My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.



Several of you guessed that I would be brining a turkey today. Nope, but that’s a good guess. I watched Alton Brown brine a turkey on television earlier this month and would really like to try it. But it’s just not practical in a small condo kitchen.

No, today I made challah.

Back in the day when I lived in a house with a big kitchen, I baked bread all the time. The small condo kitchen is not the best environment for bread-making. Still, I had the urge.

Milk, butter and sugar were mixed together and brought to a boil.

Challah A 112007

Challah A 112007

After cooling, I added yeast, which thankfully I did not kill by putting it in the liquid when it was too hot.

Challah B 112007

Challah B 112007

Eggs are ready to be added along with salt.

Challah C 112007

Challah C 112007

And flour and Presto! Bread dough!

Challah D 112007

Challah D 112007

(That’s my trusty 1982 commercial-size Cuisinart. It’s still working after all these years.)

The dough is ready for it’s first rise.

Challah E 112007

Challah E 112007

Well, lookie here. It rose.

Challah F 112007

Challah F 112007

I shaped it into loaves and set it to rise again. That’s cornmeal sprinkled on the baking sheet to keep the loaves from sticking.

Challah G 112007

Challah G 112007

Before baking, I painted the loaves with an egg wash.

Challah H 112007

Challah H 112007

Ta-da! Loaves accompli!

Challah I 112007

Challah I 112007

I use the challah recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook. The only change I make is to add some saffron to the milk when boiling it. This is the recipe I’ve always used and have always loved it.

Challah J 112007

Challah J 112007

So . . . why did I make challah?

So we could use it to make French Toast! Yum! ๐Ÿ™‚

I was on a “baking high” after the success of the challah so I quickly whipped up a batch of cornbread, to be used for the cornbread stuffing that will accompany our turkey on Thursday. Not roasted in the turkey though. I’m not a fan of the “in-bird” stuffing. My turkey will be roasted with an assortment of herbs and onions in the body cavity.

Cornbread 112007

Cornbread 112007

The cornbread recipe I use is documented here, in a blog entry on November 20 of last year. Freaky, what? I was making cornbread exactly one year ago. For the stuffing, I omit the sugar from the recipe.

Tomorrow . . . pumpkin pie!

But wait — this is still a knitting blog, so I’ll answer a couple of questions from yesterday’s post.

Michelle asked:

What is the deciding factor in whether you use a size 1 or size 2 for your socks?

For fingering weight sock yarns I always use a size 0 needle (2mm). The only exception is if I’m doing a cabled sock, I’ll go up a needle size for the cabled part.

Laura commented:

I started a pair of toe up socks with your generic pattern and Judyโ€™s magic cast-on. Do you use this cast-on? How many stitches do you start with? I started with 12 but the toe looks a little too small. Yours look normal so I am curious what you do.

Yes! I always use Judy’s Magic Cast-on — it’s my very favorite cast on. If you haven’t tried it for your toe-up socks, I strongly urge you to give it a whirl.

I start with about half the total number of stitches for my sock. For example, if I’m doing a 64-stitch sock, I’ll cast on 32 stitches — 16 on each needle. I think 12 on each needle would make the toe too pointy for my liking. But your mileage may vary!

Lucy sez:

Lucy 112007

Lucy 112007
Look at me! I’m adorable!


  1. Your bread looks great. I also have a small apartment kitchen, so I typically buy Rhodes frozen bread dough. Easiest way to get fresh baked bread. Unfortunately, my apartment is a little chilly in winter and I have trouble getting it to rise sometimes.

  2. Wow-that bread looks fantastic. I am going to try making it!

  3. Barbara-Kay says:

    Hmm, musn’t let DH see today’s post. I haven’t baked Challah for him in years, and he loves it. Ditto the French toast, and especially if it’s made from Challah. Woe is me, I’m doomed!

    Back to our diets!

  4. Thanks so much for your answer to my question! That cast-on really is great. I just wasn’t seeing anything anywhere telling me what to start with. Thanks again!

  5. Fresh-baked bread- mmmmm Looks wonderful- if I think hard enough I can smell it!

    Yes, Lucy, you are adorable.

  6. I followed Alton Brown’s directions for brining a turkey last year at my parent’s house. It turned out amazing. People coudn’t stop talking about how moist the white meat was! He is my food guru.

    Your Challa looks fabulous, I might have to try that recipe.

  7. Mmmm…challah…. That just looks amazing. I was waffling on whether to bake bread for Thanksgiving, but you’ve pretty much decided me — thanks for the inspiration! It’ll keep my hands loose for all of the knitting I have to do this week ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I’m suddenly hungry after reading your blog, and we just had dinner, what yummy looking breads. I enjoy reading about you doing your typical fun things that you might not have been able to do before your surgery, glad you are getting back to normal. Yes, Lucy, you are adorable.

