Slice of life - The morning person

by Meg Heiman

To quote (out of context) writer Virginia Woolf, a woman must have a room of her own. Like many people, I’ve never had that luxury. I shared a room with siblings while I was growing up and with roommates - and later a husband - in early adulthood. Although I’ve never had a place or space of my own, I’ve always had a time of my own. My time is early morning.<BR><BR>The advantage of being an early morning riser is that many people are not. Most early morning risers would like to keep it that way. Early morning is time for one’s own self, time to reflect on the day’s potential, time to take pleasure in quiet and solitude. <BR><BR>As best I can tell, the ability to rise in the early morning is genetic. Either you’re born to wake up before the sun or you’re not. Many mothers can attest to this. “He’s always gotten up early,” some will say. For those parents who don’t share this trait with their offspring, early morning risers can create a clash of interest.<BR><BR>Early morning risers don’t set alarms. True, people can condition themselves to wake up early, but what distinguishes early morning risers from others is not so much when they wake up (although most rise between four and six o’clock) but how they wake up. <BR><BR>Early morning risers don’t linger in bed. Once their eyes open, they’re up, on their feet, and ready to go. Their morning activity level can go from zero to 60 in less time than it takes to make a pot of coffee - not that they need coffee to get them started. Most have the ability to embrace the day without embracing a cup. They love the early morning - it’s their best time of day. For this, they’re viewed with contempt by those who despise mornings.<BR><BR>But early morning risers are not ones to take offense. They’re a cheerful group by nature. And they’ve reason to be. For one thing, they hypothetically have more hours to enjoy in a day. I read somewhere that, supposing a person goes to bed at the same time at night for 40 years, the difference between rising at five and seven o’clock adds nearly 10 years to his life. <BR><BR>For those of you up and at ’em early in the morning, here is a recipe for cinnamon rolls to try. They take a little over three hours to make from start to finish, but the end result is worth the time (and remember, we early risers have a heads up on time). Enjoy!<BR><BR>CINNAMON ROLLS<BR><BR>2 T dry yeast <BR><BR>1 1/2 c warm water <BR><BR>1 c lukewarm mashed potatoes* <BR><BR>2/3 c sugar <BR><BR>2/3 c oil <BR><BR>2 eggs <BR><BR>2 t salt <BR><BR>1 c raw wheat germ <BR><BR>6-7 c flour <BR><BR>One or more sticks butter <BR><BR>1 c or more brown sugar <BR><BR>3 t cinnamon<BR><BR>Powdered sugar <BR><BR>Milk<BR><BR>Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in potatoes, sugar, oil, eggs, salt and three cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about five minutes. Place in a greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover bowl tightly; let rise two hours or until doubled. Divide into two parts.<BR><BR>Roll out half of the dough and spread with softened butter. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the butter. Roll up the long way; cut into 12 to 14 pieces and lay sideways in a large greased pan. (I usually use two pans—one 8-by-8 and one 13-by-11.) Bake about 25 minutes at 350 degrees. While hot, drizzle with powdered sugar frosting. <BR><BR>To make the frosting, stir together a guesstimated amount of powdered sugar and milk until desired consistency is reached. (I use about one cup powdered sugar to a few tablespoons milk.) Makes 24-27 rolls. <BR><BR>* Those who know more than I can explain the chemical importance of including the potatoes. All I know is mashed potatoes are key in this recipe. The wheat germ can be omitted, if desired. Simply add more flour if needed.<BR><BR>