Thursday, July 17, 2008
Twists And Turns
This is another very kid-friendly activity I wanted to share. Anytime I enter the kitchen and start rattling around to make something now, Bella is at my elbow asking, "IS THIS A KID-FRIENDLY RECIPE?" So I'm trying to make everything "kid-friendly," and this was particularly easy in that regard.
I had the inspiration to make pretzels the other night because we were broke. Seriously. And I couldn't help but wonder if that's not how foods like this came about in the first place, historically. Imagine it--your larder's running low, and it might be a while before you can re-stock. What are you likely to have in abundance? Well, flour, at least, and probably salt...maybe some butter if you have a cow or a goat. This night, in rooting through my pantry, I had plenty of various flours, and a few packets of yeast, but no butter, no milk, and no eggs. Hmmm. What can you bake with flour, water, and salt? PRETZELS! I did have just a splash of olive oil left in the bottom of a bottle, so I used that for the two tablespoons of fat required.
Pretzels are so easy! The next time, I'm probably going to forgo the traditional shape, and make big soft pretzel "sticks" instead, just to keep everything moving along more quickly, and to make the finished product easier to store.
I've posted the detailed recipe and instructions over at Get It Together!, but basically, you make a very simple (and CHEAP!) dough, let it rise once, punch it down and divide it into equal portions. You then shape those equal portions into small balls of dough and let them rise a second time, not touching, on a cookie sheet. All that's left at that point is to shape the pretzels however you like (this is the high point of the kid participation), which involves much rolling out of "snakes," and then boiling the shaped pretzels in a solution of water and baking soda for one minute before setting out on a cookie sheet, salting, and putting in to bake in a hot oven for 10 minutes.
What are your secrets for filling up bellies when the cupboard is (practically) bare, and payday's a day or two away? (And no, we weren't eating pretzels as MEALS, but they did fill in nicely in between meals for a day or so, and kept Bella from asking repeatedly when we were going to go to the grocery store for more of her favorite yogurt and applesauce snacks.)