Athena Scalzi

Trying Out A New Recipe: Joshua Weissman’s Sticky Buns

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I watch a lot of cooking videos on YouTube, and I’ve been watching Joshua Weissman for about a year now, but have never made one of his recipes before. Until now!

I decided to make sticky buns, mostly because they sounded good, but also because we had some company over and they seemed like a good sort of shareable thing to make.

First, I watched the video, and it seemed simple enough! His videos are pretty entertaining and easy to understand. Then I looked at the actual recipe, and right off the bat, I saw some issues with the recipe. Here’s the link if you want to take a look, but I’ll do my best to explain what’s wrong with it so you shouldn’t necessarily have to look at it.

In the very first part of the recipe, it looks like it’s missing an ingredient, but I figured out that it’s just a typo and the first two lines are supposed to be together. I’ve copied and pasted this portion so you can see what I’m referencing:


  • 1.5 tbsp
  • 15g all purpose flour
  • 1.5 tbsp 20g milk
  • 1.5 tbsp 20g water

So, yeah, I’m pretty sure that they just hit enter too soon and didn’t catch it.

I’m totally willing to forgive a typo or two, so moving on. The aforementioned tangzhong came together perfectly fine, and I set it aside. Looking at the instructions for the tangzhong, I noticed that the first instruction is for the tangzhong, and then the rest of those instructions is for the actual dough? But there’s no section of instructions for the dough? Again, just typo type shit, but this was admittedly a little confusing at first.

So, I started following the instructions for the dough (that are actually listed under the instructions for the tangzhong), and everything was going fine except the recipe doesn’t say when to add in the eggs… or the tangzhong. So I had to watch the video again to see when he threw those things in. This was the first of many rewatches.

Okay, so dough out of the way, I set it aside to rise for the 1.5 hours and moved on to making the filling mixture listed in the ingredients, as well as throwing together the cinnamon sugar. After making both of these, it was then I noticed that there was no instructions sections for the filling, just like with the dough. So, I rewatched the video to look for what he did with the filling. And there was no filling in the video.

I know that sounds weird, but basically the cinnamon sugar mixture IS the filling, and the recipe makes you make TWO fillings even though they’re the same thing. The filling mixture is melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. The cinnamon sugar is brown sugar and cinnamon, and then when you roll out the dough you spread melted better all over the dough and then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture. So you’re essentially creating the filling mixture. Anyways all of this is to say that it has you make double the filling, so you DO NOT need to make the filling listed in the ingredients section. Only the cinnamon sugar mixture.

So, I was annoyed by that, but I put the filling mixture in a container and will probably spread it on toast or something because it’s just cinnamon sugar butter.

AND THEN I noticed that the cinnamon sugar instructions are actually instructions that don’t have to do with the cinnamon sugar at all! But wait, it gets better! The glaze instructions contain MORE dough instructions that are completely out of order!

All in all, this recipe was a fucking mess, and very confusing. Pretty much all of the comments are complaints about the inaccuracies and errors of the recipe. Also this is a good time to note I made a few mistakes on my part, such as misreading tsp and tbsp on several occasions, so I ended up adding 2.5 tablespoons of cinnamon to the actual filling. Also I was impatient and only let the dough rise an hour, and then I was impatient again and only them rise 25 minutes (instead of 45 to an hour) after cutting them and placing them into the baking dish. But, I made it through, and ended up with these bad boys:

And then after the rose a little bit, I baked ’em:

But wait, it gets better:

Once you flip em out, you get these beauties. Though, all the pecans seemed to have accumulated in between all of the buns, but it’s a minor thing. Also another error I made is I misread and only used 1/4 cup of pecans instead of 1 1/4 cups. But I don’t like them that much anyways, so it’s fine. Just looks kind of odd because they’re so sparse and heavily concentrated in between the buns.

In the end, they turned out awesome and were fuckin’ delicious, and I definitely want to make another batch. They’re actually pretty easy once you decipher the messed up recipe! And even though I added a crazy amount of cinnamon, it was actually perfect.

You know what else is perfect? B-roll:

Do you like sticky buns or cinnamon rolls better? Have you ever made homemade sticky buns before? Let me know in the comments, and have a great day!


Big Idea

The Big Idea: Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law

People age — it’s what happens if you get to live for a while — but how aging is portrayed in literature is often one note. As editors Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law want to show in their new anthology Seasons Between Us: Tales of Identities and Memories, there’s a symphony of experiences going on.


