Sunday, January 30, 2011

I've Always Been a Snacker

"Pretzels had their beginning around 610 A.D. somewhere in Southern France or Northern Italy. A young monk was preparing unleavened bread for Lent, the Christian period of fasting and penitence before Easter. Christians of the day prayed with their arms folded across their chests, each hand on the opposite shoulder."
~The History of Pretzels

I've always preferred snacks to meals. I'd rather eat snacky foods all the live long day and skip the big three. It's simply more satisfying, I suppose. Not to mention that it leaves me feeling less sluggish and tired.

Growing up I can recall two specific foods that my parents always had stashed away for times of crisis-- Cheerios and pretzels. And, while I love me some Cheerios-- any variety will suffice-- I tend to stuff baggies of pretzels in my purse, desk drawer, even the console of my car. You just never know when a hunger attack will ensue.

What's the saying? ...An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

So, the other day, I had an idea. You see, it's been rather cold and snowy and I just needed a reasonable excuse to turn on the oven and generate some extra heat in Chad-o's chilly abode.

I found a rather simple homemade soft pretzel recipe and got to work.

This particular recipe was my first experience baking with yeast. Thankfully, all went well. People really make it out to be way more difficult than it actually is.

As I was rolling my pretzels out, my mind flashed to the workers at Auntie Ann's, a soft pretzel shop that makes the most amazing carbohydrate treats. I tried to envision how they create the perfectly shaped pretzels- not too chubby, not too skinny. All I needed was a little white hat and embroidered apron and I would have been the perfect pretzel artist.

As I was rolling and baking away, I began to think of how pretzels may very well be the most perfect treat. It's possible that the old fashioned, salted variety emerge as my number one, but I do have a special place in my heart for a chocolate covered pretzel. Sweet and salty...mmm

Or, dip in cheese, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, add jalapenos or raisins. I love working with a medium that has endless possibilities.

I'm just getting started with this new pretzel making craze. Perhaps next week I'll do some experimenting and maybe you can come over to taste test.

These critters turned out to be a tad on the tiny side, but still packed a tasty punch. Rest assured, this is not the last of my pretzel adventure.

1 comment:

Maria said...

I love pretzels too. One of the first items I ever baked for fun were pretzels. I was working in Scranton as a recreation program director for children with handicaps. It was snowy and cold, so they came to the rec center and each kid made their own pretzel. Then we played some games while the pretzels baked. It was a while ago so I don't remember the games but I remember everyone smiling as they rolled out their dough and shaped their pretzel. It was lots of fun. Thanks for stirring that memory out of my cob webbed brain!

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