Tuesday, April 13, 2010

M is for Monkeying Around the House

is for

Monkeying Around the House

Today's letter assignment in Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday Class is the Letter M. So the monkeys here at HFTS have been doing some monkeying around this week for Tablescape Thursday, Vintage Thingie Thursday, and Foodie Friday.

Those silly monkeys reached into the "vintage" section of the recipe folder and pulled out a recipe I haven't made in over 30 years.

I was a child of the 50s and 60s, and it seems monkey bread was a phenomena born during those decades. There's not much documentation that I could find on the history of monkey bread, but I do have fond memories of summers during those years when my cousin, Ilene, would come to town to visit for weeks at a time. She was my only cousin who was exactly my age, and we were the best of friends. Like most young girls we spent a lot of time at the swimming pool or just hung out with friends. Nights we would have sleepovers either at my home or at the home of Ilene's grandparents. If we were at her grandparents (my aunt and uncle), we would often wake to the aroma of fresh baked bread . . . monkey bread.

Monkey bread is made from sweet yeast dough that is formed into balls or odd shaped pieces, dipped into melted butter, and then layered in a tube pan for baking. For a sweeter version, many would dip the pieces of dough into melted butter and then a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. A savory version would be dipped into the butter and then parmesan cheese.

Also known as bubble bread or pull-apart bread, monkey bread is basically yeast rolls that combine during baking. The name may come from the fact that the connected rolls resemble the branches of a monkey puzzle tree. But I like to think the name comes from the fun of gleefully pulling apart the loaf right at the table. Kids find it to be great fun!

Recipes for this type of bread were found in women's magazines and cookbooks of the 1950s, so I used a vintage pan that would likely have been in a kitchen during that era. This tube pan has a patent date of December 18, 1923, and most likely was an advertising give away for Swan's Down Cake Flour.

Come on in and have 

a seat on the chaise.

We've a fresh 

brewed pot of coffee.

I'm using the set of Macassar spoons from Singapore that were a gift from Mary @ Across the Pond. You can now find Mary at her new blog, A Breath of Fresh Air.

Coffee mugs are by 

American Atelier in the Monkey pattern.

The monkey cachepot 

is by Kaldun and Bogle.

The small plates are 

Limoges by Philippe Deshoulieres.

The service plate holding the bread is English Floral by Spode. I like the woven motif on the rim that matches that of the cups.

So go ahead and 

pull off a piece for yourself.

Can you smell the aroma of fresh baked yeast bread? It's right out of the oven. I didn't make mine with cinnamon and sugar, so have a little orange marmalade to sweeten it a bit more.

Oh no, what's this? 

 It looks like the monkeys 

have started the party without us.

I told you there was a lot of 

monkeying around going on here at HFTS!

Those rascals have 

tossed the cups about . . .

and knocked over the 

Barrel Full of Monkeys.

If any of you remember this 

game of skill from the late 60s, 

you probably know it isn't easy to win.

Looks like Izzy has 

even popped in for the party.

And this guy is forever climbing 

about the house causing all kinds of mischief.

He's pulled himself 

right up to the top.

You ask about this friendly monkey with his parrots? 

 He's the latest needlepoint project I've recently completed.

His banjo playing friend is patiently waiting 

for me to stop monkeying around and to get stitching!

Oh, I almost forgot. 

 These guys want you to have this recipe so you 

can have some Monkeying Around at your house.

Monkey Bread

Mix 1 cake of yeast into 1 cup of warm milk (120-130 degrees) with 1/3 cup sugar. Add 4 tablespoons of butter, 1 and 1/4 teaspoons of salt, and 2 well beaten eggs. Mix well and then work in 3 and 1/2 cups flour. Cover and let rest until the dough doubles in size. Then knead and roll out into 1 and 1/2 to 2 inch balls. Dip dough ball into melted butter (and sugar & cinnamon mixture or parmesan cheese) and layer into greased pan. Cover and let rise till double again. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Hope you've had a little "monkey fun" today. 

