Boy makes kuchen

This was our first Christmas since moving back to Houston and we’ve been having a good time ever since the boys flew in a week ago. We celebrated Eric’s birthday on the 19th and marveled at how much better the chocolate cake is when baked at sea level (click here and here for the back story on the chocolate cake).

Eric birthday past

Because of our temporary housing situation and our desire to unpack as little as possible until we move again, the Christmas tree and all the decorations stayed tucked away upstairs in a hallway closet. We also successfully avoided bringing additional stuff into the house, not setting a single foot inside a mall this season (the kids just want cash anyway) by shopping online and shipping directly to the recipient. Still, it was a fun day with the family all together, sharing our traditional Christmas dinner of lasagna, playing games, helping Ross in the kitchen, and staying unplugged.

When Ross was a sophomore in high school, his German teacher wrapped up the fall semester by asking her students to bring German food to share with the class. That was Ross’s introduction to making kuchen and he’s made it at least once a year since.

Preparing the custard filling.

Preparing the custard filling.

Kuchen takes on different forms, but our family’s version is made with a yeast dough, fruit and a custard filling. John remembers his mother and grandmother making it but believes the recipe to have been handed down from his great grandmother.

So yesterday was Ross’s day in the kitchen because I’d made the lasagna the day before.


Ross made cinnamon rolls with the extra dough. Between the two of us remembering how our moms made them, John and I were able to guide Ross through all the steps.

cinnamon rolls1

After making the first cross cut (much like cutting a strip set in quilting), we heard him exclaim, “Hey, this is a true spiral!”

cinnamon rolls2

The dough didn’t get a second chance to rise, but they were still good.

cinnamon rolls3

cinnamon rolls4

While Ross was busy in the kitchen, John, Eric and I played Scrabble,


then Rummikub.


Merry Christmas, everyone!









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Filed under Christmas, home cookin', kids

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