Thursday, September 8, 2016

Betty MacDonald, Linde Lund and happiness

mrs. piggle wiggle's magic_french_1991_FRONT
Betty MacDonald in the living room at Vashon on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.

Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

we are working on a new Betty MacDonald exhibit.

You'll be able to read some very interesting letters by Betty MacDonald regarding her fascinating political views. 

What about some excellent cinnamon rolls from the Burbanks' kitchen?

You don't know what I'm talking about?

No problem you can find the delightful story and recipe below.

We are going to publish new Betty MacDonald essays on Betty MacDonald's gardens and nature in Washington State.

Betty MacDonald fan club newsletter September will be very interesting because we'll share new outstanding Betty MacDonald fan club research results.

Tell us the names of this mysterious couple please and you can win a very new Betty MacDonald documentary. 


You shouldn't miss our International Betty MacDonald fan club events  because you can make the most wonderful friends there.
I think London would be the best place for next International Betty MacDonald fan club event because I'd like to return to this wonderful city. 
The Betty MacDonald fan club event DVDs are excellent and I already own a whole collection.

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerl is beloved all over the World.

We are so happy that our 'Casanova'  is back.

Vashon Island - described by Betty MacDonald in Onions in the Stew - is a paradise.

Jamie-Lee with Ghost got over 8 million views and more than 68.000 people like the song.

This is our Betty MacDonald fan club ESC 2016 TOP 5 according to Betty MacDonald fan club ESC fans in 40 countries.  

Have a very nice Thurday,


Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund is crazy about cinnamon rolls. Many people in Sweden adore them so much.  

my family and I adore them sooooo much
Happiness is a Swedish cinnamon roll. Happy #FikaFriday!

Don't miss this very special book, please.

Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - LinkFang ( German ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Memim ( English )

Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - Wikipedia ( English)

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 

Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  

Rita Knobel Ulrich - Islam in Germany - a very interesting ZDF  ( 2nd German Television ) documentary with English subtitles 

Far-Right Overtakes Angela Merkel’s Bloc in Her Home State

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany campaigned Saturday in Bad Doberan, a town in her home political state, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Credit Bernd Wuestneck/DPA, via Associated Press

BERLIN — Voters in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s political home state delivered her a stinging rebuke on Sunday, propelling a far-right party to second place in the state legislature, ahead of her center-right bloc.
It is the first time in an election in modern Germany that a far-right party has overtaken Ms. Merkel’s bloc of Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union.
Official results released early Monday showed that Ms. Merkel’s Christian Democrats had received 19 percent of the vote, against 21 percent for the far-right Alternative for Germany. The center-left Social Democrats, with whom Ms. Merkel governs nationally, got 31 percent in the state, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and are likely to continue their coalition there with Ms. Merkel’s bloc.
The vote took place a year to the day after Ms. Merkel agreed with Austria that the two countries would admit thousands of mostly Syrian refugees then trapped in Hungary, with several hundred desperately marching on foot toward the West.
Although Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has only 1.3 million eligible voters in a country of 81 million people, Sunday’s elections were seen as an indicator of Ms. Merkel’s political strength and as the real start of the campaign for national elections, due by fall of next year.

Interactive Feature

Europe’s Rising Far Right: A Guide to the Most Prominent Parties

Amid a migrant crisis and discontent with the European Union, many far-right parties have achieved electoral success. Here are eight of the most noteworthy.

OPEN Interactive Feature

Speaking just 35 minutes after polls had closed, Peter Tauber, the general secretary of the Christian Democrats, said that the result was “bitter” and that all democratic parties had lost out to the Alternative for Germany. The new party, he said, has paid scant heed to the record of the current state government and instead “has made right-wing extremism something acceptable.”
“It is clear that the good work of the previous government did not concern most voters,” Mr. Tauber told a sparse crowd at the Berlin headquarters of Ms. Merkel’s party. “Then a sizable number showed the desire to exercise their protest, especially in regards to national migration policies.”

The chancellor, whose parliamentary constituency is in the state that voted on Sunday, was in China at a Group of 20 summit meeting and had no immediate comment.
The Alternative for Germany had already captured seats in three state legislatures this year, riding strongly on fears that refugees will siphon funds and attention from Germans and change the country’s way of life. Its local and national leaders were jubilant after Sunday’s results.
“That is a slap in the face for Ms. Merkel,” Frauke Petry, the leader of the Alternative for Germany, told the public broadcaster ZDF. “That is a slap for the chancellor in her home state.”