I leave you with the three wise monkeys and the proverbial 

principle "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil."

Now quit monkeying around and get yourself over to the marvelous blogs listed below.

www.foodtimeline.org used as a reference.

The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. you are so good at this, i love watching the letters tick by, FUN FUN FUN!

  2. Hi Sarah...

    What an absolutely delightful post, my friend! I thoroughly enjoyed all that "monkey business"! Hehe! You are such a creative and talented lady! Mmmm...your monkey bread looks scrumptious! I do believe that I got a wiff of it as I read your post!

    Sarah, your needlepoint is absolutely gorgeous!!! Thank you for sharing all of your pretties with us today...what fun!!!

    Warmest wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  3. A delightful post. Your monkey needlepoints are wonderful.

  4. Sarah,
    Yours is the first blog I visit once I've linked to Mrs Matlock's A-T. I know I'll always find beautiful pix and a fascinating tale at HFTS and this week was no exception.
    I especially love your monkey mugs & cushions and the bread looks delish.

  5. Very cute post! The monkey bread looks delicious!

  6. Good Morning Sarah,

    I LOVE your playful little monkeys! I have a few of them at the farmhouse that I totally forgot about. I've only eaten monkey bread a couple of times but it was made from biscuit dough drenched in butter, cinammon, and pecans. I think your recipe would be must tastier! Thanks for sharing.

    Have a great week.

  7. This was very well done! What a magnificent, marvelous monkey collection you have! Really sweet!

  8. I like your monkey-ness! That bread looks divine...I think I can smell it!!

  9. This was TOO FUN...the bread, the Barrel of Monkeys, all your beautiful items~ cachepot, pillows, mugs. I want to come monkey around with you :-)

  10. Oh how FUN! I bet you had a blast, thinking of all the ways to incorporate your delightful collection of monkeys for this post.

    I remember monkey bread very well & now I MUST make it for my grands. The boys would love yanking it apart.

    Your cups, platter & the wonderful needlepoint pillow are just so perfect together. Well done, Sarah, well done!

  11. What a fun post! The Monkey Bread looks so good! And the barrel full of monkeys brings me back when I was 4 or 5 hand had one.

    Thanks for sharing!

  12. You certainly have a wonderful Monkey collection! The Barrel of Monkeys figures brought back so many memories. Not only did all the kids in my extended family play this game...all the time!...I had several in my 1st grade classroom. It was a favorite of all the kids.

    Thanks for the recipe...the only Monkey Bread recipe I've ever seen used frozen dough. This looks so much better.

    Jane (artfully graced)

  13. Sarah, you always have the perfect things for each blog. I am in awe of your needlework, what beautiful pillows! Your collections must be vast and varied. I well remember the monkey bread, there was a recipe floating around in which one used canned biscuits, but yours would be much better. Thanks, it was delicious!

  14. Wow, you must really like monkey's. You've got a lot of them. Did you ever read my post I think it was last week that we had a squirrel monkey when I was young LOL.

    I always heard of monkey bread but never tasted it.

  15. This post is so much fun! I'm glad you mentioned A Barrel Full Of Monkeys. It would have bothered me all day till I thought of the name.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  16. Love all your monkeys. I use to have quite a few in my house, but have phased most of them out. Still have a few though. I love monkey bread with the cinnamon and sugar version. I use to play with those little plastic monkeys, too. Love your french press and the silver creamer.

  17. I really enjoyed all the monkeys and the bread looks yummy! I can remember making monkey bread when my kids were younger. Guess I need to try it again.

  18. Oh how cute, Sarah! Love your monkey collection and that monkey bread looks delish!...Christine

  19. love the barrel full of monkeys and the sock monkey, takes me back :D

  20. I loved your post and all the monkeys,and I love,love monkey bread tho I haven't made it for a very long time. The Swans Down pan is wonderful, as is the sweet needlepoints you've done. You're very talented. Happy VTT, have a lovely weekend.

