Jared’s Story Part 8 & a Cinnamon Roll Recipe

We left Jared in Emily’s kitchen, asking her if she had a boat.

“Yes, but it won’t do us any good,” said Emily. “Do you remember the giant sea serpent?”

“Oh, she’d try to eat us right?”

“She would eat us,” said Emily.

“Well Hans’s book says we either have to cut off Mina’s head or we have to take her to one of the siren islands and there’s one here in the Icicle Sea,” Jared replied.

“What does Hans’s book say about the giant sea serpent?” Emily asked.

Jared flipped through the pages and this is what it said.

Giant Sea Serpent

(Here is the text for those who cannot read the picture.)
SEA SERPENT, GIANT (Anguilla Praegrandis) – Ravenous carnivores, the giant sea serpent sees everything in its path as a potential meal. Fortunately, they now only exist in two places – the Arctic and Icicle Sea. The Arctic Sea variety poses no threat to human kind. They adapted their bodies long ago to deep sea depths, are unable to breath above water and are virtually blind. However, I know of at least one giant sea serpent that lives in the Icicle Sea. This creature avoids the siren island (see entry on sirens) but the rest of the sea remains her hunting ground. Most conventional weapons cannot penetrate her tough scales but there is a non-violent way to get past her. It seems that long ago, giant sea serpents lived in the Indian Ocean. They fed on spice traders and the spices they shipped, especially cinnamon. The giant sea serpent prefers cinnamon over meat since now it is so difficult for her to obtain any…

Jared looked up from the book. “Emily, what are you making with that dough?”

“Cinnamon rolls.”

“Perfect,” Jared replied.

Here is Emily’s Cinnamon Roll recipe

Cinnamon Roll Recipe
This recipe is adapted from “America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.”

Special equipment – rolling pin, cooling rack

Total Time – 4 ½ hours (including sweet dough preparation)
Yield = about 12 cinnamon rolls

Preparation #1 – Make the Sweet Dough
See Sweet Dough recipe for preparation and ingredients.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
¾ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons of butter
confectioner’s sugar
Milk

Preparation #2 – Prepare the Sweet Dough
1) Flour a flat surface

2) Take a rolling pin and flatten out the sweet dough, then use your fingers to make a 9×13 rectangle of dough.

Making Cinnamon Rolls - roll out the sweet dough

(Okay, just to be clear to get better light, I moved my rectangle of dough onto parchment paper but that is not recommended, i.e. don’t do it.)

3) Melt the butter in the microwave. It takes me about 2 minutes in my microwave.
4) With a pastry brush, brush the butter over the dough. I cover most of the dough, leaving about a half inch border all around.

Making Cinnamon Rolls - Butter the Dough

5) In a medium mixing bowl, add the brown sugar and cinnamon and mix well.

6) With the same spoon you used to mix the brown sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle the mixture onto the dough, making sure to get good coverage over the dough.

Making Cinnamon Rolls - spread the cinnamon:brown sugar mix over the dough

7) Roll the dough as tightly as you can. Then elongate the dough by putting one of your hands underneath the rolled dough and gentle pushing the dough forward until you’ve done that to the whole roll. This should make the dough longer by maybe 6-8 inches.

8) With a serrated knife, cut the rolls into pieces about 1 -1.5 inches wide.

Making Cinnamon Rolls - Cut the Rolled Dough

Preparation #3 – Proof the Rolls

1) Grease a 13×9 baking pan and place the rolls into the pan.

Preproofed Cinnamon Rolls

2) Cover with plastic wrap and let proof until they touch each other (about another 1 ½ hours).

Proofed Cinnamon Rolls

Bake the Rolls

Turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Bake in the oven for about 24-25 minutes (depending on your oven).

Preparation #4 – Make the Icing

While the cinnamon rolls are cooking, prepare the icing.

1) In a medium mixing bowl, add 3-4 tablespoons of milk.

2) Take a tablespoon and add a few heaping tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar.

3) Mix the milk and the confectioner’s sugar together. The icing will probably be pretty thin. Continue to add confectioner’s sugar until you get about this consistency.

Making Cinnamon Rolls - making the frosting

Finishing Touches

1) When the cinnamon rolls are done, take them out of the oven.

