Monday, December 22, 2008

A Christmas not like any other

which translated means, "GOD WITH US." 
Matthew 1:23 

The Sunday after we got the Christmas tree it was snowing when we got up. But it didn't look too serious, so we all bundled up and headed for church. However, by the time we got to church it was blizzarding. There actually was a fair amount of people at church, but in the middle of the service they announced that the next two services were cancelled. After church we stopped by Heidi's house to drop off something, and Emily was all dressed up to go out into the snow. She was just about the cutest thing ever. You could tell that she had been dreaming about the day that she could finally get to experience snow. She put her arms out and twirled around and around saying "it's snowing, it's snowing!" Now I think this is pretty amazing for a two year old. They all headed out to walk the half mile to the store and Starbucks.

We had a lovely rest of the day, and it was announced that school was canceled for the next day. We spent the rest of the week not knowing what was going to happen next. I think that they held school two days. Sometimes Riley went to work, sometimes he didn't.  But one thing was certain, the snow wasn't going away.    And somewhere in there we realized that our car wasn't going anywhere.  That might seem amusing for a day or so, but that wasn't going to be the case.

On Saturday we had a wedding to go to, and we weren't going to miss it.  Luckily Sarah and Zac had chains on their four wheel drive Subaru, and they said that we could borrow it as long as they could take time to go to Fred Meyers.  Sure, why not.  Well I found out what could be wrong with that.  I'm at home patiently, then impatiently waiting for everyone to come home.  Riley is with them, and I knew he hadn't showered or shaved yet.  I got myself all dressed for the wedding, but it was 5:00 and no one was home and the wedding was at 5:30.  Finally they all showed up at 5:15, and I told Riley he better get right into the shower.  It wasn't until we were finally in the car on the way to the wedding that I found out what took so long.  Riley said they left FM's with what seemed like enough time, but when they got to the car they discovered that it was not only frozen on the outside, it was all frozen up on the inside.  It took them quite a while to get the car goable.  Riley said he went through 3 credit cards - he used them as ice scrapers.

So we got to the wedding only 10 minutes late, just as things started.  It was a lovely wedding, and after the wedding we got directions to the reception.  It was in North Portland.  Not what I would have expected, but Riley seemed to think he knew how to get there.  Well it one thing to get somewhere in the middle of an ordinary day, but quite another to find it in the dark and in blizzard.  The car steamed up continually.  Luckily we had brought with us a large package of paper napkins.  And the windshield wipers kept freezing up, so that Riley had to get out of the car to get the ice off.  I had to keep rolling my window down to try and read the street signs, which isn't easy with snow blowing in your face.  Riley's window was frozen and wouldn't open.  We were all over the place trying to find that reception.  Finally we spotted three cars all turning down the same street.  Now given that there were very few cars on the road, that seemed like a good indicator that something of note was happening in that direction.  By this time we had been on the road for almost an hour trying to find the reception.  Well sure enough they were going where we were going.  There it was.  It turned out that the directions were wrong.  We were told to turn right on a street we should have turned left on.  But it seemed that most of the people were already there.  I think that the reason so many of them weren't late was because this was a wedding of two Multnomah Bible College students and most of the guests were the same.  They all knew from previous wedding where to find the place.  

All during the reception it just kept on snowing.  We sat at a table with the pastor who married the couple and he told us that church was cancelled the next day.  Also at our table was someone we knew who had taken the bus to the wedding, and had gotten a ride to the reception, but was in need of a ride home.  So we volunteered to give her a ride.  Just getting out of there was a struggle, but eventually we all got home safely.

Sarah and Zac and Caleb spent the night, but they went home the next day because they needed to get ready to fly to Tennessee.  We were of course stuck, and I came down with a cold.  The next day Riley took Sarah and Zac to the airport, but there was a feeling that they might not actually fly out, as almost no one was getting out at the airport.  Heidi dropped the children off.  I thought she was a bit nuts to try and make it to work, as she works in Milwaukee, not Portland.  Riley took Sarah and Zac's car to work.  At about the same time in the afternoon both Riley's work - the city of Portland, and Heidi's work let them off, as the snow was really coming down.  Before Riley reached home, Sarah called to tell him that they needed a ride, as their plane wasn't flying out.  That was good news/bad news.  I was delighted that they would be around for Christmas, but it was distressing that we wouldn't be able to use their car, as ours certainly wasn't going anywhere.  Riley had tried to get chains, but they cost over $600.  

