Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Shaker Squash Rolls

Since my dad’s chemo treatments have knocked him for a loop (and messed up his taste buds, so most food tastes bad to him), my parents decided not to host Thanksgiving this year. On the flip side, my sister-in-law is busy in Ukraine adopting three teenage girls, so she isn't hosting my husband’s family either. The result: Instead of trying to juggle two family gatherings, my sweetheart and I decided to have a Thanksgiving dinner made for two.

We’re having a pretty traditional meal, including the turkey (I’m putting herb butter under the skin for the first time, using Ina Garten’s recipe), dressing (a sausage recipe from my former neighbor John in New Hampshire), mashed potatoes and gravy (a must!), green bean casserole (The Picky Eater insists we have this dish), cranberry sauce (a Martha Stewart recipe from years ago), rolls and pumpkin pie.

Does your menu include those crescent rolls that come in the blue can? Or maybe some other heat-and-serve rolls? May I make a suggestion? Pick up an extra can of pumpkin and try these Shaker Squash Rolls.

I got this recipe while working as a tour guide for the Canterbury Shaker Village in New Hampshire and shared it in a pumpkin article I wrote for the Topeka Capital-Journal. The Shakers were a Christian group that came from England in 1774. Shaker communities existed from the east coast to Ohio. They were peaceful people who lived in a communal setting and showed their love of God through hard work. They were also celibate and lived as brothers and sisters, which may explain why their membership has declined to just a handful that now live in Maine.

Working at the village was one of my favorite jobs. It’s a beautiful place, and a sense of peace always came over me when I stepped onto the grounds. (Be sure to visit there any time you’re in New England.)

These rolls can be made with any type of squash puree and are somewhat sweet, similar to Hawaiian rolls. What I like about the recipe is you cut the rolls out like you would biscuits. To make ahead, you can either freeze or refrigerate the unbaked rolls and then bake when ready. (Do this after they are cut out and placed in the baking pan, but before the final rise.)  Just give them time to warm-up and rise before you

Believe me, these rolls are worth the time. I plan to make mine the day before. They will also taste great along side a warm bowl of soup, stew or chili throughout the winter.



  1. Mmmmm! They look perfect! I am making gluten-free popovers to accompany our soup course ... very nervous about them, but the recipe is coming from King Arthur's website ... and we have two folks coming to Thanksgiving dinner who require GF options ... so ...

  2. Dear Linda, These rolls look like perfection. Cooked perfectly.

    I love recipes like this old and traditional. Once people start making their own rolls they will never turn to the blue can again!!

    I hope that your dad will feel better soon.

    Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
    Catherine xo

  3. Hoping that your dad will feel better soon :) Hope you enjoy your thanksgiving for two, sounds like it could be lovely. Have a fantastic day, these rolls look amazing! I shall be sharing :)

  4. So sorry to hear of your father's chemo treatments effecting his taste buds, Linda. Have you looked into any of the cookbooks available for chemo patients? I can check with Michele if you like.

    Thanksgiving for two does sound like a nice break every once in a while. I had to laugh at the Picky Eater for insisting on "the" green bean casserole. So funny, lol...

    I have quite a few Shaker cookbooks but I have never been to the Canterbury Shaker Village. I must go one day. Thanks for the reminder and thank you for sharing the Squash Rolls recipe...

  5. Louise, I've wanted to look at some of those cookbooks, but just haven't had the chance yet. We actually did go to my parents for Thanksgiving. Dad's chemo was delayed because they found a spot on his lung. He's have a biopsy today to see if the cancer has spread or if it is just an infection. I'm praying for the latter. I would love any suggestions about food for him that you can pass along, especially with Christmas coming. For a food lover, having your sense of taste altered must be the worst feeling.

  6. Hi Linda,

    I will check with my daughter and ask her which of the books was most helpful. I'll also ask her for any tips she may have. I'll email you as soon as I hear from her. Praying for positive news. Louise

  7. Linda,
    Thank yo !!I did a search for these very rolls and you came through! I taught in Enfield, NH, another Shaker community, and lived in Concord. I visited Canterbury regularly and always bought the Shaker rolls and pie when I gathered holiday dinners to serve in Massachusetts after a full work day in NH. My husband was missing this recipe and my Shaker cookbook is packed away. Thank you! I am thrilled to make these rolls once agai. Susan, now in California

    1. I'm so glad I could help! I loved being at Canterbury...the peacefulness was wonderful. Thanks for reaching out.