2) Apply the icing by taking a tablespoon of icing, pouring it on the center of the roll, then taking the back of the tablespoon to spread it over the entire roll.

Making Cinnamon Rolls - Add the Frosting

3) Repeat for all twelve rolls.

4) Let cool on a cooling rack.

Enjoy! Now back to the story.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Are you sure this is going to work?” asked Emily.

“We’re about to find out!” Jared shouted back. “Time to put on the earmuffs!”

Emily and Jared snapped on their earmuffs. Emily’s boat, a sailboat about the size of a schooner, crashed against the waves. Mina stood gagged and tied around the mast.

Jared saw a series of humps coming towards the boat. He untied Mina’s gag. After a few minutes, the humps disappeared. He walked back to Emily and gave her the thumb’s up.

As he went to put the gag back on, he felt a push. He grabbed onto the railing. Almost immediately he felt another push, this time it was much stronger. Jared looked at Emily’s frightened face. Large waves crashed against the boat, drenching Jared and Emily both.

“Emily!” shouted Jared. Another wave drenched his body. “Can you get the cinnamon rolls?”

Emily gave Jared the thumbs up to indicate she heard him. She opened one of many crates sitting on the deck and tossed a cinnamon roll overboard.

Jared leaned over the deck. The 5 foot long cinnamon roll was so light and airy, it floated on the water. Jared’s legs shook as he felt something large coming from deep within the water. He saw a large, many toothed mouth come out of the water and swallow the cinnamon roll. Jared backed away from the edge of the deck.

“Emily!” Jared shouted. “Hmrph. Huack, huack,” Jared felt cold hands choking him. He kicked the person from behind as hard as he could and managed to break free. It was Mina of course.

Jared looked around the deck. He saw Emily lying down, not moving. Her earmuffs were gone, the rope they used to tie Mina in her still hand. Mina started at him again. He swerved to avoid her. The open crate of cinnamon rolls stood between them. He grabbed the edge of the crate. Three or four cinnamon rolls spilled out of the box, creating a barrier between him and Mina. Then Jared almost lost his balance as he felt the deck shake beneath him.

The boat tipped and Jared rolled to the other side. As he tumbled, his earmuffs slipped off his head. He saw the head of the giant sea serpent come out of the water and swallow the cinnamon rolls. Mina managed to avoid the monster and started coming towards Jared again. She started to sing.

Jared sat on the deck, frozen by Mina’s song as she approached. The world seemed to fade in comparison to her voice as she slowly walked towards him. Even though he knew he must move, he could not.

All of a sudden, the boat tipped again and the giant sea serpent reared half its body out of the water, ready to swallow Mina whole. Now Jared understood the true power of a siren’s voice. Even as she continued to control Jared with a certain melody, it was joined by a second melody, creating an eerie choral effect. This second line of notes controlled the sea serpent.

Jared watched in horror as the sea serpent thrashed its head against the water then started to tie itself in knots. Mina’s second melody grew stronger causing the sea serpent to pull the knots tighter and tighter until finally it sank back into the sea, dead from suffocation.

When Mina finished watching the sea serpent, she turned her attention again towards Jared. When she reached close enough to touch him, she threw her hands on Jared’s neck again. Jared looked into her eyes and did what anyone would do under the circumstances to stop the singing. He kissed her.

Then he kissed her again, and again. If he thought he felt something the first time he heard Mina’s voice down on the beach, it was nothing compared to the feeling of his lips on hers right at this moment. Despite everything she had done, with every kiss he forgave her. He had never felt more alive then right here, right now. Besides, he knew what it was like to love and lose. Perhaps under the same circumstances and with the same abilities, he would have done the same.

And then Mina kissed back. Here was a man who traveled over 300 miles to rescue her, wading through a landscape full of monsters. He rescues her. She rejects him. He tries to rescue her again, right when she needed it and she not only rejects him, she uses him. I guess three times a charm because she finally listened. Mina raised her head in song but not a song of destruction, a song of joy!

The song woke Elizabeth. She stood up and saw the couple kissing. “Did something happen that I need to know about?” she asked.

End of Part 8.

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