The next day Riley went to work, but Heidi didn't.  So that meant I was free, I just needed a ride.  Sarah and Zac showed up late morning, and Sarah and Caleb stayed at our house so that Zac could give Corey and Annie and I a ride to NW Portland.  We went to Powells, then we went out for Sushi, after which I went to Sur la Table and bought a metal pizza peel for Riley, and then we trudged through the snow to the downtown area.  We went to Starbucks for coffee - and a chance to sit down.  Somehow it was decided that Riley would come and meet me, and Corey and Annie would go off on their own somewhere.  

It was getting dark by the time I met up with Riley, but we managed to get some Christmas shopping done.  This was good, but I have to say I was getting very tired, and it seemed like a rather daunting thought getting home on the bus.  But we caught the bus rather quickly, and we got a seat together.  It was a rather long ride, twice as long as normal, but everything went okay.  The hard part was the walk from where the bus let us off to home.  Well I had managed to get Christmas shopping done, but I was really tired, and the next day was Christmas Eve, when we always have our big formal Christmas meal.  I could tell that neither my parents nor our friends Ken and Marilyn would be able to make it.   But Sarah and Zac and Caleb would be there, which meant that my entire direct family would be there - 11 of us.  The problem was going to be that I didn't have the needed ingredients for lasagne and salad.  

Sarah and Zac agreed to show up shortly after noon, so that they could get me to the store for the food.  Well they called at 2:00 to say that they were on their way.  But maybe 15 minutes later they called to say that they were stuck on the freeway behind a jack-knifed semi.  Eventually the police were organized to back the cars off the freeway, but when Zac rolled down his window to talk with the policeman, it got stuck.  They eventually got the window up, but by then they got a call from the airport saying that their luggage was finally back at the airport, so they went to get it.  They finally arrived at our house at about 5:00.  Needless to say I was in a bit of a panic.  I did have the sauce ready.  we decided that Annie would make the pasta from scratch.  While waiting for Sarah and Zac I had sent Annie and Christian off to the store for the mozerella and ricotta.  Unfortunately it had begun to rain icey type rain, not long after they left.  They arrived back home very cold and went shortly before Sarah and Zac arrived.

But after Sarah and I got back from the store every one helped out, and absolutely everything came together for a lovely Christmas Eve dinner at about 8:10.  I could hardly believe it.  We all had a lovely time.  After dinner Sarah and Zac wanted everyone to open the presents from them, so we all gathered in the living room for a lovely round of present opening.  The only down side was that when all was done I was really running out of energy.  I did manage to get 

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saint Lucia's Day and a Christmas tree

"In him was life, 
and that life was the light of men." 
John 1:4

At our house we love to celebrate Christmas in as many ways as possible. Our #2 daughter especially likes St. Lucia's Day. She's the daughter who looks Scandinavian. It seems that she decided to start making her St. Lucia Buns shortly before midnight the day before. So we all got a slow start on St. Lucia's Day, and around 11 o'clock she had her buns finished. The were very delightful. The recipe for them can be found here.

Not long after thuroughly enjoying the buns, we all decided that it was now or never for getting a tree at a tree farm. The weather has seemed so threatening, but at that moment it looked pretty good.

"If you don't know where you are going, 
you might wind up someplace else." 
Yogi Berra

Thursday, December 11, 2008

TWD - Dorie's Grandma’s All-Occasion Sugar Cookies

"The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? 
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?" 
Psalm 27:1

As usual, the TWD is Thursday with Dorie for me. I had the cookie dough made on Tuesday, then with friends we made the cookies on Wednesday, and now on Thursday I can finally post the cookies. Life is just too hectic to get things done in a timely fashion.

The dough was very easy to make, and very easy to roll out, cut and cook. I made the dough exactly as called for, but I think that I would like to add some flavoring, like nutmeg, or orange, or almond, .... I was not the one to actually roll out the dough, but those who did had no trouble at all, and I don't think that all of them had actually rolled out cookie dough before.

We all had fun making cookies. Here is Jake, who made the alien pizza, rolling out a pretty odd shape of dough. It seems he's at something like the alien again.

Merrideth and Abigail were the main rollers, but surely everyone got involved.