  21. LOVE monkeying around... much better than working... LOL!!!
    That bread looks yummyinG too!

  22. You always have just the perfect thing for every occasion!! And for every letter of the alphabet! :-)
    We loved playing barrel of monkey's when we were young! And i love monkey bread! Haven't made it for a while, so thanks for the recipe!

  23. Your monkey-themed post and photos are absolutely delightful! I never heard of Monkey Bread but it looks delicious and the recipe seems easy enough even for me.
    Thanks for sharing such a great idea.

  24. That was just wonderful! So chock full of monkeys!!! I used to make monkey bread before my hypoglycemia was in full form. I bet my little baker, YellowBoy would love to try that one for his next cooking lesson. Thanks so much sharing this.

  25. You monkey you! You give me back my caps!! My favorite monkey story...Caps of Sale! I am a monkey fan too! Love the Izzy, did you make it? If so I want directions...it is too cute! Also we made monkey bread all the time with cinnamon and sugar and canned biscuits (I know, it's kinda cheating) never the savory and sounds yummy too!

  26. You monkey you! You give me back my caps!! My favorite monkey story...Caps of Sale! I am a monkey fan too! Love the Izzy, did you make it? If so I want directions...it is too cute! Also we made monkey bread all the time with cinnamon and sugar and canned biscuits (I know, it's kinda cheating) never the savory and sounds yummy too!

  27. Great post! You have a lot of cool monkeys. I enjoyed the information about monkey bread too because I didn't know what it was.

  28. Mmmmmm, monkey bread! I have never had it but saw a TV segment about it a fwe weeks ago on (I think) Unwrapped on Food Network. It looks and sounds SO good! I love all your little monkeys, they're adorable.

    I remember my grandmother had a (very heavy) brass "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" monkeys statue that I was forever messing around with as a child. Happy VTT!

  29. Sarah~~~

    Such a fun post!! Believe it or not, I have never had Monkey Bread and now you have inspired me to make it! Thank you. Love your tea set!!


  30. Wow Sarah! You really own some great monkeys :0)
    Love that coffee tray. The creamer and sugar are fabulous! I love french press coffee. Blessings...

  31. Haven't seen such great monkeys in a long time. I do especially love the singerie needlework you've done. -- Jane F.

  32. What a great collection of monkeys! That bread is causing major salivation...

  33. Hi Sarah,

    What a fun and happy M post!

    I forgot all about monkey bread. We used to make that all the time.

    Thank you for inviting us to such a lovely treat today!

    Your table is lovely!


  34. I really enjoyed these monkeys! And the wonderful recipe. Have a great VTT!

  35. That was so much fun...The best.. or I'll be a monkey's uncle.:)
    I have never made monkey bread! A few months ago they had a special pan at the WSonoma Outlet, very cheap, but I passed on it.
    I love all you monkeys..so cute!
    That was a great post, Sarah!

  36. i see no evil. i hear no....lol. sweet post on monkeys!!!

  37. What a wonderful M post. I absolutely love it. I am such a fan of monkey bread....yummy!

  38. Sarah, this was such a fun post! Love all of the monkeying around at your house! Your needlepoint is beautiful. I love the dressed up monkey by the coffee server, and that cachepot is beautiful. When my daughter had overnight company, I always made monkey bread for breakfast. Fun memory. Thanks for reminding me. I need to make it again. laurie

  39. What a cute collection of monkeys! Yes, I remember the Barrel of Monkeys game, and now they have gigantic Barrel of Monkeys hanging around at Disney World!

    The bread makes my mouth water!! I can almost smell it! Wish I had some! I just love breads!

    Today we went to Hobby Lobby and they do still have the initial plates, they may also be on sale, I can't remember, but so many things were on sale, plus you can get the 40% off coupon online.


