Babushka Delight

As a child, Liz’s father did the bulk of the cooking in their home. Norm Robinson was a creative and resourceful culinary artist, never cooking from a recipe and always applying the creativity required when feeding a family on a meager budget. As a hungry child, when Liz began smelling tasty aromas waft from the kitchen she would consistently ask, “Dad, what’s for dinner?” And much to her chagrin he would he would respond, “Babushka Delight…and then insert a random number.” A variation of Baked Ziti would be called Babushka Delight #14 and Pork Chops and Rice entitled Babushka Delight #982…no rhyme or reason for the numbering system and never a dish or number repeated. Night after night, meal after meal, our table and stomachs were warmed with a series of meals made by a loving father each entitled Babushka Delight. As a child, anxious for dinner, Liz found his predictable answer a bit silly. Now, as an adult, when contemplating the daily questions, what shall we have for dinner?” she hears the trusted words of her father ringing clearly in her mind…”Well, tonight we are having Babushka Delight.”

Burke grew up working inside the delicious walls of a professional kitchen at his families business, Jacob Lake Inn nestled near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. While standing on milk crates Burke joined his parents to help peel potatoes, crack eggs, flip burgers, and sling hash. Through this process Burke developed the confidence of a chef, the speed of a line cook, and the creativity of a working mans Iron Chef.

Growing up in a foodie family has real benefits for a newly married couple. For Burke nothing brings a bigger smile than the potential of a handful of chopped onion, celery, carrot, and garlic sautéing in a few hearty splashes of a fine olive oil…and Liz is more than happy to sample the tasty outcomes.

Together Burke and Liz enjoy nothing more than a fine meal shared with family and friends. In keeping with tradition of both families, Babushka Delight is a collection of their favorite recipes and culinary creations.


The Texas Rich’s

Sunday, January 16, 2011

BREAD: Melinda's Dinner Rolls

Melinda’s Dinner Rolls


1 ½ cups water

1 TBS yeast

¾ TBS Malt

¾ TBS Honey

1 Tea Salt

4-6 cups of flour


1. Add water to mixer. Add in Malt and Honey. Mix together to dissolve

2. Add Yeast and let proof.

3. Add one cup of flour and mix well.

4. Add salt and remaining flour one cup at a time. Mix together slowly.

5. Continue to mix until dough pulls away from bowl. Add more flour if needed.

6. Remove dough from mixer.

7. Spray a large cookie sheet with pam.

8. Butter hand and grab dough. Pinch off dough into hand (about a handful) and shape into rolls.

9. Put roll dough on cookie sheet. You should fill the cookie sheet and get about sixteen rolls.

10. Let rise for about 15 min or until the become the size you want.

11. Bake until golden brown (about 15-20 min) in 350 degree oven.

12. Butter top of rolls after baking.

9.10.09 Reflection:

I am learning quite quickly that I am a visual, hands on learner. I read the recipe several times before I began mixing anything because after reading last week it seems to be imperative to follow the directions. Both Melinda and Ben say that once I get the hang of bread making things will begin to feel more comfortable. In the mean time it’s nice to have them close so I can continue to ask questions. When the recipe says “warm water” how warm is warm? Warm for me may be hot for you. This was tricky for me to understand and I think this is where I have had trouble in the past. Killing the yeast with water that is just too hot. Anyway, it was great to have Melinda available to ask questions and I think I now understand what “warm water” feels like. The recipe calls for 4 to 6 cups of flour and that I should stop adding flour when the dough is sticky to the touch and pulls away from the bowl. I followed all of the instruction but I think I may have added too much flour because the dough was pretty tough, not springy. Also, Melinda thinks that I mixed it for too long and broke up the glutton ribbons because they were pretty dense. Her rolls are always super light and fluffy so I will remember to mix less next time I make them. These rolls do not need to rise for very long, which was good because I was pretty anxious to see if I had been at all successful.

Much to my delight they were pretty good and everybody ate them. I was a bit disappointed at how dense they were but I think that can be a quick fix. Melinda also thought that I added a bit too much flour and that the recipe is not an exact measurement for the flour. I guess it all depends upon how old the yeast is, the humidity and the temperature of the water. I found it helpful when Melinda, a seasoned baker, could help me deconstruct my process and help me discover how to change my process for the next batch of rolls.

Overall, this was a successful baking project.

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