Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Proceedings & Pretzels

This week I've had jury duty, and this time I was actually assigned to a trial. It's a DWI case, but otherwise I'm not allowed to talk about it until afterward. It's been a pretty interesting experience. Unfortunately, it doesn't make for an interesting blog post at this point! For example, here's the outside of the Ramsey County Courthouse:

And here's a view of the Mississippi River across the street, where I ate my lunch on Monday:

See what I mean? Borrrr-iiing! So I thought I'd tell you instead about a recent visit with Ruthie. I stopped by her house on Sunday to drop off some supplies. Since May, Ruthie has taken over the task of meticulously recreating all the samples for our store monthly board program:

Ruthie and I worked together every day the last year I owned Inky (in 2001). I still get to see her from time to time when we do the same shows, and you may recall seeing her photo in previous posts.

Her partner, Gary, was in the kitchen making homemade soft pretzels:

Gary used to be the chief Inky rubber presser. (Now there are three of them at our manufacturing facility in Cleveland.) Gary is a great guy, but I thought his warm personality didn't really come across in his photo. So I asked him to smile...and this is what I got:

Luckily, Gary is much better at baking than producing ear-to-ear grins on command! The pretzels were delicious, and he graciously gave me the recipe to pass on to you:

Gary's Soft Pretzels

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 to 1 1/2 cups hot water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 package yeast
6 cups water
2 tablespoons baking soda
coarse salt

In a large bowl, combine flour, hot water, sugar, salt, and yeast. Turn onto work surface that has been dusted with flour, and knead for five minutes.

Cut dough into eight equal parts and shape into pretzels. Place four pretzels each on two greased baking sheets, cover with towel, and let rise for one hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large skillet, bring 6 cups water to a boil and add baking soda. Boil pretzels, two at a time for two minutes on each side. Place on a towel to drain.

Put four pretzels each on two greased baking sheets, and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on rack and store in covered container.

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If you give them a try, please let me know. I'd love to hear how yours turn out!


Debbie Fisher (debbiedee) said...

YUM! I used to make pretzels with my g'ma when I was little. I will have to try these.

Laurie (Wally) said...

mmmm Pretzels.. they look like they would be something to try with my boys.. thanks for the receipe...

Kathy said...

Yum! I love pretzels - I will have to make these with the grandkids! Love Gary's smile