My desk at home sits in front of a big window where I can watch the orchard through the seasons. Now that it is November the trees in the front yard have a few brown leaves clinging to their branches while the apple trees beyond are still thick with leaves but they have turned yellow and will soon join the apples that fell to the ground during the picking season.

It won’t be long before all the branches that I can see will be bare and perhaps snow covered. They have their own beauty and I try to enjoy the sight knowing that it won’t be long before the days again begin to lengthen and the tree buds will begin to swell in anticipation of spring. An ageless cycle.

It’s the time of year that makes me want to put some soup on to simmer and bake some bread. I have some of the rich turkey stock that I simmered a couple of weeks ago. I’ll use that with some bits of leftover turkey from the freezer saved just for soup. Whatever vegetables I have in the refrigerator will get added but for sure onions, celery and carrots. The great thing about soup is that it’s a good way to use up tired vegetables that aren’t good enough for salad. Maybe I’ll add a can of black beans or some rice or a potato to make it heartier but for sure it will be delicious accompanied by bread warm from the oven.

Now that I think about it, another option to bread is Beth’s Whole Wheat Rolls. My sister Beth makes these every year for holiday dinners. There is never even one left for a sandwich the next day. They’d be perfect with soup.

Beth’s Whole Wheat Rolls
2 packages yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 stick butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup honey, or sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
4 – 5 cups flour, (I usually use 1 to 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour and 3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour). Half and half works fine too.

Soften yeast in in the 1/4 cup water. Mix everything else but flour together, stir in yeast and then flour. Knead on a floured surface until smooth and no longer sticky. (I use the Kitchen Aid mixer for this step but kneading by hand is good for getting rid of aggression) Place in a large oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Let raise until double. Form into rolls, let raise again. Bake in 375 degree oven 20-25 minutes. Makes 2 to 2-1/2 dozen

(I roll them into balls, dip in melted butter and bake in a 9×13 pan or round cake pans. They can be baked individually in muffin cups too. That would take less time to bake.)