These two - Merideth and Jake
- are getting married on Dec. 20, 2008

And we also made my Christmas Chocolate Chip Cookies. We cooked the cut out cookies in the meile, and the chocolate chip cookies in the Lacanche electric oven.

Then when the cookies were mostly done, we ate cookies and drank milk.

“I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early.” 
Yogi Berra

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Out With The Old, In With The New

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, 
he is a new creature; 
the old things passed away; 
behold, new things have come." 
2 Corinthians 5:17 

We've had the same couch in the living room for about 28 1/2 years.  We had spent a great deal of time picking it out, going all over the city to all the furniture stores that seemed like good ones, sitting in their couches.  Finally we decided on one at Ethan Allen.  We knew the number and the cost, and we went to order it only to  be told that it was discontinued.  That was so disheartening.  But as we stood in the show room chatting with the saleswoman about the situation and a different clerk overheard our conversation and came to tell us that there was, in fact, one left.  It was in the back of the store "hanging on the wall".  We had expected to pay $1200 for the couch, but this one on the wall was going for $388.  Never mind that the cover was not really to our liking - we took it.  But not long after getting the couch Riley took a job in Hong Kong.  We did ship lots of our furniture, but for a reason I can't remember we did not take the couch.  We left the remainder of our belongings with my brother and his girlfriend.  In my estimation they did not treat the couch properly, but it did survive.  Not long after our return from Hong Kong we had the couch and two other chairs recovered in matching material.  The chairs eventually became unsatisfactory, and were given away.  But the couch remained with us with that blue tattersol cover until about 2004, when we had it recovered in a French material.  In hind sight, the material was not the best choice.  The color was just a bit wrong.  But the whole thing was almost a complete disaster because the upholsterer threw away the original cushions and replaced them with hideous foam cushions.  We were horrified!!!  The couch had been delivered late on a Saturday evening, so at that point we did know who to contact.  But first thing on Sunday morning we called the furniture store that had orchestrated the recovering.  They immediately called the upholsterer, who said that the cushions were out back by the dumpster!!  They told him to bring them immediately to the store.  We collected them soon after.  It was such a relief and joy to get them back.

But the couch still did seem to be suffering a bit from age.  The dog had chewed up one of the filials on the back, and the woodwork was looking aged, and the dear cushions were getting flat.  So we decided to find a new couch.  In our usual fashion this took months of serious looking.  But finally one day we walked into a well known furniture store that we hadn't gone to before because it was deep in suburbia.  But we quickly realized that it was probably the right store.  But even then it took more than one visit to finally hone in on a couch.  Unfortunately they didn't have the one that we liked in the show room, only a similar one.  But that one was very nice to sit in.  Then it took hours and hours of looking on line to choose the covering we wanted.  But finally in September we took the plunge and ordered a rather expensive couch sight unseen.  I had even begun to forget that we had ordered a couch.  But early this week they called to say that the couch was finished and had been sent.  Well it is due to arrive today at about 2:00.

But here's the really ironic thing about all this.  Yesterday, when Riley sat down on our dearly beloved old couch there was a very distinctive crack.  An oak piece of wood that is a support under the couch split.  How amazing that the old couch would break less than 24 hours before the knew couch arrived.  What a sign that it was time to get rid of the old couch.  But actually, we're not getting rid of it.  It has been given to daughter number 3, who had already set it up to give the couch in her room to someone else.  Now that did bother me a bit, as that is my couch.  It had been in the dentist's office when I was a child a very very long time ago.  It really is a most amazing couch, and I hadn't intended to get rid of it.  Riley says I can still keep it.  He's sooo sweet.  But then again, the dentist was terrible.  He had a slow drill and didn't use Novocaine.  

Not only is it good that the new sofa is coming today especially since the old one broke, but we are having 12 people for dinner this evening. My only angst about all this is that I don't want anyone to spill on my new couch!!!!!!! How do I keep everyone off the couch? Maybe it will be delivered with a protective covering and I'll just leave it on.  Well actually it's Scotch guarded.

So now for the dinner party. The Doncasters are coming, as are all of my children except Corey, who's middle name is Doncaster.  Something about her collegues taking a retro Christmas picture of themselves at seven. Unfortunately the Doncasters have to leave by seven because their grand-daughter, who is maybe 5 months old, has to be put to bed by 7:30.  So they are all arriving around 4:30, and we will eat at 5:30.