  9. Oh, yummy. That looks so delicious. To bad I hate to cook. My husband does the cooking, I will have to pass this on to him. Thanks for everything you do for us and I hope you Korac and Lucy have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Please convey my best to L-B also.

  10. Nothing like cornbread dressing. (If it’s cooked outside the bird, it’s dressing.)

  11. Lucyis indeed adorable! And the bread(s) look oh so yummy. I’ve never tried cornbread stuffing/dressing, though it sounds quite good.

  12. alice in RIchmond says:

    oooo, I have that Cuisinart from 1982. It was a wedding giftie!

    i baked today too! Scones. and Nanaimobars!. Mmmm.

  13. I have a fantastic recipe for creme brulee french toast which uses challah – tattoo boyfriend loves it too! yummy!! Maybe I will make that this weekend!

  14. I think the last time I made challah The Silver Palate Cookbok hadn’t come out yet. Very pretty loaves.

    I just gave my 1982 food processer to my SIL as I found I like doing stuff by hand and she has a giant new kitchen.

    Thanks for the tip on number of stitches for Judy’s Cast-on. Mine have been too pointy, even though I have pointy feet.

  15. Your Challah looks really good and perfect for French Toast. Lucy looks as adorable as always.

  16. The bread looks wonderful. I always make bread with my KitchenAid, but have been meaning to try one of the Cuisinart versions. Maybe soon. I have that 1982 model, too, but it was my second. Cuisinart had a special trade-in program in 82 or 83, and gave you a credit on old Cuisinarts. I traded in my 1973 model.
    Dang I’m old.

  17. It’s not the size of the kitchen, it’s the skill of the cook (see Ratatouille for fun!)………….and we KNOW that you (having taken such care on the bread for French toast) heat the lovely Vermont made maple syrup!!

  18. Wow! What yummy looking bread!!

  19. Hmmm… the challah looks wonderful! My first thought? Creme brule french toast (from The Joy of Cooking) – my mouth is watering! I’ll be making babka tomorrow for Thanksgiving – making bread is one of my very favorite things.

  20. Mmmm, challah for French toast. That sounds so good. Personally, I find have less and less interest in any sort of cooking and/or baking now that the kids are [mostly] gone. I’d rather knit ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Hi Wendy! I’m normally just a lurker, but you made me so hungry just like everybody else! LOL! I love your socks and am trying to be courageous enough to try toe ups. I’m so glad you’re healing too. Keep getting better and give Lucy a big squeeze. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Hee hee!! That 1982 Cuisinart is older than a lot of your readers! Not me though, that’s the year I graduated from high school (just down the road from you, in W-bridge).
    That bread does look incredible, wish I could take a week off to bake and cook (and knit!).
    Make sure you share the turkey with Lucy!


  23. Yum! Your bread looks great! I had a similar cuisinart that I ran into the ground. I still miss it. My Kitchen Aid now kneads by breads, but not quite as good as my old cuisinart!
    I’m going to have to try that recipe! French toast sounds amazing! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Does Lucy prefer the white or dark meat?

  24. Just found your blog and was gonna comment that the kitty in the pictures are very fun! Then I scrolled up and saw that not only is she adopted, but you also send proceeds to an animal shelter….so here is a BIG OLE round of applause!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s to animal lovers!!!!

  25. anne marie in philly says:

    bread…ummmmmm (slobbers like homer simpson)

    don’t have a cuisinart, but I do have a bread machine that gets a workout every weekend. true, I have a single family house, but a condo size kitchen.

    and yes, lucy, you ARE adorable! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  26. I wasn’t hungry before I read your post but I am now. The challah looks delicious!!

  27. Hi Wendy,
    Hmm I always knew that challah tastes almost like the Swiss sunday bread Zopf. Now I have proof the ingriedents are the same. The only diffrence is in the process.
    Thanks for sharing your baking spree with us.
    Makes me wish it was Satuday so I could bake my own Zopf.

  28. Mmmm….your all making me really jealous…I do wish we had Thanksgiving in the UK, especially with Christmas being so commercialised now. You can’t have turkey without sage and onion stuffing – yum! Everyone here appears to have a bread making machine, they seem to really have taken off in the last year or so.

  29. Happy Thanksgiving Wendy, KORAC, and Miss Lucy!

    A question if you have a moment at some stage; I am currently knitting my first ever toe-up sock using your lovely Garden Path pattern and Judy’s Magic cast-on (which was indeed magic!). Your instructions are great, alas my technique is not and i am noticing that my ‘k2tog, yo’ combos look great and my ‘ssk, yo’ combos look like they were knitted by my cat. Any tips?

