Evelyn Hammersley's Ice Box* Rolls
Makes about 4 dozen, party size
2 cups boiling water
2 heaping tablespoons lard
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
Pour boiling water over all ingredients and dissolve. Let cool until lukewarm. moisten two cake pans with 1/4 cup lukewarm water. Add 1 teaspoon sugar. Add 2 eggs beaten. Add all ingredients to the first mixture. Add 4 cups of sifted flour. Beat hard. Then add 3 cups more sifted flour. Put in icebox overnight. Make into rolls as desired and let raise 4 hours before baking.
For caramel pecan rolls: Take from icebox and roll out on well-floured board in a large strip about 3/4-inch thick. Spread with melted butter. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon mixed together. Roll up; slice into rolls about 1-inch thick. Line baking tins or muffin tins with melted butter, brown sugar and pecans and raisins. Place rolls in tins flat-side down, let raise four hours before baking.
* From the late 19th century well through the 1930s, almost every home contained a piece of furniture called an “icebox” – the precursor to our modern-day refrigerator. Iceboxes featured a compartment at the top where a block of ice would sit, and the convection from the cool air would keep anything in the cupboard underneath cool and fresh. To keep these iceboxes stocked with ice, a whole industry developed – ice harvesting, or ice-cutting, in which blocks of ice were cut from frozen lakes, streams and marshes in the dead of winter and stored for use year-round. Ironically, some of the best taverns in Chicago used ice cubes in their drinks that were harvested from the crystal clear waters of nearby Geneva Lake.