Spicey Meatballs with noodles
green salad with vinaigrette
French bread
grateful pudding with lemon sauce
Russian apple cake with whipped cream

That shouldn't be too hard, but we will see. I'm slow getting started today, and the living room is a mess, with the old couch upside down and the cushions everywhere because Riley is gluing it back together. I'm not totally sure where this couch is going this afternoon. Maybe in the middle of Corey's room temporarily.

Well we all had a lovely time. They were a little late, and I was even later. It's amazing how much work goes into making dinner. I didn't make the Russian apple cake with whipped cream. Instead I made a tarte tatin with golden delicious apples. Bothe desserts were very nice indeed. Actually the whole dinner was very nice. The one mishap was that i forgot to serve a German chocolate cake that Sarah had brought over. It was in the back room, and it was a matter of "out of sight, out of mind." It is soooo hard to be perfect!

"A person who never made a mistake 
never tried anything new."
Albert Einstein 

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day

"He will be a wild donkey of a man; 
his hand will be against everyone 
and everyone's hand against him, 
and he will live in hostility toward his brothers." 
Genesis 16:12

"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, 
let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 
for our "God is a consuming fire." 
Hebrews 12:28-29 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Day Before Thanksgiving

This is probably one of my favorite days of the year. I get to do all kinds of cooking on a grand scale. There's all kinds of foods to be prepared - the yams and sweet potatoes steamed - the carrots julienned and steamed - the cranberry sauce - just making sure that all the necessary food items are in the house - the grateful putting in its steamer - the lemon sauce - and pies pies pies.

Yesterday we were working along on the cleaning projects, when I got the bright idea to wash the curtains on the landing, in the front hall and in the living room. I figured that they would come out of the dryer all nice and ready to be hung - NOT! Because of my cold I didn't hear the dryer buzz and when Corey wanted to use the dryer there there they were - a mass of wrinkles. Well despite how behind I felt about things, I then had to spend 3 plus hours ironing those curtains. But somehow, as I was ironing, I felt that the Lord was telling me that if I just relaxed and relied on Him then everything would turn out alright. So that's what I'm doing. And at this point on Wednesday afternoon I've gotten many things accomplished because Emily has been asleep for 2 hours. Never mind that it took me an hour to get her to sleep. I've even gone up to make sure she is still alive. She is. It is such a pleasure to be able to cook many things in a tidy kitchen on a sunny afternoon all by myself!

By 4:30 Emily woke up, and she was soon in a pleasant mood. She also likes it when we are all by ourselves. It was getting a bit dark by then. I got her a juice baba, turned on Toot and Puddle, and she climbed up into the Danish chair to watch the show. When Heidi showed up at 5:30 Emily did not want to go home. I felt bad. I knew that she would love to hang out and cook with me, but I also knew that eventually she'd be into everything. Maybe next year she can help me with Thanksgiving dinner - when she's three and potty trained and can talk in understandable sentences.

Immediately after Emily and Heidi left, Ken and Marilyn showed up all ready to help. It was at least a half hour later that Riley showed up, and somewhere in there Annie showed up. Things began to get rather lively.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving is coming!

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'  
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"  
Matthew 25:34-40

And I have the world's worst cold!!! I've had lots of colds in my day, but this one is at the top of the bad list. I went through 3 boxes of Klenex in less than 2 days. I knew I was getting this cold on Wednesday. We were to have our church group over, but Riley managed to cancel at the last minute. Then on Thursday he asked Heidi not to bring the kids until 10. He was hoping I could manage to get in some sleep, as I hardly slept at all in the night. Not a chance. Heidi wasn't too happy with me, but anyone else with a regular job would have called in sick with this cold. By about 11 I knew that I couldn't handle Emily, so I called Riley, who came home as soon as he could. He such a wonderful husband!!!!!

Then on Friday I could see that Christian also had a cold, so I told him he could stay home. I explained to him that I had an ulterior motive, that I needed help with Emily. He was cool with that. He was such a good boy. And I'm sure I would not have been able to handle Emily. She looks like such a sweet little thing - not! When she's not the center of attention she can be horrid. She can get into trouble faster than any kid I've ever known. Her little mind is going all the time, thinking about mischief she can get into. I e-mail Christian's teacher to let her know that I was keeping him home, and she e-mailed me back and said that she had noticed that he had a cold and she felt concerned. There were five other kids out that day. She told me what the work assignment was for the day, and he did it. Emily's worst feat of the day was taking off all of her clothes, diaper included, hopping into the bath tub, which is filled with her clothes and towels, then squatting down and peeing. I was soo mad at her. She avoided me for the rest of the day.

