Moremom’s Stollen

Every Thankgiving morning I had Stollen for breakfast, while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. And I would like to share the recipe, so you can have the same tradition.

This is my grandmother’s recipe, we called her More-mom. My mother always tells the story of how she learned my grandmother’s recipes. Nothing was written down, she did everything by memory and feel. So my mom watched her make this bread enough times to write out the recipe.

Stollen is a traditional german bread.  It is a slightly sweet with raisins and citron. Citron is the stuff that’s in fruitcake. But in this case there is not too much of it, which is good in my opinion.

If you have never made a yeast bread I suggest you give it a try. Bread is fun to make and not as fussy as most baking. If you are nervous, pizza dough is a good simple dough to try.  I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as I do.

1 C milk

1/2 C sugar

2 T lard (you can use butter in place of the lard)

2 T butter

2 Eggs

1 package dry yeast

4 1/2 C unbleached white flour

1/2 t mace

1 C raisins

1/2 C Citron

grated rind of 1 lemon

Dissolve yeast in  1/4 C warm water (105 – 110 degrees) . Scald the milk, then add the sugar and lard and/or  butter. Let cool slightly. Add eggs and yeast then 2 C flour, raisins, mace, citron and lemon rind. Add more flour until you have a dough that is slightly sticky. The amount of flour will vary depending on the day. Turn out onto counter and knead until smooth. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours or until doubled in bulk. After first rise, knead and divide in half. Take each half, divide into three ropes and braid. Place on baking sheets, cover with a cloth and let rise a second time for 1 hour. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes

Icing – Combine 2/3 C confectioners sugar with 2t lemon juice and 1t water. Mix until smooth and drizzle over each loaf when cooled.

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Why you should go to Rhinebeck when it’s not NYS sheep and Wool #3

This post of the series is about hiking. For each of the yarn stores I mentioned in the first post there is a really nice hike nearby. Oftentimes more than one. I haven’t been around the world – but I think I am safe in saying the Hudson Valley of NY is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Come spend some time and see for yourself.

Near Rhinebeck I have two favorite places to hike. One is Ferncliff Forest. This is a mostly wooded hike right near the village. It includes a fire tower that you can climb. As I am afraid of heights I have never done it, but I hear the view is awesome. But by far my favorite is Poet’s Walk. Poet’s walk is a very large property with open meadows and woods and spectacular views of the Hudson River. There are also lots of benches and gazebos where you can relax. It is stroller friendly if you have a jogging or all terrain stroller, although coming out of the woods is a pretty steep climb. Both parks are free.

Near New Paltz I love Mohonk. This is a privately held preserve and resort and you have to pay to use the grounds. But in my opinion it is well worth the approximately $25 for a day pass. You can also make reservations for lunch and the day pass is included. Mohonk sits high up in the Shawangunk Mountains. Their trails are really well maintained and provide beautiful views. There are carriage roads that are an easy pleasant hike and rock scrambles for the more adventurous. Like Poet’s walk there are plenty of spots to sit and just enjoy the view.

Near Chatham there is Beebe Hill. I have never been here, but the all trails site says it is an easy hike. There is also Bash Bish Falls. Bash Bish is very cool, especially when we have had a lot of rain or it is spring thaw. This is a uphill hike with a rocky path that runs along a creek. At the top are the falls. It is the highest single drop waterfall in Massachusetts. It is always about 20 degrees cooler in the woods than anywhere else on a hot day. Sometimes we just bring a lunch and hang out next to the stream. You can do this hike with an all terrain stroller but it would be easier to carry the kids. You walk from New York into the Massachusetts which my kids thought was cool when they were little.

Here are three suggestions for a day trip that would keep everyone happy;

  1. Knitting Garage, Aba’s Falafel for lunch, Poet’s walk and then a snack a Gigi’s Trattoria
  2. White Barn Sheep and Wool, Mohonk Preserve (bring lunch), Pretzels and Beer at Mountain Brauhaus
  3. Bash Bish Falls, Old Chatham Brewery for Lunch and The Warm Ewe

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Why you should go to Rhinebeck when it’s not NYS sheep and Wool #2

The first post in this series was about yarn stores, this one is about food!

The first stop mentioned in the previous post, AL Stickle, is in Rhinebeck. Rhinebeck has a crazy amount of restaurants. The Rhinebeck chamber of commerce website shows 46. You really can’t go wrong, but I have my favorites. For breakfast, a lot of people choose Bread Alone but I suggest you go a little west and try Rhinebeck Bagels AKA The Bagel Shop . It’s nothing fancy, but they have great, interesting sandwiches and good bagels (for anywhere out of NYC). For lunch Aba’s Falafel is great. They don’t have much more than falafel but it’s really good. My favorite dinner option is Gigi’s. We always sit at the bar and get a skizza and an appetizer. Try the truffle fries! They have lots of entrees but the skizza’s are my personal favorite.

