on campus for him to warm them up with.  So, I made some.  A bunch.

I figured that two loaves worth of dough would get me through the two pounds of meat I had browned, but I was wrong.  Maybe if I had stuffed them a little more.  We have also, in a pinch, used frozen roll dough, as well as biscuits in the can for the bread part of the recipe.  All have worked, but I prefer to make my own dough.

I had not planned to get so crazy in the kitchen today, but I ran out of dough.  Originally, I planned on two loaves of bread, the runzas, and maybe some buns if I had left over dough, and some cookies.  I ran out of dough with just a bit of meat left, so I decided to whip up some more dough.  Only I forgot to half the recipe and ended up with tons more dough, hence the many buns.

The cookie recipe, I got here.  They are mostly peanut butter, and not getting my fill of my last batch of peanut butter cookies, I decided to try these.  Wow.  Even my husband admits that they are rich, and he never admits something like that.  I do like them, but I think I'll stick to the spoon method when I want that much peanut butter again.  I used to scoop out some PB and then dip it into some chocolate milk mix when I was a kid.  These reminded me of that, just a bit more sophisticated, I suppose.

Here's the runza recipe:
adapted from the centsible nutrition cookbook

1 lb sausage
1 lb hamburger
1 onion chopped
8 cups chopped cabbage
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
cheese -I used mozarella
approx. two loaves worth of dough.  I used my favorite bread recipe.
Brown meat  with chopped onion.  Add cabbage and cover for 5 minutes.  Drain liquid and add salt and pepper.
Pull off a piece of dough- egg sized is what I did- and roll it out in a sort of rectangle.  Put a bit of cheese down on one side and top with a good pile of meat mixture.  Fold the uncovered side of the dough over and seal the edges together.  The recipe I got this from suggests dabbing water on the edges before folding it over, but I found it stuck better without.  Let rise on a pan for as long as it takes you to finish making them all, or 20 minutes or so.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

I have never frozen these before,  but I'm going to give it a try today.


  1. Sounds like a handy thing to make ahead and have on hand and for his lunch! I may try sometime, you never know!

  2. Ohhhh...I hope you were able to get that door unlocked! Its funny how they never "fess" up! I'm amazed at all the things that go on in my house that "nobody" did :)
    I also need to get baking. That bread looks so yummy!

  3. Tip: A crochet needle or nut pick works great to get that lock to pop.

    We have a restaurant chain here in Nebraska called Runza -- and that's their main seller. I have a recipe posted on my site too -- I use challah bread to make them. They are delicious!

  4. I've never made challah bread Nancy. I do have a recipe though. I'll have to give it a try. Crochet needle would have been a good idea. I did think of a nut pick, but we don't have one.
    Thankfully, my husband had a secretly stashed tiny screwdriver. He opening it without any trouble.