Last night, as I made it up to bed at about 10:30 or so, Riley, who was already in bed, asked if I would like him to go to the store and get me some NyQuil. That was exactly what I needed. He promptly got dressed and headed out to the store. He also came back with some carmex for my nose, which was oh so soothing. The NyQuil did the trick, and I slept all night and hardly had to dab at my nose at all. Now it's Saturday. I'm in bed, and Riley's outside raking leaves - one of his favorite tasks. And when he's done with that he gets to hose down the side walk, which I'm convinced is his ultimativo favorite task. If I don't keep an eye on him he will hose down the neighbor's sidewalks. It's okay as long as he doesn't wear himself out, as I've got lots of things that need doing before Thanksgiving, and I surely can't do it all myself. My cold has gotten to the stage where I have a huge red nose and I'm stuffed up, but at least my nose is finally not setting records for how fast it can run.

But now I've stayed in bed most of the morning, accomplishing little. My dear husband has brought me a cup of coffee, a cup of hot water, two satsumas, a piece of raisin toast and a crumpet with butter and honey. So now it's time to get going and get ready for Thanksgiving.

The main thing is that we have to get cleaned up, and we have to buy the missing food items. The sitting room, the library, and the back rooms surfaces all need cleaning. Oh, and the bath rooms and front hall and dining room, and living room and kitchen. Now since the queen of England is not coming, only one of her loyal subjects, I need not make things perfect.

guest list:

Riley and Molly
Annie and Corey
Heidi and Christian and Emily
Ken and Marilyn
Mom and Dad
Blake and Linda
with Blakey, George, Clair, Courtney, and Charles
and finally - Aunt Charlotte

That's 12 adults (of a sort) and 7 children, and with luck the children will all enjoy themselves in the back room. Annie wishes that she was one of the children, and maybe that's a good idea. She could be a monitor (I just won't tell her).

As usual it is planned that we shall have two turkeys, one barbecued and one stuffed and roasted. This seems crazy, and you know it just might be, be we seem to have done this for quite a while. But anyway, the two turkeys seem to dictate two different sets of accompaniments. The barbecued turkey has no stuffing and produces no gravy, hence the sweet yellow rice and sweet spicy carrots.

Thanksgiving Menu:

carrots and celery sticks for appetizers - I don't think such a big meal should have much more

Roast turkey
apple and sausage stuffing
mashed potatoes
candied yams and sweet potatoes
turkey gravy

Barbecued turkey
sweet yellow rice
sweet peppery julienned carrots

French bread
cranberry sauce


pumpkin pie
rum pumpkin pie
pecan pie
pumpkin pecan pie
chocolate pecan pie
eggnog pie
Chemeketan pie (a fairly well kept family secret)
grateful pudding with lemon sauce
whipped cream to go on everything

Lots of people like to call Thanksgiving turkey day. I like to think of it as pie day. The other foods really are better as left-overs.

Well now it's Sunday morning and I'm still sick, but I only have to blow my nose about once every half hour. And it doesn't run uncontrollably, which is so nice. Riley got up early this morning and washed the kitchen floor. He looked exhausted when he was finished, and after a while reading the sports page, he crawled back into bed. So how are we to ever get things together for Thanksgiving?

There's a lesson to be learned here. I've had this lesson many times before, and don't seem to have learned it. The lesson is: don't procrastinate, because you have no idea what might happen in the end when you think you are going to get something done. Get things done at the first opportunity.

"You don't have to see the whole staircase, 
just take the first step." Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Even if you're on the right track 
- you'll get run over if you just sit there." Will Rogers

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

TWD - Kugelhopf and Chicken Pot Pies

"Love and faithfulness meet together; 
righteousness and peace kiss each other." 
Psalm 85:10

This weeks TWD (Tuesday with Dorie) project is kugelhopf, which is a pastry I've always liked, so I was delighted to see it come up. I got the kugelhopf started this morning.  Emily helped of course, though she was a bit on the wild side this morning.  First I set her on the task of putting the raisins into a dish, which she did. But then she spotted the dried cherries - her favorite - and she threw those in also. Then I put her in charge of buttering the cake mold.  She buttered both the inside and the outside of the pan.  Then she put raisins down the hole.