In Chatham, by The Warm Ewe, there are also a few nice options for lunch or dinner. Right down the block from the store is The Chatham Brewery. A great bar and beer and lunch. It’s a small menu but good stuff. Try the chicken tenders, you won’t be disappointed. There is also a gluten free bakery across the street called Our Daily Bread with fantastic baked goods. Worth the stop for you gluten free folks for sure. They also have a restaurant just outside of town. So you have choices.

White Barn Sheep and Wool is just outside of New Paltz, which is a fun college town with lots of restaurants. I don’t have any recommendations there, but travel out of town and towards Mohonk and you will find The Mountain Brauhaus. Go there and get one of their homemade pretzels and a beer. It’s worth however long it takes to get there. They serve great German food and have an extensive beer list. I’m just partial to their pretzels.

So, now you have yarn store recommendations and restaurants to go along with them. Next post in this series will be about hikes nearby so you can make a day of it. A hike, some yarn and a good meal – sounds like a great day to me!,,,,,

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Gluten Free Chocolate Bourbon Cake

This past Sunday I made a doctored cake mix recipe I have been making for years but used a gluten free cake mix. It was good, really really good. This recipe is from a friend of my mother’s named Marilyn. I have no idea where she got it. We always called it Marilyn’s Killer Bourbon Cake. You call it what you like.  Be aware the recipe calls for instant pudding and while I don’t think there is any gluten in pudding mix, they are not labeled gluten free.

Cake: 1 package GF chocolate cake mix (I used King Arthur)

1 package instant chocolate pudding mix

4 eggs

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup bourbon

1/2 cup chopped nuts

Glaze: 1 stick of butter

1 cup of sugar

1/4 cup bourbon

Grease very well and flour a Bundt pan, then coat with nuts. (they will sit in the bottom of the pan and that is fine, it makes a nice top and helps to keep the cake from sticking to the pan) Combine all the cake ingredients and mix well. Pour into the pan and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. It’s a good idea to put the pan on a baking sheet. The glaze sometimes boils over and makes a mess of the oven. While the cake is baking put the glaze ingredients into a pot and cook over low heat until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the cake and bake for another 10 minutes. Total baking time is 55-60 minutes. Let cool completely. The glaze has to harden back up. It can be hard to get out of the pan – look closely at the picture,  you can see that it did not come out in one piece – still tastes good. Enjoy.

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My Next Project

  I am already dreaming about my next project. Never mind the one I am working on and the two in my project bag!! I have been looking at Through the Loops sweater patterns with the beautiful yokes. I think Cherry Lane is my favorite.  I need to make one. It’s not really a summer project but if I start it soon I might just be done in time to wear it next winter.

I have a stash of some really nice wool I bought from a friend who raised her own sheep and had the wool processed. These are the colors I am thinking of using. after reading the pattern I see that I am going to need four colors so, I’ll have to dive back into my stash and see what I can fine. I am pretty sure I have enough of a pretty sky blue……

I guess I had better get to work on the my current projects!

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New Project?

Tomorrow I will be in the car for four hours. Worried that my current WIP’s might be finished before we arrive, I was thinking all day about what I wanted to make next. I have two projects in the works right now. A hat that was supposed to be in a silent auction last Sunday. (I had something else I could give them…) And a shrug that I making for my sister in law. One knit and one crochet so I can switch it up. Also one takes a little more concentration as it is two color and follows a chart.

So I looked at my stash, thought about patterns I’d seen recently, and decided to try the poncho pattern that Sewrella recently posted. I have some nice knitpicks shine sport that I was given and it should be a good warm weather layer.

Problem is, now I have no desire to finish my two WIP’s. I just want to start this poncho! I will probably bring the hat at least and try and work on it a bit – but I have a feeling the poncho will get the most attention.

Oh well – I finish everything eventually. Life is too short to be bored with your crafting!

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Knitpicks Podcast Review

Knit Picks is a yarn company based in Vancouver WA.  The Knit Picks podcast is a good podcast, if you keep in mind that it is really an advertisement for their yarns and pattern books.

Various people from the Knit Picks staff star in each episode. They always have a easy conversational style. They cover subjects as varied as cabling, color work and the right yarn for each project. They give a lot of information about their products and patterns. As well as some tips and tricks.

It is worth a listen.  Especially if you are interested in one of their products.

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Yarnthing Podcast Review

I started listening to The Yarn Thing Podcast with Marly Bird a while ago and I really like it. Marly has a great, bubbly personality and it really shines in the podcast. She interviews people from the industry, both established and up and coming. It’s a fun way to find out about people, books and resources for knitting and crochet. It is thanks to Marly that I own Dimensional Tuck Knitting, a favorite book of mine. And she gives away prizes! There is always much discussion and descriptions of how to enter and comments on her webpage about the process. Personally, I have not found it hard to do.

Her recent guests include, Sarah Delaney and Jeff Cox.

She just changed the format, so now it is posted on YouTube. I prefer listening to watching. But you can turn it on and just listen. And I am probably in the minority on that.

My only criticism is that sometimes the sound quality is poor and there are technical glitches. But it is a free podcast, so really what I am whining about?

I suggest you check it out.

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