Saturday, January 24, 2009

40-Hour Week Dinner Rolls A.K.A. Scoop-and-Bake Dinner Rolls

We love music here at The Greasy Skillet. There are days when carefully selected playlists are as essential in the kitchen as sharp knives.
We don't discriminate when it comes to music. We spin an eclectic mix of music in our kitchen.

I love songs that mention geographic locales. I trace this love back to singing Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" back in my elementary school days. When I hear a song that mentions a dot or squiggle on a map, I start thinking about the possibilities the road has to offer. Of course, some of those possibilities involve food.

However, I've noticed songwriters often ignore the state of Kansas. They seem to favor those Southern states or California, and if I had a dollar for every song that mentioned Texas, I could retire and blog full time.

I have encountered a few songs that mention the Great State of Kansas. Over the next few weeks I will spotlight some of those songs, and since this is a food blog, I'll throw in a recipe to accompany each song.

When I told Mr. Crankypants about this feature he actually smiled and seemed excited - something I rarely see from him. When I revealed the song I would use to kickoff this feature, he threw a fit and screamed, "Nooooo. You can't feature that song. It's crap. It's schmaltzy drivel. It has slick, over-produced sound that sounds canned. In fact, it's the equivalent of canned mushrooms. You wouldn't use canned mushrooms in a recipe."

I then explained to him that this song was part of my youth, and here at the The Greasy Skillet I strive to be honest, even if it is a bit ugly. I told him that a people shouldn't have to defend their musical tastes. I also told him that I don't have a problem occasionally using canned mushrooms when I cook. To conclude my argument, I simply informed him that this was my blog and I would do whatever the heck I wanted to do and schmalty drivel is redundant.

He simply grimaced through my whole explanation.

Today's featured song is "40-Hour Week" by Alabama. I have fond memories of this song. When I was in middle school, I'd spend the weekend with my cousin who lived in Quenemo, Kansas. In the afternoons, we take a pocketfull of quarters and head down to the travern, where we'd waste away the afternoon shooting pool, playing Galaga, and eating junk food. We'd also pump quarters into the jukebox. Between cuts from Def Leppard and Pat Benetar, we'd play some Alabama

The song "40-Hour Week" praises the hard workin' folk across American. It's just one of many country songs that explores this theme, but at one time I really loved the song because it was the first song that mentioned my home state.
There are people in this country who work hard every day
Not for fame or fortune do they strive
But the fruits of their labor are worth more than their pay
And it's time a few of them were recognized

Hello Detroit auto workers, let me thank you for your time
You work a forty hour week for a livin', just to send it on down the line
Hello Pittsburgh steel mill workers, let me thank you for your time
You work a forty hour week for a livin', just to send it on down the line

This is for the one who swings the hammer, driving home the nail
Or the one behind the counter, ringing up the sale
Or the one who fights the fires, the one who brings the mail
For everyone who works behind the scenes

You can see them every morning in the factories and the fields
In the city streets and the quiet country towns
Working together like spokes inside a wheel
They keep this country turning around

Hello Kansas wheat field farmer, let me thank you for your time
You work a forty hour week for a livin', just to send it on down the line
Hello West Virginia coal miner, let me thank you for your time
You work a forty hour week for a livin', just to send it on down the line

This is for the one who drives the big rig, up and down the road
Or the one out in the warehouse, bringing in the load
Or the waitress, the mechanic, the policeman on patrol
For everyone who works behind the scenes

With a spirit you can't replace with no machine
Hello America let me thank you for your time

You wont' find this song on my Ipod, but if I heard "40-Hour Week" blaring from a bar jukebox, I'd hoist a beer and heartily sing that line about Kansas wheat field farmers.