  30. The bread looks wonderful. Back in my husband’s grad school days at Stanford, we lived near a great natural foods store and I made probably 2 out of every 3 loaves of bread we consumed and tried every flour the store had to offer. Maybe it’s time to pull out the old bread books and see how living in a high altitude (SE CO) affects bread baking (I’ve adjusted my cookie and cake recipes without too much trouble). Though I love to make cookies from scratch (sugar, gingerbread, oatmeal w/craisins, various chips…), I too am a fan of the premade pie crust. And recently my 13yo son discovered his inner pieman and loves to make pies so tomorrow the oven is his!

  31. Beth in Maine says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Wendy! I’m thankful for you and your blog. Your bread looks delicious. I made apple cranberry chutney last night, pumpkin pie tonight! I’m glad your back is better. My three kitties wish you and Lucy and KORAC a wonderful holiday. Beth

  32. Why do you go up a needle size when doing the cable part of the sock? Does that allow the cable to “stick out” more? Thank you so much for your bit about how many stitches to cast on – I am just about to start my first toe-up sock this week. That will help so much!

  33. Dear Wendy,
    I love the way your challah bread looks. I
    am not well, but I wouldn’t have taken that
    on when I was. It does bring back wonderful
    memories of times past. I don’t know how
    you manage all that with your back. It’s
    difficult to bake bread. I haven’t tried a toe-up sock yet. It’s hard to teach an old dog
    new tricks. I might make that my New Year’s
    resolution to try a toe-up sock.

  34. I had that same model Cuisinart, and it finally gave out last year. I replaced it with one having a bigger bowl. I didn’t start breadbaking until I bought a Cuisinart, and I was hooked after that. Now my husband has taken over that chore, but he uses a bread machine. The results are quite good for “everyday” breads, and there are models that would work well in a small kitchen (this is from an ex-Manhattanite who spent most of her life in small kitchens). The King Arthur Flour store has a good selection of bread machines.

    That bread looks beautiful, and it is making me hungry.

  35. Happy Thanksgiving, Wendy, KOARC and Lucy!


  36. Oh, challah bread for french toast is the best!!!(so is Alton brown!!!)
    fyi. a few years ago, i saw Emeral marinate a turkey in orange juice, and have made it that way ever since… NO tender of a turkey will you ever hav.e. OMG it is so good, and you could do that in a condo kitchen. I will never forget the first place we rented… Not sure there was a kitchen.. a strip mall kitchen though.
    Ok, Im trying you challah bread recipe. I have made every other bread but that… I have killed yeast that way too. LOL.
    Happy thanksgiving!!! does Lucy get the giblets?? Trixie does here… her fave holiday, as even my mom sends hers up for her too. spoiled rotten Kat!
    Oh and always always love the socks.. that goes w/out saying. Long time since I made a commment so just making up for it.
    Glad your surgery went well. As a former OR nurse…It is AMaZing what is being done, and the fast recovery time.

  37. I learned from experience that using Alton Brown’s method to brine that turkey is soooo worth it. I’m sure yours will be delicious nonetheless!

    I’m thankful for all the wonderful sock patterns and tips you’ve worked up over the year. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  38. Michele in Maine says:

    Wendy, I have a Cuisinart from 1983! It’s a DLC-9, I believe. The bowl is slightly cracked, but I still use it. I even have a juicer/power strainer attachment for it for making raspberry puree (See “The Cake Bible”) without seeds.

    I will be making cinnamon rolls tonight for tomorrow’s b’fast (my 5 year old nephew wants to be a “cinnamon maker” when he grows up!), cornbread tonight to go with chili, and pumpkin pie for tomorrow. So we are on the same wavelength.

    I’ll be so glad when all the cooking is done so I can get back to my knitting. Getting ready for T’giving family and guests takes a big chunk of my knitting time!

    Lucy is adorable, as usual.

    Enjoy your holiday!

  39. The last two years my husband has done the brining thing and it is the best. Our kitchen is not huge and the brining actually took place in a clean 5 gallon bucket in our bathtub. I am not a huge turkey fan and I loved it when it was brined, so I highly recommended.
    Have a great Thanksgiving.

  40. Your bread looks wonderful!! Wish I could do it. Its on my ‘to do’ list-in this lifetime!
    As for brining, try a chicken first. I recently did, and it was delicious.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  41. Happy Thanksgiving, Wendy!

    Your challah with saffron sounds like it would make dandy Lucia buns, no? Swap the saffron for cardamom & sprinkle with pearl sugar & you’ve got vetebrod!

    Vetebrod also makes awesome french toast. Especially with Lingonberry preserves on top.

    I am at a fellow Swede’s home for Thanksgiving. I had to bring two knitting projects, as my sock-in-progress is a gift for the hostess for her January birthday. They’re your eyelet rib pattern in Lorna’s Laces “Tahoe” colorway, which I bought a couple years ago just for said recipient. It’s working up beautifully,

    Be well and well-fed this Thanksgiving!

