It was fairly warm out today. I couldn't very well leave it in my car while I'm at the gym. Can you imagine the mess it would make if it melted? Egads!
What's that? Oh, you're wondering what on Earth would possess me to buy lard in the first place? Well, I can't blame you for wondering that. I never in a million years imagined I would buy, much less cook with, lard. I was grossed out by the idea of it fairly early on. But I grew up on a hog farm. So, my mom often cooked with it. That was years ago, though.
So, why am I buying and cooking with lard? This weekend, I plan to make my Grandma's overnight buns. They were such a treat for us when she made them. To this day, I've not had any sort of bread product as good as Grandma's buns. I'm drooling a little just thinking about them.
My mom sent me the recipe not that long ago, and I'm finally getting around to making them. They're fairly involved. First of all, I had to buy the lard. I could have used shortening, but a) I never saw a can of Crisco in my Grandma's house, and b) lard was almost a full dollar cheaper. Secondly, they are overnight buns. They require an overnight rise -- and that's after the initial four-hour rise. You have to punch down the dough every hour for four hours and then form the buns and put them on pans to rise overnight.
Oh, and one other thing: the recipe makes 90 buns. Yes, you read that right -- nine-zero. Obviously, I'm going to halve it. Still, that's four dozen buns. I will be using every flat surface and pan I own to get these made. As for the "warm" part of letting them rise overnight ... well, I'll probably end up letting them rise longer. My stove is minuscule and that's really the only warm place in the kitchen. Maybe on top of the fridge.
Grandma would start them at 4:00 in the afternoon and start baking at 6:00 a.m. As does my mom. I'll be mixing the dough when I get home from the gym. It means I'll have to stay up fairly late -- I can't imagine making all of those buns will go quickly. But I'm really hoping it will all be worth it and I will have a taste of home and my childhood. My grandma would be proud of me, I think.