Holiday Dishes

Frewsburg Woman Has Many Interests

Dawn Lynn’s Christmas gatherings include recipes handed down from her mother and grandmother, as well as new recipes. Submitted photo

FREWSBURG — A visit to the home of Dawn and Gary Lynn requires crossing a little bridge before traversing a lengthy tree-lined lane. Until recently, the 24 trees were lighted with miniature lights.

“Gary decorates outside, with lights, as much as I decorate inside,” says Mrs. Lynn.

Some of her Christmas traditions have remained over the years, some have been tweaked and some have disappeared to be replaced by new ones as her family grew older and larger. When she was a girl living in Portville, N.Y., her mother would make baked goods to give away.

“My mom would make homemade sweet rolls or banana bread the week before Christmas and we would deliver these with our parents.”

When her children were young, they would open one present on Christmas Eve and the others were saved for the next day. She gave them menu choices for the meal she would serve before they went to an 11 p.m. Christmas Eve church service and there were a few instances when they put up their tree earlier on this same day. There was a time when she made wrapping paper by stamping decorations on plain paper. Now, she often wraps gifts with the colorful comic section of the newspaper. An artificial tree entered her life two years ago, after a lifetime of decorating a real Christmas tree.

The preparation of Eggnog is one of Dawn Lynn?s annual traditions. Submitted photo

The Frewsburg couple exchanges Christmas gifts with their children in two or three sessions due to busy schedules and lifestyles. After many years of missing Christmas caroling in which she remembers participating with her church youth group as a teenager, she renewed the tradition last year with some of her family members. After the group returned from the acapella outing in her daughter’s neighborhood, they sat by the fireplace sipping Russian tea. Plans are in place to carol in the Lynn’s neighborhood this year.

Some other activities that take place at the Lynn home during the holidays are family board game sessions and relaxing time spent in the 12-person hot tub. The grandchildren look forward to being pulled on sleds behind their grandfather’s four-wheel all-terrain vehicle.

Three dogs, three cats, four pea fowl, six geese, seven ducks and 50 chickens can be seen roaming or swimming on the property in milder weather. The busy grandmother maintains four coops to accommodate the various kinds of fowl. The number has grown over the years in order to accommodate her ever-growing flock, with each coop having a name connected to it depending, on the way it came to be.

“It’s chicken math,” she says while laughing. “We started with one coop.”

She goes on to tell how they had to have a coop after adding ducks and then another after adding pea fowl.

A showy Blueberry Swirl Pie is in the front with Butternut Squash Braid in the back. Submitted photo

“I asked for another for my last birthday for quarantining new chickens. It’s like a compound.”

Several interesting and colorful varieties of chickens inhabit the “compound,” including English and American Orpington, Speckled Sussex, Buff, Light and Dark Brahmas and Rhode Island Reds. Golden Comets, Barnevelders, Cochin, Ameraucana, Black Copper Marans, White Rocks and Easter Eggers make up the rest of the flock. Each breed has its own identifying characteristics, some with big tufts of feathers near their claws, some with multicolored feathers, speckled feathers, interesting patterned feathers or iridescent feathers. Short bodies, long bodies, birds smaller in stature and larger birds all live there, along with the pea fowl with their showy plumes. It is like visiting the poultry building at the county fair.

She not only enjoys having a variety of fowl, but is fascinated with the varying colors of their eggs.

“I like the different colors, sizes and shapes. It’s very visual, the palette of eggs. Different kinds of chickens lay different colors,” she explains. “Some are rust, sky blue, tan, dark brown, pale green, olive green and some are spotted.”

She finds it amusing when people ask her if the different colored eggs taste differently.

These Nut Rolls bring back memories of her Grandmother Dorman?s kitchen for Dawn Lynn. Submitted photo

“Eggs are a natural whole food and they all taste the same no matter the color,” she says with a grin.

Gardening, another of her passions, may have come from her father, who had lived with the couple on and off for the last 18 months before his passing last January.

“My father collected and dried seeds from his favorite plants. I save seeds on a paper towel and keep them for the following year, but also buy organic seeds in the spring to start on the window sill and then transplant in my greenhouse.”

Mr. Lynn built a greenhouse and six raised beds for her vegetables.

“He designed them four feet by four feet like Mel Bartholmew’s Square Foot Gardening design, which I’ve always wanted to do,” she says. “I don’t have to till my garden. I just use my hand-claw or my bare hands to weed. I enrich the soil every year with 1:1:1 ratio of peat, compost and vermiculite mixture.”

Beans, yellow summer squash, carrots and beets, as well as Swiss chard, zucchini, peppers, cucumbers, broccoli and cabbage are grown in the raised beds. Sage, oregano, parsley and basil grow in two barrel halves near her back porch. Summer savory, rosemary. thyme and dill grow there, also.

