Sweet Kugel Time Again

It’s time to make my mother’s sweet kugel again – it’s a once a year thing which I bake around Christmas time. I’m a week early this year mostly because I’ve committed to making four and I wanted to get them done and in the freezer so I can cross them off my “to-do” list.

Sweet Kugel In The Oven

This year I had help – I was mentioning today would be kugel making day and Deb thought it would be interesting – I Invited her to help me make them. With two of us preparing the dough, slicing the apples, rolling dough… we were done the whole production in just over an hour including the clean up!

I took the kugels out of the baking dishes before they were fully cooled because the juices get very thick when cold and I wanted the pastry to fall out onto waxed paper when I inverted the dishes. They’re all wrapped and in the freezer and the dishes washed and put away.

A brief recap: this dish is made with a sticky stretchy dough – flour, a beaten egg, 1/4 c vegetable oil, 3/4 c water (pinch of salt). Once rolled out it’s covered with cinnamon/sugar, strawberry jam, cranberry sauce (with berries), finely sliced apples, raisins. Then you fold the dough edges over the filling, gingerly pick it up and plop it in to a greased baking dish bottom side up, sprinkle more cinnamon/sugar on top, bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes (until top starts to brown) then reduce heat to 325 and bake another hour, hour and a quarter, covered. The kitchen smells wonderful by the time the kugels are baked.

I described in detail how the kugels are made and provided the recipe two years ago. I made them the same way this time.

Wonderful with poultry.

I had one in my freezer from last year and when my friend Elayne was visiting late summer I was looking for a dessert and decided to defrost it and we had it with ice cream so while the dish is intended to be served as a savoury – it’s also a lovely dessert!

Sparkle Socks II

This is the latest pair of socks – finished last evening. I bought two balls of Opal sparkle yarn and have now knit both. I like the stripes in this yarn and I like the wee bit of glitter the “fifth” ply provides.

Sparkle Socks – Pink

Because of where in the variegation the toe fell, I decided to finish the toe without changing yarns. Worked out nicely.

I’ve picked out the yarn for the next pair of socks which I’ll start this evening.

Purple Passion – Quilt Back

Assembled the back for Purple Passion yesterday. The point was to use up leftovers and retain enough of the purple grunge fabric to be able to bind the quilt without having to buy more fabric!

Purple Passion – Quilt Back

I used leftover blocks from the quilt top, cut in half to assemble the narrow pieced strip, then used large blocks of the leftover fabrics to create a wide strip. I decided this time not to insert the strip but to use it as a panel on one side, instead.

Then I set up the quilt sandwich – I’ve described how I do this somewhere in the blog but can’t find the specific post. When I started quilting, I would tape the quilt back to the floor, lay the batting on top, then position the quilt top, smooth out the whole thing and pin.

Pinning The Quilt Sandwich

But getting up and down has become difficult – it’s an age thing – and one day I tried rolling each layer on a pool noodle, and working on my dining room table. That made assembling the quilt sandwich quite a bit easier.

One day it dawned on me that 1 x 4 boards would provide some weight and allow me to apply a bit of tension to each layer as I progressively pinned the sandwich. That’s what you see here. Each layer is rolled on a board, the layers placed on top of one another. I will pin the exposed layers, roll that part up and continue pinning until I’ve reached the other end, taking care to keep the quilt back as smooth as possible. I’m working on my cutting table which is a good height for this step – I don’t have to bend over as I did on my dining room table – much easier on my back.

I’m now ready to begin pinning. Once that’s done, I will stitch-in-the-ditch to stabilize the sashing and outline the narrow drop shadow border. Then I’ll quilt each block once I’ve created an embroidery for this quilt.

Purple Passion

I described the start of this quilt ten days ago. Here’s the quilt top completed.

Purple Passion, Top

Turned out to be a real challenge to distribute the colour when I tried laying out the blocks! Because I had decided to use three different fabrics in each block, that meant I was continually running up against the same fabrics when I juxtaposed blocks in a row and across rows. I did a ton of swapping around to little avail because I would find that same fabric in an adjacent block. Also I wanted to alternate the diagonal blocks with fat pointed ends coming together in sets of four at the same time I was trying to distribute the solid blocks. In the end, I just started adding the contrasting turquoise sashing and stitching the blocks together in rows! That’s what you get when you’re not working from a pattern or a set of instructions but trying to improvise as you go along. The result is OK but not spectacular – I’ve ended up with clumps of colour rather than it being distributed more evenly. The problem would have been less severe had I elected to use fewer fabrics – twelve turned out to be too many.

Now on to the back. I picked up more purple grunge fabric yesterday. I will need to create some kind of insert to widen the length of backing. I will have to look through my Pinterest collection of quilt back photos for ideas.

I came across another face the other day:

“Face”

It was sitting on a friend’s kitchen table. A rather scary face – mask-like – with big eyes and a grimacing mouth. I also saw an ad recently (can’t remember what it was for) that subtly used sink faucets as faces in the background. I’ll have to keep an eye open for it – not great advertising if I can’t remember who was doing the advertising!

Sparkle Socks & Danish Paper Stars

You can’t really see the sparkle in the photo but there’s a polyester strand in the yarn that glitters. Click on the photo and you can see the sparkle.

Finished these socks last evening. The pattern was interesting enough that the knitting went reasonably fast. When the pattern changes in short intervals the knitting always seems to go faster – probably doesn’t but I feel I’m making progress more quickly.

Sparkle Socks

Danish Paper Stars

Years ago I used to make Danish Paper Stars for tree ornaments and give them as gifts. Haven’t done them for ages but I thought they’d be a good addition to the silk scarves I’ve done for the knitting ladies.

I tried remembering but the critical part is getting the initial intersecting of the strips going in the right direction and in the end I had to find instructions online.

Danish Paper Stars

After three stars my hands have recovered the moves – particularly the twist needed for the 3-D points on each side. My intention is to make about 20 stars but in years past I often made as many as 50+. I’ll add string to them so they can hang.