How Far Is Europe Swinging to the Right?

Right-wing parties have been achieving electoral success in a growing number of nations.
OPEN Graphic

Fear of refugees is particularly pronounced in Germany’s formerly Communist east, where there are far fewer refugees than in the country’s west.
Initial analysis in poll research undertaken for the public service broadcaster ARD indicated that the far-right party had benefited heavily from people who had not voted in previous elections, and then in drawing votes from Ms. Merkel’s conservatives. The research also showed that 75 percent of voters for the far right said they wanted to deliver a protest message to the mainstream political parties.
The turnout on Sunday was 10 percentage points higher than in the last state elections in 2011, when it was at a historic low of 51.1 percent.
One consolation for the mainstream was that the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party of Germany did not clear the 5 percent barrier required to win seats. The neo-Nazis had been in the state legislature for the past decade, winning 6 percent of the vote in 2011.
The national leader of the Social Democrats, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, appeared relieved by his party’s result, which, at 30 percent, would be at least eight percentage points above polls taken two months ago. He told supporters in Berlin that Sunday’s showing proved that good politics and a steadfast fighting spirit could win elections.

Mr. Gabriel faces an uphill struggle to keep the center-left above 20 percent nationwide. Courting support in the past week, he criticized Ms. Merkel for admitting so many refugees and angered the United States by declaring important American-European trade talks a failure.

Yet Ms. Merkel is the leader with the biggest challenge after Sunday’s vote, the first of five before the national elections.
In recent weeks, her conservatives emphasized the “homeland” and public safety — traditionally far-right themes — in the northeast and in the city-state of Berlin, which votes on Sept. 18.
Asked if it had been a mistake to try to stop the far right by embracing its themes, Mr. Tauber noted that voters had clearly shown fear of losing out in globalization and were worried for their future. “In elections, I really think you have to address the themes voters say are preoccupying them,” he said.
Ms. Merkel defended her decision to abandon border controls a year ago and admit the refugees in a welcoming outburst that has since soured.
“On that weekend,” she told the Bild newspaper on Saturday, “it was not about opening the border for everyone — it was about not shutting it to those who had made their way to us from Hungary, on foot and in great need of help.”

     cinnamon rolls from the burbanks' kitchen

Darsie obediently got up, took the sugar bowl and went out to the kitchen. After a long long time he came back to the breakfast table with a plate of cinnamon rolls.
"What are these for?" his father said. "And where is the sugar?"
"Sugar?" said Darsie. "What about sugar?"
"I told you to fill the sugar bowl," said Mrs. Burbank.
"Oh," said Darsie, "I thought you said, 'Get the cinnamon roll.'"

from Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic by Betty MacDonald

The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series is full to the brim with references to classic American foods like sugar cookies, root beer floats, and peanut butter sandwiches. I read all of the books (multiple times) as I was growing up, and true to my foodie tendencies, I was often distracted by the foods described at the characters' mealtimes, parties, or garden club meetings.

Written in the 1940's and 1950's, it's no surprise that these classics pop up through all the books. This was a time of economic abundance and the growing popularity of pre-packaged foods. The most vogue recipes were the ones that included brand names. So it was a time when a lot of American classics were born.

And it doesn't get much more classic (or delicious) than cinnamon rolls.

My rolls are stuffed with plenty of cinnamon and pecans, so they are reminiscent of pecan spinwheels. Made completely with whole wheat flour, I was afraid these would be a bit too heavy or chewy. But while they're not as cake-y as their white flour counterparts, the texture is actually really lovely, like a soft bread.

Um, also? Vegan.

I couldn't bring myself to make them without real icing and a candied center though, so you'll find that these call for brown and powdered sugar. But compared to a typical recipe, they require only about half of what's usually used. And if you'd like to make it even healthier, you could substitute palm sugar for the brown sugar, and try this date syrup as icing.

I'm pretty sold on this version though. Even J, who is notorious for his rejection of sweet snacks, couldn't keep his paws off of these.

