I mentioned in my last post that I spent a few days last month traveling to Lincoln, Nebraska to celebrate the life of my great grandma Madge. Those circumstances, obviously, do not make for a great trip, but somehow I feel like Madge would have appreciated the fact that my mom, grandma, two aunts and I made the best of this trip. Although I did put my waterproof mascara to the ultimate test, went through an entire box of Kleenex, and spent the whole weekend with a head full of snot, I can say that there were memories made on that trip that I will not soon forget: getting lost in the middle of Kansas because our whole car was focused on Words With Friends, discussing the deliciousness of corn nuts and rum (?!) with a gas station attendant in Northern Oklahoma, and many long conversations about who did and did not go to lake Wabaunzee to name a few. One memory that Mom and I just couldn’t shake was arriving in Lincoln at 9:30 – when the Runza Restaurant closes at 9.
Obviously this was an extreme disappointment and we couldn’t conceivably remove the thought from our heads. Luckily, this weekend offered plenty of time for some prime Runza making (I mean, we practically HAD to spend a long weekend with my parents, Ross was interviewing in Dallas anyway!).
If you lack Nebraskan relatives, you may be wondering what a Runza is – the answer is this: it’s a roll baked with meat inside. As in, instant sandwich. Here’s the recipe we used. They were absolutely delicious – so much so that I ate them for lunch on Sunday and wasn’t hungry until lunch today!
Of course, Runza wasn’t the only thing that came out of the trip – I also had plenty of car time to knit up this scarf:
I had some beautiful hand-painted Misti sock yarn, which was so soft and had such pretty colors! I did a drop-stitch pattern (it’s in Vogue Stitchionary vol. 1).
(By the way, I love this resource – if you’re a beginnerish knitter and want to learn everything you can do with knit and purl, you definitely need it.)
I’ve done it before – it’s one of my favorite scarf patterns as you can go as wide or thin as you want, it’s reversible, and it knits up fairly quick. I can’t wait to bind off and wear it!
Also, can’t forget to mention that when I came home, my magnificent students left these little gems on my desk:
In case you were wondering? I have the BEST students in the world this year. Even if today they pretended that they’d never heard of this “Declaration of Independence” they were supposed to read while I was gone….
The Runza Recipe!
2 pkg. Active dry Yeast
2 cups warm milk
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs – beaten
1/2 cup shortening, margarine or butter
7 to 8 cups all-purpose flour
Put yeast and milk in a bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add sugar, salt, eggs and softened butter.
Mix. Gradually add flour while mixing. Add flour until dough pulls together into a ball. Knead for 4
or 5 minutes or until dough is smooth. (This really works best with a free-standing mixer with a
Put in a greased bowl, cover with a towel and allow to rise until double.
Punch down and let it rise again.
Remove dough from bowl and divide into thirds. On a floured surface, roll one portion of the
dough to 1/4” thickness. Cut into 5″or 6” squares. (Reserve dough you cut off to reroll.)
Give each square an extra roll with the rolling pin before filling.
2 lbs ground beef
1 head of cabbage – finely shredded
Lots of salt and pepper
Brown ground beef. Add shredded cabbage and cook over medium heat until cabbage is
softened. Add salt and pepper to taste. It takes a lot!
Start this about halfway through the second rise of the dough. Set aside until dough is ready.
Put a large mound of filling on the center of each dough square. Pull opposite corners of the
dough together and pinch to hold. Pull the opposite two corners together and use your fingers
to pinch all edges together to seal in filling. Turn Runza over and put on a cookie sheet lined with
parchment paper (helps to keep any leakage from staining your cookie sheet)
Space Runzas about 1 inch apart. When cookie sheet is full put a towel over it and let it rise for
about 15 minutes.
Bake Runzas in a 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes – until they are a deep brown.
Remove from oven and rub butter on the top of each Runza.