What I’m Making: Round Challah for Rosh Hashanah

How to braid a round challah – http://www.kimwerker.com/blog

Fall is the only time of year when I absolutely love cooking. Everything about making fall food makes me happy.

And fall is when we celebrate the Jewish New Year – Rosh Hashanah. As with most Jewish holidays, one of the most salient ways we celebrate is by feasting as a family.

Traditional Rosh Hashanah foods are sweet, for wishing our loved ones a sweet new year. We dip apples in honey, we eat sweet kugel, we make apple desserts.

And to mark and celebrate the cycle of the year, and of life, we eat challah that’s round instead of oblong.

Challah is a mildly sweet, braided egg bread that’s usually braided. Want to make some?

For Rosh Hashanah, here’s my favourite way to braid my loaves into a circle – it’s more like a combination of weaving and braiding.

How to Braid a 6-Strand Round Challah

Register for Stamp Camp and Learn to Carve Your Own Stamps!

Learn how to sketch and carve stamps! Register for Stamp Camp today – https://classes.kimwerker.com/courses/stamp-camp

Learning how to carve stamps is one of my favourite things to come out of my Years of Making. Stamp carving is like the opposite of knitting and crocheting – you can sit down for an hour or two and create a stamp you can use over and over again pretty much forever. Compared to making things from yarn, it’s practically instantaneous! And it’s fun.

And, let’s face it, it’s also practical. I’ve designed a thank-you stamp for making cards to send after my kid’s birthday. I’ve made outlines of shapes to use in my bullet journal or to layer over all sorts of stuff in my art journal. I’ve made a stamp of the title of Stamp Camp – so meta! And of the tiles in my cousin’s bathroom. (Ok, that last one isn’t practical at all. But it sure was fun.)

So I’m really excited to say that registration for Stamp Camp is now open! Join me in learning how to make your own stamps!

Here’s the intro video from class so you can see what it’s all about:

Register for Stamp Camp today!

Register now for all-time access to:

  • Over 40 minutes of video instruction
  • Stamp template PDF to print and trace if you want to start with a ready-made design to carve
  • Thorough introduction to required and optional tools and materials
  • The instructor (me!) so you can ask any questions that come up and get timely answers
  • Connect with other students in class

Yes! Sign me up!

You can also access some of the class as a free trial to see how the platform works and to get a feel for what’s offered in class. So no risk! Give it a try today and let me know if you have any questions.

See you in class!

What I’m Making: Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry muffins – http://www.kimwerker.com/blog

Now that summer is finally over (heat wave here in the Pacific Northwest notwithstanding), I’m getting back into my cooking groove. I don’t enjoy cooking enough to be bothered to do much of it in the heat and frenzy of summer, but as soon as school is about to start, all I want to do is make food.

Starting with my kid’s favourite kind of snack to take to school: muffins. I love making muffins. They’re so easy, and they freeze well. So even if the kid decides he’s sick of one kind after taking them to school all week, I don’t have to force him to take them for a second week because I’ll have put a half dozen of them into the freezer. Then I can make a different kind, and thaw the first kind after a few weeks when he’s forgotten he was sick of them.

The ones I just made are a modified version of the Kitchen Sink Muffins in The Best Homemade Kids’ Lunches on the Planet. (Lots of the recipes in this book are for sandwiches, so not exactly earth-shattering. But the kid enjoys flipping through it and telling me what he wants to eat, so I love having it around.) This recipe has no egg in it, so it’s easy to make it vegan if you’re so inclined (one of us is lactose-intolerant, so I always bake non-dairy).

What’s your favourite muffin recipe?

What I’m Making: Kid-Size Messenger Bags

Kid-size messenger bags for adventuring! http://kimwerker.com/blog

When we were planning our summer camping trip with friends – a two-week road trip with two pretty-much-seven-year-olds – we got it in our heads that it would be fun to give the kids merit badges as they accomplish cool stuff over the course of the trip.

Which sparked the question of what the kids would do with their merit badges. Um, also I ordered a lot of them.

Their school backpacks have too many pockets and zippers to make them a good canvas for sewing badges onto, and anyway we suspect that once it’s time to go back to school they might not want their school bag to be covered in badges for things like playing frisbee golf or cooking with pie irons.

The obvious solution was to make them messenger bags for the trip. The flap would be the perfect canvas for sewing badges onto, and the bag would be great for beach-combing and finding all kinds of other treasures while we explore the world.

I’m not exactly an expert bag sewer, and my friend hadn’t sewn since she was in school, but we decided to go for it.

I picked up some olive-coloured cotton canvas fabric for the outside of the bag, and lightweight quilting cotton for the pockets and linings. My kid is bananas for baseball and my friend’s is similarly in love with soccer, so there you go.

We followed these instructions, with the following modifications:

  • Downsized the bag to make it more appropriate for young kids:
    • Finished size 9″w x 11″h x 3″d (it looks quite a bit narrower because the depth of the bag)
      • Body and lining cut to 11″ x 23″ (sized for 1/2″ seam allowances instead of 1/4″)
      • Flap and lining cut to 9″ x 12.5″
  • No applique or other decoration on the flaps
  • Slightly rounded flap corners for my kid’s bag (baseball); pointed corners for my friend’s kid’s (soccer)
  • No inside pockets
  • Outside pocket under the flap rather than on the back side of the bag that rests against your body when you wear it (this was as much due to not understanding from the instructions that the pocket wasn’t actually intended to go under the flap in the first place)
  • Made an adjustable strap using these instructions instead of making the one-size strap in the bag instructions

This project took us way longer than we thought it would, but in the process she remembered how to use a sewing machine and I remembered why I don’t make more bags. In the end, though, we’re really happy with how they came out, and we hope the kids take to them, too.

Kid-size messenger bags for adventuring! http://kimwerker.com/blog