  42. Your challah looks wonderful. Is there a trick to not having the crust a quarter inch thick and as hard as a brick? Thats how mine has turned out in the past.

    Anyhow, I just got a new Louet Victoria spinning wheel. I was thinking about you when I was trying it out. Its very light and you can treadle it with one or two feet.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you, KOARC and Lucy

  43. Theresa in Italy says:

    I inherited that same model Cuisinart when I moved here (to be honest, we “liberated” it from my MIL’s kitchen where it was gathering dust) but it gave up the ghost quite some time ago. Your challah looks wonderful. As does your cornbread. Can’t wait for the pumpkin pie shots, then my holiday nostalgia will be complete!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, the KOARC, and the always-adorable Lucy.

  44. Do you guys know that you can raise bread in the microwave? It has to be on the very, very lowest power level. Level One. And you must use a non-metal mixing bowl; I use pyrex. Microwave on Level One for 10-15 minutes. Punch down and let rise again in microwave for 5-7 minutes. This saves so much time and solves the cold kitchen problem. Just have to be sure to use Level One. Try it! You’ll like it! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Wendy. Um, yes, Lucy is pretty cute!

  45. MMMM yummy! That reminds me, I was going to start some sourdough bread today. I better go get it started!

  46. I thought I was the only baking fool who schlepped her early 80’s Cuisinart from Iowa to Tokyo (1987) and from there to Mexico City (1997)….it weighs a ton, but is worth every oz of it’s weight.
    When I don’t bake, I mostly use it to grind fresh coconuts into puree to freeze for baking and Indian food…….no other electric appliance can do that….
    While I am not an American and don’t live in the USA, I miss Thanksgiving for all the obvious reasons; Food, family, friends and then some more food…..
    Enjoy your day tomorrow…..
    I will dash off to google ” Creme Brulรฉe French Toast “… birthday is just a week before Christmas and Iwill be on vacation… I am looking for breakfast recipes……

    Mexico City

  47. I love seeing pictures of bread (and other baked goodies). I’ll be making my cornbread tonight for cornbread stuffing, one of the best foods of Thanksgiving.

  48. Another great cornbread recipe (little muffins, and tasted just like the ones in the restaurant):

  49. Challah? Happy Chanukah???? (or Hannukah, if you’re not up on your Aramaic)!
    I baked challah at least once a week for about 3 years…my son loves it so! The only problem…my recipie called for 15 cups of flour! (and Moishe only knows what else!)…I could never get it to come out right by halving the recipie, so a lot of very grateful friends got challah every week!
    By the way, at the time I lived right down the street from where Sheri (yep, Loopy Ewe Sheri) lives now. If she’d been there then, with yarn, she could’ve had lots and lots of challah! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Happy Thanksgiving! Remind Lucy that turkeys have tryptophan….lots of naps there!

  50. I have a Cuisinart of the same vintage! Have been mixing bread in it long before everyone got bread machines and still love it. On my third bowl assembly and second blade, has been used that hard.

  51. Found your T’day blog entry by a very circuitous route—yay, Internets! Thank you for great info on cast-on, socks; much more to learn and you are a fine teacher. TISH::: I live in NE Colorado (4984 feet)and now use the breadmaking machine just to get bread dough mixed, just a few minutes of “dough only”: 3 cups Bread Flour, a bit more than 1 cup Water, 1 teaspoon Salt, 1 teaspoon Yeast (on top).Toss into very slightly warmed oven to rise in its pan, remove it to heat oven to 350deg, bake 29 minutes. No kneading, no punching is necessary for good good bread ♥
    Or I use the Lahey-Bittman method detailed in Jeffrey Steingarten’s Vogue magazine May 2007: wonderful instruction and recipe!!!!.
    OR see this video demo of same, by Mark Bittman in Jim Lahey’s restaurant kitchen (2 gurus)
    43ab87b1474fb89 CUT & PASTE that long address or you’ll have to search thru huge amount of NYTimes videos that don’t stay there forever anyway. And read the very helpful accompanying site, here:
    You can find Bittman’s video by searching YouTube “Mark Bittman”
    I brine per Alton in my SMALL condo kitchen: bleach-clean the non-disposer side of sink & brine for 6 hours, just canning-pickling salt (no additives in it) adding ice for temp safety over time (~40 deg) cuz I was finished shopping for little items! Came out tasting great–use a meat thermometer!! A “dedicated brining bucket” works great, as others have posted, and I did last year for space needs.
    People who knit should bake great bread that takes very little time away from knitting!

  52. I think my Cuisinart is circa 1982 also. Or maybe 1981?