The dough went together all right, but after three hours it hadn't risen a smidge.  So then I turned the warming cupboard on to 80 degrees and stuck the bowl in.  It's been in there for 5 hours now, as we all went out on day out - Riley, Annie, Corey and I.  So right now I'm going to go see what disaster has befallen the dough.

So in the meantime, while waiting for the kugelhopf to rise, I made chicken pot pies - something I've never made before.

Chicken Pot Pies

1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 14 ounce can of chicken stock
3 cups of homemade chicken stock that has been reduced and defatted
3 cups of diced left-over chicken
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced small
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced rather small
6 white mushrooms, sliced up rather thin
1/2 cup frozen peas
French herb mix, about 1 teaspoon
salt and pepper
puff pastry, cut into squares big enough to top the chosen baking dishes
1 egg + 1 tsp water for egg wash

The other day I made roast chicken for dinner. I had stuffed it with chopped carrots and onion. The vegies didn't cook, but after dinner, I pulled all the left-over meat off the chicken, then I put the carcus and vegies into a pot and added a bunch of water, not enough to quite cover the chicken. I put on the lid and cooked for a while. Then I took off the lid and smushed down the chicken into the water, and cooked the whole lot for a while more. When it all looked quite cooked, with the bones all falling apart, I put the whole thing through a strainer - the cone shaped kind. I put the strained liquid back into the pot and cooked it a while longer to reduce it. Then I put it into a bowl and then into the refrigerator. When it was all cooled down the chicken fat was nice and solid on the top, and I scooped it off - saving it, as it was lovely rendered chicken fat. It was this remainder that I used in the pot pies - it was probably about 3 cups, but I didn't measure it.

So for the filling for the pies I got a large saucier, melted the stick of butter and added the onions. I cooked those for a while, until the onions seemed tender, and then I added the flour, and cooked that for about 2 minutes. Then I quickly whisked in the chicken broths, stirring vigorously to make sure there were no lumps. I then added the carrots. With hind sight, I think that I would have put the carrots in a bowl with a bit of water, cover them with plastic wrap, and cooked them for a couple minutes in the microwave, as it took them a while before they were cooked. So when the carrots seemed well on their way to being cooked, I added the potatoes. These I then cooked for about 10 minutes. then I added the chicken, mushrooms and peas and simmer the whole thing for about 5 minutes.

I had preheated my gas oven to 400 degrees. The filling that I made would probably fill 8 pies, but I only made 4. I used 10 oz. soufflé dishes. These are big enough for a dinner for a man. I did not eat all of mine, and I think maybe a 6 oz dish would have been enough. But anyway, I filled the dishes. Got my puff pastry squares cut to size and brushed then with egg wash, and press them down onto the dishes. Then I baked them for 20 minutes.

We all liked the pies very much. As I said, I didn't finish mine, but I covered it with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator and I plan on having it for lunch tomorrow. We all thought that it might be nice to try and make pasties out of the remaining filling.

It seems to have risen.  I know that there were extra futsy things to do with the recipe, but I just put the dough into the well buttered pan and put it into the warming cupboard to rise.  Then, when I thought it had been in there long enough, I heated up the oven to 375 and stuck it in.  I looked at a lot of recipes for guglehopf on the internet and they didn't seem as complicated as Dorie's, though I'm sure hers will get wonderfully perfect results.

So right now mine is in the oven, and we shall see what we shall see.

Well I took it out of the oven after 20 minutes. It sure looked done to me. I even stuck it with a tooth pick. I promptly turned it over onto a wrack to cool, hoping that it would fall out on its own, which it did eventually. When it seemed cool enough to dust, I put it on a plate. It was light to handle, and that seemed light a good sign. We then all had a piece after it was dusted and photographed.

verdict: I really liked it. Then only thing I would change is that I would mix up the dough in the evening, turn it out into the prepared pan, and let it sit and rise over-night, ready to be baked in the morning. I thought that is was just sweet enough, though I think that I added an extra tablespoon or two of sugar. I think I could be great soaked with a simple syrup with rum or brandy.  And one could add some different things to it, like nuts or chocolate.  I'll definitely make it again.

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." 
Albert Einstein