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Monthly Archives: September 2011

I shamelessly stole this picture from my friend's Facebook page.

This post has actually been a long time in the making.  I first made pretzels with a group of jr high and high school girls in my church group several years ago.  One of the other counselors (of sorts) had an Auntie Anne’s pretzel making kit.  We decided it would be a good rainy day activity.  I’m not sure if it was actually raining the day we made pretzels.  Anyway, we made them, they turned out to be pretty good (at least, that’s how I remember it), and we didn’t do it again.  I saw the last of that group of kids off to college this year (tear).

Anyway, we got a new batch of kids and one of the younger ones was taking home ec as an elective and told me about how they made pretzels in class and how she wanted to do it again, because another student, or possibly the teacher, got to do all the interesting parts and she didn’t get to do much.  We didn’t have another kit, but pretzels are just another type of bread and my mom and I are both decent bakers.  I figured I could put something together where they could play with a yeast dough.

So, in May, enter this recipe.  You really do get pretzels that taste like they come from those pretzel stands (?) in the mall.  Pretty good.  The results of the time we made pretzels with the girls are up above.  We have some creative girls who aren’t satisfied with a normal pretzel shape.  The pile of poo pretzel in the upper right (it is a pile of poo, don’t believe what others may try and tell you) was courtesy of one of the counselors.  I’m pretty sure the girls were satisfied with them because we only had one pretzel left by the end of the night, which I brought home so my mom could try.  And then my brother ate all of it.

Since then, I’ve been meaning to make pretzels again, because I thought my mom would like to try one, and also I like baking.  I finally did this past weekend and my results were…decent.  You see, I did this fairly early in the morning after I dropping my car off for service.  I apparently didn’t have enough coffee and completely misread the ingredient list and I left out the high gluten bread flour.  You need gluten to make good pretzels…otherwise you have really mushy pretzels.  You would think I would have realized this when I was trying to figure out why the dough was so wet.  Not so!  I decided to carry through and bake it anyway, as I figured out what happened late in the game.  The result were some very nice looking pretzels, they smelled pretty nice too, but the texture was off.  Not really surprising.  They tasted pretty good though.  The favorite flavor was the garlic one.  I’ll have to try this again, partly to get comfortable with the recipe so I can start making changes, and partly because I had requests from work for pretzels.  But until then, you can enjoy some pictures of pretzels.  Btw, the pretzels had a rather off-putting texture the next day.

This one's a garlic salt pretzel

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I recently started running again.  Running and I have an interesting relationship.  We really don’t care for each other that much, but we both feel it’s an necessary evil to deal with one another.  We tolerate each other…we’re even civil to each other.  And so…I go running…generally with Yaris as my running partner.  Running likes Yaris a lot.  Yaris also likes running.  It’s not fair.

Anyway, this time around, I have started using Endomondo to track my progress.  I had previously tried using RunKeeper, which never really went anywhere because they were so late in putting an app out for my phone, and g-watch, which I liked a lot but they didn’t port the app over to wp7.  I noticed shortly after joining Endomondo that they regularly have challenges for their users, like “most calories burnt” or “most miles logged running” or whatever.  I took a look at these challenges one time and I was shocked (SHOCKED) the miles some people put in.  What were they doing?  Running everywhere?  Running even around their kitchen when they were making dinner?  Geez.  There would be no way I could ever win one of these challenges (there are prizes for the winner) with the relationship running and I have.  How would I ever compete with some of these people?

Well, I was talking it over with my friend, and I realized that in order to win one of these challenges would really be to run EVERYWHERE; my chilly relationship with running will just have to take a back seat.  I could run to and from work.  But the thing is, I have to bring some stuff with me to work.  Things like…a laptop and such.  I could use a backpack, but I don’t really like running with something on my back.  And there’s all that jostling.  I’m not sure if Roodee would like that.  So, I guess I’d have to wear a harness of some sort and then hitch a small wagon to myself.  Then I could put all my stuff in the wagon and kind of tow it along behind me.  What’s even better about the wagon is that I could stop buy Costco or something on the way back from work and get stuff instead of going home first and then doubling back to Costco.  I could even run all the way to the Costco Expo to get stuff.  Did you know Costco had expos?  I didn’t.  I was so surprised.  It’s like a Costco+ or something.

Anyway, I’m thinking this is the only way I’ll ever be able to win one of those challenges.  If Yaris comes with me, I guess I could hitch a little wagon to her too.  She already wears a harness.  And if we run at night, she carries the flashlight for me.  She likes to be helpful.