Whenever we have a vacation of any length, I feel some pressure to go, go, go. It is fun to travel and have some adventures, but I can honestly say that I enjoyed this vacation because we didn't do much traveling at all. It gave all of us time to just hang out together, and it gave me time to do my two favorite things--cook and knit. I finished my nephew's Debbie Bliss Cable Yoke sweater without too much trouble inserting the zipper, and for the past week I've been working on my Wool Peddler's Shawl from Folk Shawls. I have loved working on this shawl. I received the pattern and the wool for it in a Christmas Swap with my friend Julie. The swap was Julie's creative idea. We were supposed to use a favorite Christmas scene from a book as our inspiration. Julie used A Christmas Carol, and literally left me speechless with all of the wonderful presents she sent. Besides, candy, a candle, a cup, and Icewine tea, she sent me this pattern, some pretty wool, and a set of gorgeous stitch markers. I didn't need the stitch markers for the first part of the shawl, but I wanted to use them, just to admire them!
I didn't cook as much as I had planned during the past two weeks, but I did have a couple of successful cooking experiences. My brother and sister-in-law sent us a fun book, Ebelskivers. I haven't tried any of the recipes from it yet, but I did make some æbleskivers. I had meant to bake some kringle too, but never got around to it. I did bake some weinerbrød though, which was almost as good.
I used an old copy of From Danish Kitchens which had been my aunt's It's a great book, which is still in print, but my torn-up copy is extra special because it has lots of writing and recipes in the margins.
6 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups lukewarm milk
3 yeast cakes
1 tsp. salt
1 cup butter (I used 3/4, but I'll go back to the whole cup next time)
1 tsp. cardamon
1/4 cup almonds
Dissolve yeast in milk and let stand for 5 - 10 minutes. Mix flour, sugar, salt with yeast/milk mixture. Roll dough out on a floured surface. Add butter in dots and spread with a knife if butter is room temperature. Sprinkle with cardamon. Fold and refold - let rest for 30 min. Roll, refold three or four times using a light quick stroke. Place aside in a cool place. Roll to a one-fourth inch thickness. Cut into one inch strips. Twist and form into pretzels. Place on buttered sheets, brush with slightly beaten egg, sprinkle with chopped blanched almonds. Let rise over boiling water (I don't really understand what this means, but I tried it by putting a cookie sheet over a pan of boiling water.) When double in bulk, sprinkle with sugar and bake in 400 degree oven.