When people think of an anthology on aging, their blink is that the stories will be about end-of-life. But when my co-editor, Lucas K. Law came to me with the concept for Seasons Between Us: Tales of Identities and Memories, his vision was far more inclusive than this. Far more exciting.

He hoped to explore the process of becoming throughout life, the responses individuals will make to all the myriad points when being changes to becoming, changes to being. Because identity is not static. None of us is the same person today that we were yesterday, or will be, tomorrow. Every day, every moment, we grow and change. Every day, every moment, we cross borders taking us from who we were, to who we are, and who we will be.

Some elements of identity persist. I was a hyper-responsible child, and I think I shall be rule-bound until the day I die; and though others may find this surprising, I consider myself an introvert. Other elements of identity progress along maturational arcs. I love the self-confidence I’ve developed over the years. Other elements are “seasonal”: in my twenties, I could not fathom any reason why I might want to stay home one night a week; a seven-day rehearsal schedule was fine with me. Today? Yeah, not so much. And, when I have lived my life and given of my experience, I hope to transcend the flesh’s drive to rage against the dying of the light and be content to die.

And in this process, do people “age well”? Perhaps. It is possible many of us gain insight and tolerance over years lived. Those who do not, who remain stuck, failing to find self-understanding or to develop compassion—or those who grow rather in bitterness—might be considered tragic heroes of their own stories. Yet, if there is one thing we’ve learned in recent years with the democratization of voice through media and social media, there may not be a single perspective against which we can measure what it might mean to “age well.” Cynicism may equate to realism and wisdom in individual circumstances.

Therefore, we invited our authors to consider these threshold-crossings, whether momentous and life-changing, or intimate, personal epiphanies. We invited them to think beyond facing aging or facing death, to facing the unknown in any part of our lives. We invited them to share with us and our readers what it means to be, and to become.

This was the big idea behind Seasons Between Us.


Sometimes, there is no one “big idea”. Rather, there is a cumulation of ideas over time.

The concept behind Seasons Between Us began its journey many years ago when a young boy asked his mother, “Why do people get old and die?”

That curiosity (or rather morbid thought) never truly went away, and it followed me for more than half a century. When Laksa Media started working its anthology series on social issues in 2014, “growing old” was one of the topics high on my list for an anthology (I want a forum to discuss eldercare, affordable housing, and mental health). But I couldn’t propose it because I couldn’t reconcile “getting old” with something positive. At least, not at that time.

What comes to your mind when you see the word aging?

“Old people”? “Ancient,” “feeble”, “useless,” or one of the other negatives!

Then, five years ago, I attended a stage play, and to my surprise, it was about being getting old after 30. (Imagine after 30!) Two years later, the aha moment came when I attended a musical act about a struggle from childhood to adulthood, and then into elderhood. The vision for the anthology became clear. I believe it is important to use the phrase “growing older,” instead of “getting old” or “growing old.”

Aging is a natural progression that begins in our mothers’ wombs and ends with our last breaths. No reversal—just getting older. It includes all of us. No exception. Each season in our journey is a series of waves, rising and falling between joy and sorrow, touching a range of human emotions—some named, some not, some indescribable. Aging opens the door to new insights, to the opportunity to re-evaluate what is relevant. Do we accept and embrace these experiences? Or do we run from them? What choices would we make? Or do we have a choice at all? How can we live a life of purpose in every season?

These questions became the touchstone for the anthology. Aging isn’t about doom-and-gloom. There are moments of joy, moments of goodness, and moments of festivity in each season. We have a lot to learn from each other—the young from the old, the old from the young, and everyone in between. Being independent does not preclude needing each other: to grow, to expand, and to flourish. There’s no shame in asking for support—or accepting support. Each of us matters. We must live, and we must dream.

In Seasons Between Us, the authors—their ages ranging from their 20s to 80s (and every decade is represented)—examine the power of self-exploration as they cope with the undiscovered country of their journeys through growing older over the years. They leave us with probing questions: Who are we? What is the meaning of existence? Do we make a difference? What lasts? What endures? What is a life well-lived? What stories will you leave behind?

Only we can answer these questions personally as they relate to our own lives.

At the end of each short fiction, the author provides a note to their younger self. So, Susan and I will leave you today with the same question we asked each author to share in Seasons Between Us: Tales of Identities and Memories: What would you tell your younger self?

Seasons Between Us: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s

Read an excerpt. Visit the Twitters of Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law.

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