Here's a recipe for those who people who work hard each day and find it difficult to fit a little baking into the schedule:

Scoop-and-Bake Dinner Rolls

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 14/ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  1. Grease a twelve-cup muffin tin.
  2. Whisk 1 1/4 cups of the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Whisk in the butter, egg, and water until it is smooth. Add the remaining 1 cup of flour and mix until it's combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place until the batter has doubled in size. This will take about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Punch the dough down. Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin cups. I use a large ice cream scoop. Cover the muffin cups with greased plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the batter reaches the rims of the muffin cups, about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the plastic wrap and bake the rolls until golden, 14 to 18 minutes. Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes before removing.
  5. Serve

What's your favorite song that mentions a geographic locale?

May your tank always be full,

Next week Josh Ritter's "Lawrence, KS" will be in the spotlight.


High Plains Drifters said...

Favorite song that references a location? Easy... nearly everything Steve Earle has ever written!!

Jodi said...

I like your song idea and a song by Alabama was a good place to start! I'm not a big country music fan, but I always did like that group!

My favorite location song would have to be Rocky Mountain High by John Denver.

TTN said...

Patty Larkin: Birmingham

Steve Earle: Copper Head Road (Knoxville, TN — been there, done that, seen the stills and heard folks call me a "revenuer" because I was driving a car with GSA plates)

Lyle Lovett: San Antonio Girl

Steve Earle: The Gringo's Song (Well, I come from West Colorado...)

Townes Van Zandt: My Proud Mountains

Steve Earle: NYC

And of course...

Johnny Cash: I've Been Everywhere (pretty much covers it all!!)

rebel said...

Margaritaville :)

Kate said...

George Strait, Amarillo by Morning.

Sorry for picking a Texas song, but the song/food idea is great!

muddywaters said...

Kate: You shouldn't apologize for picking a Texas song. We like George Strait here at The Greasy Skillet. He's the Sinatra of country music. In fact, when he did a duet of Fly Me to the Moon with Sinatra, he sang circles around ol' blue eyes.

muddywaters said...

Jodi: Thanks for stopping by and posting a comment. I'll be sure to swing by your blog.

muddywaters said...

After much consideration and number crunching, these are my faves:

1. "The Front Porch Song" by Robert Earl Keen. It's a song he wrote with Lyle Lovett, but I prefer Keen's version.

2. "Kansas City" by Wilbur Harrison. This song has been covered numerous times, and I've yet to hear a version I didn't like.

3. "Flatland Boogie" by Charlie Robison

4. "Choctaw Bingo" by James McMurtry. It's a great song about a dysfunctional (What family isn't) family gathering for a family reunion. This 7 plus minute song introduces to a cast of interesting characters.

5. "I've Been Everywhere" by Johnny Cash. I considered "Route 66" but this song just covers more blacktop.

I left so many great songs off my list.

My four-year-old daughter loves:

1. "Jackson" by Johnny Cash and June Carter

2. "Okeechobee" by The Wrinkled-Necked Mules

High Plains Drifters said...

I saw Shawn Colvin (South Dakota girl) at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia a couple or more years ago. Many more. She was fresh off her Grammy for Record of the Year, and I knew she was about to just take off.

We got tickets for ten bucks. Ten bucks to see a Grammy winner! But then we found out that there were two seating options: ten bucks got you a lawn chair in the first five rows, and everyone else got in for free, sitting in bleachers they had set up not quite out of earshot of the arcades and carney folk.

So there we were, sitting with the other five people who paid the ten bucks, and sitting in front of the dozen or so people who were there for free. I couldn't believe it. No one there could tear themselves away from the ring toss and funnel cake to hear a Grammy winner. But that's their loss, I thought.

Anyways, because of the sparse audience, she pretty much just took requests all night, and at some point I hollered out "How about 'Someday'?" She just smiled and started in on the Steve Earle hit that she included on her Cover Girl album.

And when she was done, she said to us, "No one but no one writes about hating and still loving where they're from like Steve Earle."

shweetpotato said...

I have a question about your rolls, the pics are DELICIOUS by the way :D do I grease the muffin tins before I add in the batter? Id love to try these, Carmen

muddywaters said...

SchweetPotato: Yes, you grease the tins. I revised the post with the change. Thanks for the question.