The Lynns utilize their acreage in other ways, too. They have 10 fruit trees and raspberry and blueberry bushes.

“This year I canned applesauce, raspberry jam, marinara sauce and tomato and vegetable juice. We were away and missed out on strawberries and grape juice.

Along with her outdoor interests, she likes to knit, crochet, sew and quilt and when her children where younger, she made dolls and doll clothes for them and has even made Medieval costumes.

“I got those things from my mother,” she says.

Another favorite pastime is fishing, especially for Walleye in Canada. She has a Mathews bow and enjoys deer hunting, but has not hunted for the last three years. Taxidermy of one of the deer shot by Mrs. Lynn hangs over their fireplace. She, also, enjoys shooting targets and likes to shoot trap and skeet. Recently, she hit 21 out of 25 clay pigeons while shooting a new 21- gauge shotgun.

“There’s never enough time to do what you want to do,” she confesses.

She fills in as a dental assistant for Dr. Peter Perez on occasion and is a distributor of Young Living Essential Oils. Her husband started Allied Fire Protection when he was in his twenties. He has since retired from Lynn Development. Although his wife roots for Pittsburgh Steelers, he is a Bills fan. They attend Praise Fellowship in Russell, Pa. Mrs. Lynn enjoys filling shoeboxes with small gifts for underprivileged children in third world countries while participating in Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Campaign.

The Lynns have a blended family consisting of nine children and 15 grandchildren. Their children are Keenan Chadwick, Kaija Dougherty, Kira Spencer, Amanda Rogers, Daman Holland, Christopher Lynn, Scott Lynn, Jason Lynn and Tiffany Lynn. All of their children live locally, with the exception of Keenan, who lives in Rochester.

Kira Spencer, owner of Light in the Dark Photography, is responsible for the pictures of her mother and the dishes she prepared from some of her family’s favorite Christmas holiday recipes.

“Nut Rolls was my Grandmother Dorman’s recipe. I can remember standing at the sink and grinding walnuts with a hand-grinder. The amount of sugar in the nut filling may be reduced,” says Mrs. Lynn. “I combined my friend Sonya Einfeldt’s and Jean Torrey’s recipes for Sausage-Zucchini Soup. I don’t always make it the same. Sometimes I’ll add other things. Sometimes ground beef.”

She makes Eggnog every year with another recipe she acquired from Jean Torrey, her children’s grandmother.

“The first time I made the Butternut Squash Braid was the first time I had used puff pastry. It makes four and the kids love it.”

As a side note, her nephew, Sam Dorman of Miami, Fla, represented the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympics where he won a silver medal in the 3-meter springboard synchronized diving event.


1/3 c sugar

2 eggs, divided

1/4 tsp salt

4 c milk, scalded

1 tsp vanilla

3 T sugar

Beat 1/3 cup sugar into egg yolks. Add salt and stir in milk. Cook in double boiler over hot, not boiling water untel mixture coats spoon, stirring occasionally. Cool. Add vanilla. Beat egg whites and add remaining sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Add meringue to custard and mix thoroughly. Chill 3-4 hrs. Dot with cool whip & sprinkle with nutmeg. I usually quadruple this recipe.

Nut Rolls

1 lb cream cheese

1 lb sweet butter

1 handful sugar

4 egg yolks

5-6 c flour

Mix cheese and butter. Add sugar, egg yolks and then flour. Form into small balls, let stand overnight in cold place. Roll in powdered sugar and then roll out with a rolling pin. Spread a layer of nut filling on each small dough circle and roll up jelly roll-style. Bake in 350 degree oven till lightly golden brown. Yield 105

Nut filling:

4 c ground walnuts

1/2 c milk or water

2 c sugar, or less

Mix together until proper consistency for spreading is obtained.

Blueberry Swirl Pie


1/2 c butter/margarine, melted

3/4 c whole wheat or regular flour

1/2 c oatmeal

1/2 c chopped nuts

2 T sugar

Mix all ingredients and press into a pie plate. Bake 12 min. In 400 degree oven. Cool.

4 oz pkg lemon-flavored gelatin dessert mix

1 c boiling water

21 oz can of blueberry pie filling

1/2 c sour cream

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in pie filling. Chill until thickened. Pour into pie crust. Spoon tablespoons full of sour cream onto filling. Make swirls. Chill.

Spinach Dip Stuffed

Crescent Roll

Christmas Tree

1 T butter

1/3 c red bell pepper, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 c fresh spinach, chopped

4 oz cream cheese

1/4 c sour cream

1/2 c Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp salt

1 package refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook pepper and garlic in the butter for 3 minutes. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted. Add cream cheese and sour cream and cook until melted, stirring frequently. Add Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes and salt and continue cooking until the cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Unroll crescent roll dough into a large rectangle. Press seams to seal. Using sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into a large triangle tree shape. Take the two outside triangles you cut off and press dough together down the center to form a second triangle. Spread the spinach dip evenly over one of the triangles. Top with the second triangle of crescent dough. Cut 1″ strips into the tree from the sides towards the center, leaving a strip of dough in the center uncut. Carefully twist the strips several times. Bake in the preheated oven for 13 minutes or until dough is golden brown. Serve warm.

