For me, these wonderful, yeasty buns are the true definition of a Holmwood recipe. It’s relatively foolproof and one that I could experiment with at a fairly young age – and did on a few occasions while at the lake during the summer months.
The recipe came through my Aunt Liz’s family, usually credited to her Aunt Jenny. This version of the recipe is written in my hand copied from the original. The recipe is designed to have the dough rise over a long period of time, usually overnight as it’s name suggests. I remember looking forward all day to the dough making process and then the anticipation for what we’d find in the morning – which was always beautifully risen balls of dough ready to be glazed with melted butter and baked. I have very fond memories of making this recipe with my Uncle Bill. As he was a teacher at the time I expect there may have been a bit of a science lesson included! Regardless, it was a lot of fun.
Aside from the tasty buns resulting from this recipe, the stationery it’s written on has a story all of it’s own. It’s one of the things I enjoy most about the family recipe files.
The recipe was written on the flip side of City of Edmonton letterhead from the mid 1970s (based on the signature of Mayor William Hawrelak) on behalf of the Welcome Wagon. My Grandma Drake was a “hostess” with this organization which started in Canada in the 1930s. Welcome Wagon hostesses “make visits” into the community to provide newcomers, young families, and young women entering the workforce or changing careers with products and services from local businesses that might assist them and make them feel “welcome”. I don’t think I realized until I was an adult that grandma was responsible for encouraging local businesses to be a part of the program and to contribute a product sample or service gift certificate. Very entrepreneurial! I have fond memories of the big wicker basket she used to carry the sample products in. I know she was very proud of the work she did for Welcome Wagon. And I was endlessly proud of her!