Cinnamon Pecan Rolls


For the dough...
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 packet active yeast
2 tbsp, + 1 tsp brown sugar
3 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp unsweetened applesauce, at room temperature

For the filling...
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp, + 2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp oil
1/2 cup pecans

For the icing...
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
small amount of almond milk

1. Heat the milk in the microwave until 100-110 degrees (about 1 min). Sprinkle 1 tsp of the brown sugar and the yeast over the milk. Stir, then set aside to proof for 5-10 minutes.

2. In the meantime, combine the 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Form a well in the mixture, then pour in the yeast and applesauce. Stir until holding together, then add the rest of the flour a couple of tablespoons at a time. When stirring is no longer possible, begin kneading the dough, adding more flour until you have a ball without stickiness. I needed the full 3 cups of might even need a bit more.

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about a 12" by 18" rectangle, about 1/4" thick. Combine the four filling ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well blended. Spread evenly over the dough, leaving about 1" empty on a long edge. From the opposite edge, roll the dough up, then pinch to seal. You will have a long tube of dough.

4. Cut the ends off, then cut the dough into 12 pieces. Grease a baking dish and carefully place the pieces in it, with the cinnamon spirals facing up. Cover with a warm dishtowel and place in a warm place to rise, about 45-60 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes. Allow rolls to cool for at least 10 minutes before icing.

6. To the powdered sugar, add a very small amount of almond milk (less than 1 tsp). Stir until well combined, and add more milk as needed, until desired consistency. Stir in the vanilla, then drizzle over the cinnamon rolls.


  1. These from scratch cinnamon rolls look tasty. How much better are these than the Pillsbury tube cinnamon rolls that account for 99% of my "baking?"

    Oh, and as much as I like breakfast, "Fantasy Friday" is a bit of a stretch for cinnamon buns. :)

    1. =) Yes, agreed. But how else would I get Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle into the mix?!
  2. Ooey gooey, looks awesome. Thanks for reminding me of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. I loved her and her upside down house as a child
  3. how good are these looking to me right now!? I can almost smell them.....!!
  4. first of all, these will be the first thing i bake in our new oven.
    second of all, it has been forever since i've seen your space (i always get/read your email updates) and i LOVE your new design!
    third of all, your photography is awesome.
    fourth of all, i am so proud of you.
    fifth of all, i love you.

    xox. t.
  5. CLAIR!!! MISS PIGGLE WIGGLE BOOKS WERE MY FAVORITE!!! Oh it makes me SO HAPPY that someone else knows about them. NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT THEM! My Mom read them to me growing up and now she has become a bit of a "Miss Piggle Wiggle" herself. (She's a retired elementary school teacher turned nanny). Such a treat. Thanks!

    1. =))) Your happy makes me so happy! I'm definitely on the same page as you. I have all of them on my bookshelf to this day, and I read them so.many.times.
  6. YOWSERS! Those look incredible!! As always, I love your healthier take on things. Another great recipe, thanks Clair! Great work.
  7. MISS PIGGLE WIGGLE! I always got distracted by the descriptions of food in those books, too- it all sounded so good!

    Now I'm definitely going to have to make these cinnamon rolls.
  8. DROOOOOOOOOOOOOOL. Holy guacamole that picture of the inside goo! Heavenly heavenly HEAVEN. I'm going to file this one away under "healthified versions of my MOST FAVORITE THINGS".
  9. Um, those look seriously amazing. Your recipes always make me so hungry, especially when they look so gooey and delicious! :)
  10. clair, can we PLEASE! have baking parties next year? i got a children's book cookbook (with recipes from all kinds of british children's books!) and i'd love for you to teach me your ways. :)
  11. Umm... You know cinnamon rolls have been calling my name the last few weeks.... and since I haven't had one in almost 3 years - I think I should just have a cinnamon roll - and it it too! ;)
    These look super yummy ;) xoxo
  12. Oh I like it so much...........

    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful recipes.

    There are so many Betty MacDonald and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle fan club fans all over the world.

    Did you know that Mrs. Burbank in Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's magic is Betty MacDonald's very witty sister Alison Bard Burnett?

    Alison Bard Burnett's son Darsie is a Betty MacDonald fan club honor member.

    Thank you so much.

    Linde Lund