Honey Roasted Root Veggies

2 c cleaned and cut rutabaga

1 (about 6 oz) turnip, peeled and cut on the bias 1″

2 (1-1/2 c) carrots, peeled and cut on the boa 1″

2 T basting oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 T salted butter, melted

2 T honey

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss all prepared veggies in basting oil in large pan and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes until veggies are tender. Meanwhile, melt butter and add honey. Whisk together and drizzle over roasted veggies. Return to oven for 8-10 additional minutes, until glaze starts to bubble.

Butternut Squash Braid

1 T olive oil

1 lb mild bulk Italian sausage

1 c onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 sage leaves, chopped

8 oz baby spinach

16 oz bag pre-cut butternut squash

1 1/2 c Italian cheese blend, divided

2 packages frozen puff pastry dough (4 sheets)

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a saute pan, cook sausage, onion and garlic in olive oil until meat is cooked through. Add sage and spinach and cook until spinach wilts. Remove from heat. Cook squash in microwave for 3 min. Stir the cooked squash and cheese blend into the meat mixture. Unfold puff pastry onto counter. Using the vertical fold lines as a guide, cut diagonal lines along the left and right side of pastry square about an inch apart. Remove the corner pieces. Fill the center with about 1/4 of the meat filling. Starting from the top, fold down the flap, them alternate right and left, making a braid, until you are close to the bottom. Fold the bottom flap up and seal. Brush with egg wash. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.

Oatmeal Waffles

2 eggs, beaten

1 3/4 c buttermilk/sour milk

1 tsp soda

1 1/4 c flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

6 T oil or melted butter

2 T brown sugar

1 c oatmeal, uncooked

1 tsp cinnamon

Combine all of the ingredients. If too thick, add more buttermilk or milk. Makes 3 10-inch square waffles. I usually make a double recipe.


1 c white sugar

1 scant c water

Berries, peaches, etc.


2 C buttermilk baking mix

2 T sugar

1/2 C milk

1/4 C liquid shortening (or 3/4 C heavy cream)

Put 1 cup sugar and water in a 9-inch square pan. Bring to a low boil. Boil 5 minutes. Add fruit to syrup. Dot with a few pats of butter. Stir together while syrup is boiling. In a bowl, combine baking mix, 2 tablespoons sugar, milk and shortening. Pat out onto floured counter. Make a row with the fruit mixture down the center of dough. Cut roll into 9 pieces and lay in pan. Dot with butter. Bake at 400 degrees until lightly brown and bubbly.

Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups

1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls

3/4 lb Black Forest ham, thinly sliced

About 12 thin slices Swiss cheese

1/2 c butter, melted

1 T poppyseeds

11/2 T yellow mustard

1 T dried minced onion

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Roll out dough and press into an approximately 13-inch by 18-inch rectangle. Top with ham and cheese. Starting on the long side, roll the dough up tightly. Pinch the ends together and place with the seam facing down. Cut into 12 pieces. Place roll-ups in the baking dish, evenly spaced. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine butter, poppyseeds, mustard, onion and Worcester sauce. Pour the sauce evenly over dough. Bake uncovered for approximately 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Zucchini/Sausage Soup

1 lb kielbasa sausage, cut into chunks

2-28 oz cans chunk tomatoes

2 lbs zucchini, cut into chunks

2 c celery, chopped

1 c onion, chopped

2 green, red or yellow bell peppers, chopped

2 tsp salt

1 tsp basil

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp garlic powder

Brown sausage and drain grease. Add remaining ingredients with spices to personal taste and simmer until desired consistency.

Roasted Maple Walnut

Glazed Chicken

2 whole broiler chickens (about 3 1/4 lbs each)


Black pepper

1 c walnuts, coarsely chopped

1 stick butter

1/2 c real maple syrup

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Season chickens with salt and pepper and roast for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and roast until internal temperature is 165 degrees (about 1 hour and 15 minutes). Transfer chicken to serving platter. Heat sautÈ pan on medium heat and add walnuts. Toast until lightly brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add butter and melt. Remove from heat and add maple syrup. Pour liquid mixture over chicken.

Delicata Squash

Roasted Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower, cored

1-2 delicata squash, seeded and chunked

1 red onion, diced

1/4 c basting oil

6 oz fresh baby spinach

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut cauliflower and squash into about the same size chunks and toss with onion in basting oil. Arrange in single layer on a baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes or until tender. In a large bowl, place spinach and hot roasted vegetables. Toss together. Season with salt and pepper.