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.
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.