  40. Here I am on the fourth day of my diet and you are tempting me with monkey bread! It's one of my favorites.

    Love all your monkeys. I remember that barrel of monkeys game. Does that make me vintage?

    Nice post, I will imagine the celery I'm eating is monkey bread.

  41. Great monkeys! We also make Monkey bread in our family. But we are cheaters we make it with biscuits. I always made it for Thanksgiving morning and most other holidays. It became a tradition that my daughters do at their homes with their children.

  42. This is a post to bring a smile to anyone's face! I once saw some upholstery fabric printed with monkeys and have always regretted not picking it up. Monkey Bread is still a treat at Pondside - assembled on Christmas Eve and gobbled up as we unwrap gifts in the morning.

  43. I ♥ monkeys!!!!! I especially enjoyed the company of Izzy today.

    My New Doll -my Show n Tell. I would really enjoy your company if you can drop by to visit me. Hope you're having a terrific Friday!!!

  44. I loved every single bit of this monkey business!! Really cute.

    We've always made our Monkey Bread with canned biscuits, tearing them into little pieces, layering in bundt cake pan with melted butter, sugar, cinnamon and chopped pecans.
    Your Yeast version sounds just delightful ! There is a Gorilla Bread by Paula Deen, too. Not sure just what it is.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  45. This post is so cute Sarah! I just love all your naughty little monkeys! They are so much fun, and they are beautiful too! MMM! The Monkey Bread looks delicious too! You have quite the collection! As usual I'm drooling over your exquisite taste! I hope you have a great weekend! It seems like it was a long work week ! Yay! Friday! Take care...Sherri : )

  46. This is just the cutest post ever!
    Who knew you had so many monkeys hanging around your house? Not me! :-)

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  47. I'm embarrassed to say that I don't think I've ever had monkey bread! It looks delicious, that's for sure. And you have inspired me to try to find a Barrel of Monkeys game on Ebay. I used to love mine!
    Happy VTT!

  48. My daughter collects monkeys ... and wow, you have some gorgeous monkeys ... I love your pillow ... wonderful wonderful project ... and your monkey plant holder ... divine!!! What an absolutely gorgeous and fun M post!

  49. Oohhh, my two favorite things - Monkeys and Monkey Bread! I had fun here...

    Heavenly Humor

  50. Love all your Monkey business. This is a very cute post. Thanks for sharing. Blessings, Martha

  51. what a cute post...I love monkey bread....and monkey business!

  52. How beautiful. I just adore monkey figurines too and yours are beautiful. Cheers, Lia

  53. This is my first visit to your blog, so M is the first letter I've seen. I will certainly return for the rest of the alphabet! Your post monkey - SHINES!!

  54. Sarah, that monkey bread looks sooo yummy! Almost makes me want to cook. LOL And that's saying something! Your monkeys are all adorable! I do remember that monkey game...it was hard to play!

  55. What a cute collection of monkeys you have. I need to make some monkey bread too. My oldest daughter would LOVE IT! I cannot get over both sets of silverware you show. They are BOTH GORGEOUS! I wonder if they still sell that Barrel of Monkeys game. I haven't thought about that in along time, but they immediately looked familiar. Have a great weekend.

  56. Hi, Sarah, what a fun post! It's settled, I want to come to YOUR house for breakfast, for some of that monkey bread! Thanks so much for the recipe--

  57. Love this blog you have put together. Wonderful pictures to go with the pictures

  58. What a lovely post on 'monkey business' - such fun!

    Thanks Sarah for mentioning my new blog - so glad you are able to make use of the little spoons in your pretty table arrangements.

    Hugs - Mary

  59. What a great collection of monkey things...and the monkey bread looks delicious.

  60. Sarah, you are too funny. Great plates!!!

    - The Tablescaper

  61. Hi Sarah, Love the knitted monkey!! Have not knit a toy yet but it would be fun. Best, Sarah


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