Sunday, January 03, 2010

Happy New Year!

Without a doubt this has been the most relaxing Christmas vacation my family has had, but we needed it. 2009 was  a good year in many ways, but it wasn't an easy one. We're all ready for a great and a little less stressful 2010. Starting tomorrow, however, the only one napping around here for a while will be kitty, but that's OK, we're ready!

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 egg
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.


Kate said...

That shawl is going to be so pretty! I love those stitch markers! Happy New Year!

Hege said...

Happy New Year!
Cute sweater and I love the colour of the shawl.
Wienerbrød is So good! I don't bake them myself though ;)

Beate said...

How nice Karoline!! Æbleskiver and Danish! I am impressed and happy to see that traditions do mean something and follow generations.
I know I messed my kids up with mixing danish and norwegian traditions together..... :-) Happy new year to you and your family. I Can´t wait to begin work tomorrow.

Knittings Nice! said...

Hi Karoline and Happy New Year to you.....knitting looks great...hopefully I'll be showing my throw off soon, well after just finishing another 15 or so knitted hexagons?

Wool Winder said...

Stay-at-home vacations are a real treat. Nice work on your nephew's sweater! And the shawl is coming along nicely, too.

Thimbleanna said...

YUM! I LOVE aebleskivers! I'm so impressed with the amount of knitting that you manage to get done -- this sweater is another adorable one. I feel the same way about vacations -- I always want to GO. But, I find as I get older that I'm starting to want to use vacation days to just hang around the house and do things around here. Happy New Year!

marit said...

Happy new Year!

Yummy æbleskiver! I'd like to try wienerbrød too, have never done it, although I bake a lot!

The sweater is really cute, and i'm looking forward to see the shawl finished.
Wihing you all the best for 2010:-)

TheBlackSheep said...

Love the sweater! It's good you got some good down time, even if it isn't always as exciting. It's good for the soul to relax.

Tracy said...

Happy New YEAR! Happy New Year! We're just back from our trip and catching up with you here... Feeling jet-lagged and heart-fuzzy after a sweet Christmas, good to be home and back in blogland. The sweater for your nephew is gorgeous--love the blue color! Wienerbrød--YUM! Wishing you & yours all the very best of love, peace & joy in 2010! :o) ((HUGS))

JayJay said...

The sweater and shawl look beautiful! I wish I had gotten more knitting done over break, but maybe summer will better? ;) I am getting hungry looking at your blog. Yum!