Sunday, January 10, 2010

Strudel Pals

Some friends last a lifetime; my friend Cricket is one of those. She and I shared a playpen and we've been friends ever since even though we have never lived in the same state. We rode horses together when we were equine-crazy pre-teens, she introduced me to my first real boyfriend, she was a bridesmaid in my first wedding and her kids are some of my favorite people on earth. I lend her moral support when needed, help her clean house before all family weddings and kitchen remodels (this is a greater service than you know) and marvel at how quickly we fall back into our easy, comfortable friendship whenever we are together. We don't write or call often but we are always there for each other. She makes killer strudel at Christmas time. In response my sending her a sparkly Christmas tree ornament shaped like a cricket, she sent me this swirly beauty.

Rich with nuts and raisins and very light on the cake, it's a dream of a dessert or a breakfast "bread." She learned to make it from her husband's mother, who used to send it to them in Seattle from her home in Pittsburg every Christmas. The Mom actually hand-chopped the nuts until Cricket and Tom gifted her with a food processor one year. When I raved about the strudel, Cricket sent me the recipe so I could share it with you.

Cricket's and my friendship is so long-standing that we have even planned our futures together. We plan to become cranky old ladies, smoking, cussing, drinking and throwing the beer cans onto the front lawn of our rest home (none of which we currently do - except the cussing, of course) once we reach an age where we no longer care what anyone thinks. Friends for life - the very best kind!

Strudel from Seattle


1/2 cup sugar in 1 cup warm milk (112-114 degrees F), mix in two packets of active dry yeast. Once it has formed thick bubble foam, mix in 2 eggs, another cup of warm milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1stick of melted butter and 2 teaspoons salt. Next add 4 cups unbleached flour in parts. Turn this sticky mixture out on to well floured surface and work in another 4 cups of flour. Knead for a while. Divide the dough in half and place in greased bowls to double in size (about 90 minutes). Punch down, knead briefly and allow to rise for another 1 hour.

Turn the dough onto a tightly woven table cloth saturated with flour (a pastry cloth doesn't seem to work well) and roll out the dough in to a rectangle. Depending on your pan size each dough should yield 4 loaves.

Filling- for each dough:

2 pounds finely processed walnuts and 1/2 cup sugar. Add to this 1-1/2 to 2 cups scalded milk to make a paste (you have to play with the consistency if it is too sticky it tears the dough when spreading or is too runny). Spread the paste on dough to edges, brush surface with 1 egg + 1 yolk, follow by spreading 1 stick melted butter. Sprinkle with lots of raisins (2 to 3 cups). Roll up dough snugly by lifting edge of cloth. Cut roll to fit well greased loaf pans (place seam of roll down in pan), put in warm spot and let rest for 15 minutes, brush with the egg white, place in a 300 degree oven for about 40 to 50 minutes until light brown.



Blogger Greg said...

Trying to channel Homer Simpson.
Strudel Yum!

Sunday, January 10, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

You and your friends with the edible Christmas gifts! (That =clink= you just heard was me tossing a beer can on your driveway.)

Sunday, January 10, 2010  
Blogger katiez said...

How wonderful to have a friend like that. I love the strudel - and the image of the beer-can strewn lawn.
I plan to be the eccentric American living in a 4th floor walk-up in Paris, drinking lots of wine and eating from the local shops....

Monday, January 11, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, you have a way to go before you can reach Homer's level of weirdness.

Cookiecrumb, you can join us at the rest home if you want.

Katiez, I know exactly where you can find the 4th floor walkup - we rented it last time we were in Paris, and it was wonderful!

Monday, January 11, 2010  
Blogger namastenancy said...

You know, so many of my women friends have the same sort of vision for our "old age." In my case, I dream about a house on the Oregon Coast, filled with friends, books, art, good food and a garden. It should be close enough to a town for medical care (like Vancouver) but far enough away for quiet evenings, filled with the sound of the sea. But if anybody here wants to join us, we can add the cussin' and beer cans to the agenda.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010  

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