Gugeluph, gugelhuph, gah

However you spell it, it was one of my childhood treats. It’s a German coffee cake type thing. Mildly sweet and bread like, my best memories of it are eating pieces several days old lightly toasted in a toaster oven or in the big oven broiler.

You can vary it up a bit and I’ve seen recipes where fruit and nuts are rolled into the dough rather than mixed in. We always made it with raisins, but I’ve made it with grated orange peel and dried cranberries which is wonderful.

Here is the recipe I use, from my mother:

2 tbls yeast in 1/2 cup warm water.

1 1/2 cup milk, scalded

2/3 cup butter, margarine…or I’ve used oil with ok results.

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

lemon or orange rind grated. I usually use 1-3 whole lemons or 1-2 oranges. Avoid too much pith!

Optional: 1-2 tsp vanilla extract or the real stuff

Enough flour to make dough soft but not sticky

1/2 cup raisins (or dried cranberries, or…? Even nuts if you like that sort of thing)

I’ve also had good success cutting this recipe down. It’s easy enough to make 1/3, and if you don’t have a bundt or ring pan (funny story, I was trying to explain what a bundt pan was to my workmates and realized that neither bundt pans/cake, pound cake or angelfood cake are part of the kiwi home made cake experience).

Start your milk scalding. I read somewhere that scalding the milk changes it somehow, carmelizes the sugars or something, so I do it even though it’s a bit of a pain.

Get some warm water and put your yeast in. I figured that 2 packets is 2 tablespoons. When I cut the recipe down I used 1 packet and it was fine.

Cut up and add your butter (or not if you have a mixer) or add your oil and eggs.

Add your sugar and give it all a mix.

Stir in your grated citrus rind and vanilla.

Start adding your flour and keep mixing. Somewhere along the way add your raisins and any other mix ins.

Continue adding your flour and mix until smooth but not sticky.

Allow this mix to rise until doubled in size (or overflowing your bowl, eep!)

Now if you have a bundt or ring pan, you know, something with a hole in it, grease that up and place the dough in. If you don’t you can try what I did on a baking sheet.

If you made 1/3 recipe or have several loaf pans I found 1/3 recipe worked ok in a smallish loaf pan. You can see what a full recipe looks like below. I often have to eat it myself (oh, the horror) because my husband thinks raisins in bread is yucky. Does not know what he’s missing!

Bake at 350F (180C) for about an hour. The gugeluph should sound hollow when knocked on and pass clean the knife test.

As you can see my clever plan to have a hand shaped ring came to naught.

It can be frosted with a sugar glazing or powdered sugar dusting. I don’t like either so have it as is. Slice away.

Best served warm or slightly toasted. Something about the toasting brings out the subtle sweetness. Mmmm.

Ugly dolly

It’s Lucy’s birthday in less than a week. We bought her some things, but not really caring so much for plastic dollies I thought I’d make one. So behold: a very ugly dolly.

I freehanded with sharpie (mistake) on some fabric. It’s bamboo jersey.

I cut it out and sewed it up. I made one arm a bit too skinny. I didn’t use any pins because Glenn is always worried if I use pins for anything I’ll drop one and Lucy will eat it.

Here is where the doll goes from mildly whimsical to ugly. I used the sewing machine and colored thread to freehand (again with the freehanding) eyes and a mouth on there. Embroidery thread would have been the right option here. Or button eyes even, but I thought she’d try and eat them.

I crocheted some hair and sewed it on. And made it something to wear. A dress and what was supposed to be a head scarf.


Stuffed and with the clothes again.

All dressed up. Hope she likes it!


Green tomato pickles

Once again I ended up with green tomatoes. I had seeds left over from last year and though I’d give growing them another go. However, as of the end of April (like October for the Northern Hemisphere) many of the tomatoes were still green. So, the sauce was only a middling hit last year. In fact we just polished off the last of it a few days ago as part of a freezer cleaning out effort. So something a bit more immediate. More useful, and requiring far less tomatoes.

So as you can see not so many. I did actually get some red ones this year. And I only had a few plants as well. But these have been sitting outside off the plants, on the vine, failing to ripen any more. So time to pickle them!

I read about a few green tomato pickle recipes, but they all seemed like bread and butter pickles (so sugary) and involved onions. I’m still onion free for the baby so that was out. And I’m not a huge fan of sugary pickles. So I thought I’d adapt my refrigerator pickle recipe to these.

Pickling spice, dill seed, salt and vinegar:

Now, on measurements. What I did was add about  1/4 cup pickling spice, a tablespoon or more of dill seed, maybe a cup or two of while distilled vinegar, and 1/4 cup of salt. These are guesses as I just kind of put things in. Taste it before adding your sliced tomatoes. It should be vinegary, but light. I think that’s about a 2 liter container (so around 1/2 gallon).

