On the Menu: Nena Buns

My Nena is the sweetest lady of all time. I know most people think that about their grandmas, but she really is. Everyone should know her; she’s the best. I spent several summers of my childhood with her and my grandpa in Texas, and I look back on those summers as some of my fondest childhood memories. We have spent many Thanksgivings there also, so I thought this would be a perfect time to share one of Nena’s best-loved recipes.

This was from a journal my cousin (Callie) made Nena fill out when she was in high school!

Nena is FAMOUS for her cooking. She cooks for everyone and she makes it look so dang easy. She is especially famous for her buns- I remember loving them best with a small bit of peanut butter and they were amazing. They are good for sandwiches, hamburgers, soup, everything. She took them to church functions, potlucks, and had a constant batch at home. They are magical- it’s truly as though you can taste the love and care she puts into them with her tiny hands. I haven’t had them (made by her) in years, but I am looking forward to making them in just a few days for our Thanksgiving dinner! As I don’t get to see her as often as I would like, she was kind enough to share her recipe with me and I am thrilled to be able to pass it along! Here is her recipe, exactly as written. All of the notes are hers; completely unedited. (She also sent this to me via text; how awesome is that!? So trendy).

Nena Buns: The Recipe 

2 cups milk (heat to lukewarm)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening (I use butter)
3 teaspoons salt
3 eggs, beaten

Mix all together & stir in 2 cups flour
Then put 2 packages dry yeast in 1/4 cup warm (not hot) water. Dissolve.
Stir in 5 1/2 cups flour (maybe 6)
Knead to a smooth ball. Put in greased bowl & let double in bulk.

Punch down & shape into 24 buns. Let rise again (30-45 min.)
Bake at 350 til light brown.


I really hope you make these! They are so special. This is one of those recipes that I hope to pass on to several generations. Not just with the recipe, but with the stories. Nena brings people together. I hope this recipe helps you think about your own traditions you’ve grown up with, and to cherish and appreciate the little moments.