This is what vinegar looks like:

Now before adding the tomatoes I topped up my mix with boiling water fresh from the kettle. I didn’t fully fill my container, but I wanted the salt dissloved and the liquid warm for the tomatoes.

Put in the fridge to cool and cure. Only a day later I’ve had them on cheese and tuna sandwiches and they are light, flavorful and crisp. Yum!


This is baby food really. But it doesn’t have to be! I mean, if you added salt it wouldn’t be. Basically.

So, potstickers, dumplings, whatever you want to call them there are two parts. Noodle dough and filling.

Let’s start with the noodle part since that will be the same regardless.

3 cups flour

salt (or not)

about 1 cup of water.

So mix these together in a mixer or with your hands until the dough is not too dry, not sticky, but kind of silky and smooth.

Then let it sit for 30 minutes or more to give the gluten time to let it be a stretchy dough.

While you are waiting you can make your filling. Filling can be whatever you like. It can be cheese or meat or vegetables or all of the above.

Mine is ground pork, fennel seeds, grated carrot, eggs and allspice. What I made was about 1.5lbs pork, 2 medium raw eggs, 1 tbs fennel seeds, a shake of allspice, and half a large carrot. This recipe only used 1/4 to 1/3 of that though so adjust accordingly. If it’s not for babies I thoroughly recommend salt or soy sauce.

Now, the dough. I have a potsticker press, but if you don’t you can crimp them by hand. I can’t show you how, but I hear it’s something people do.

Take a small piece

Roll it out

You can see my press. You can also stretch the dough by hand if you want. It’s pretty flexible.

Add filling.  Now for filling I added about half of a large tablespoon into the center of the dough

Then close it up, however you do it.

And boil them for 5-10 minutes

And done.

It made around 30 of them and I had lots (well over half) of filling left over. I see meatballs in my future.

Too many earthquakes

I know I haven’t been updating. Naughty me. I’ve been spending my time on parenting forums and on my new, other blog which is about boobies and not having enough milk.

So…earthquakes! I’ve now been through multiple large earthquakes.

Earthquakes I’ve known (and not loved)

Santa Cruz 1989

We lived in Lompico, so basically the middle of nowhere outside of Felton. Which is a mountain suburb of Santa Cruz. So more rural than a country town. Basically it was the other side of the mountain highway 17 traverses from the epicentre. Still, our car fell into a crack in the ground and the house across the street from us totally collapsed.  It wasn’t fun. I fell down, everything fell down. It was however, much worse than this next one

Christchurch: Sept 4th 2010

Not so bad. It went on longer than the 1989 one so while walking was possible it wasn’t easy.

The worst thing about this one is that because it was an earthquake from a dormant fault we went through almost 5000 aftershocks (I think it was at 4880+ when the next one happened). So, dormant faults suck when they wake up.  That’s basically around 1000 earthquakes per month until the next large one hit.

I know for me this last one was bad because it was so much more intense, but after close to 5000 aftershocks you pretty much stop reacting. No more duck and cover, and after a bit you start gauging them by if you feel like you want to stand up. ‘Hmm, stand  up? Must be 5+!’

I bet other people felt this way too. Which is really bad, because it was so much more intense it did a lot of damage and I barely moved to get out of the house until the power went out. Then I thought, ‘hmm, this may be bad’. Then walking became difficult. And being during the middle of the day, rather than in the dead of early morning made the toll much worse. All the aftershock shaking, plus the loads of brick buildings made this last one really bad.

Christchurch: February 22nd, 2011

I don’t like brick buildings, haven’t since 1989, but now I never want to live near or work in one. And I think when we buy a house we’ll be getting some geotechnical reports done to see whether the area is on sand or rock. We are fortunate enough to live on rock now, so have our power, water and not that much damage.

But there are still aftershocks. The count is now over 5000, though this latest one does seem to be behaving more like a ‘normal’ earthquake and they are tailing off more rapidly than the first one.

I’m sure I was in some sub 6 earthquakes as well, but I can’t remember any of them specifically.


So, hopefully there won’t be any more significant ones. Christchurch will hopefully rebuild in a spectacular way. Earthquakes still suck.


Raaar presents.

She knows what’s up.



The garden returns!

Duh duh duuuuh.

Except this year it’s smaller and vaguely portable. In case we move before things are fully ripe like we did last year…

Peas and broccoli! Things that babies might have fun eating. Or that’s my theory. Lucky Lucy getting to start solids during the seasons that fruits and vegetables are fresh and good.

This is left over from last year mostly. Green onions and parsley, but I’m growing some fennel in there this year. A bit overgrown and going to seed. I forget to use it.

Kale and beets. Though I’m not sure which is which…I mean I knew at some point, but I forget now. Kale because it’s impossible to buy here, and beets because BEETS. Also there may be an obligatory beets+baby picture at some point.

Spinach and.. well tomato seeds. Tomatoes haven’t popped up yet.