Want to know a secret? I really don’t like summer. Some might say I hate it. THERE. You got it out of me. The only part I like about it is the sun. But I hate the heat, the mosquitoes, and the fact that I have to make up excuses when people ask me to go swimming because I have a weird phobia of drowning. No, I’m not scared of water, I’m scared of drowning. I’ll be totally fine just hanging out in water but then BAM I start to worry if I’m going to hit my head and drown. It’s a totally irrational fear that doesn’t even quite make sense to me, so please don’t ask me to explain it. But since two days ago was the official start of autumn, I can rest easy :)
I’ve got to say, fall is definitely my favorite season. Ever. Not that there are many seasons to choose from… I love it because it just feels….weird, you know? *Just agree with me*. It’s the perfect time to watch scary movies. I mean, who gets creeped out in spring when there are cute little bunnies hopping around?! So I’m watching Ghost Adventures in full force right now. In case you cared, Ghost Adventures is the most amazingly stupid show ever. But I love it. It’s about three guys who go around to haunted places and try to talk to ghosts. Emphases on the guy part. Here’s a sample dialogue that could easily go along with every episode:
Bro, what is that?
Woah, I dunno man.
DDDUUUDDDEEE something just moved!
Dude, I’m gonna be totally dramatic about this random piece of wood that belonged to a person who might be a ghost now.
Man, I feel like really weird right now, ya know? Like cold and stuff and just like…dude.
Bro, listen to this sound I just recorded that may or may not be a ghost, but I’m going to say it is for the sake of the show so just play along, dude.
Yeah, that show is amazing. Definitely melts my brain cells, but it’s amazing.
I also love the food that goes along with fall. When I say “autumn” what’s the first food that comes to mind? Pretzels? Because that’s what I think of. Not pumpkins, not squash, not the gross strawberry-flavored hard candies you get in your trick-or-treat bags that are probably from last Christmas. Pretzels. I’m not sure why, but it’s true. Have you noticed by now I’m a bit odd?
I was so tempted to not put up the pictures I took when I made pretzels the other day. But because I love you all so much, I’m going to show you them. Just a warning-just like you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge a blogger by her pictures of a food failure. These definitely aren’t my best pictures…at all.
Oh and what’s your favorite season? I feel like us sharing our favorite times of the year would be a great bonding moment., right?
Let me first start off by saying that homemade pretzels are so much more work than you ever imagined. They’re totally delicious, but I’m not exaggerating when I say they take hours. Before you start these, PLEASE make sure you have copious amounts of sanity and patience. I will not be held accountable for any mental breakdown you may suffer as a result of making them. That being said, who wants to make some pretzels?! :)
To get this show on the road, you’ll need to dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water. I didn’t take a picture of this because, frankly, it looked like puke. But don’t let that discourage you! Things do get better. Slightly. Then they get worse again.
Then combine the flour and salt to the watery yeast/sugar mixture. Mix it until it looks as attractive as mine does.
Once it’s combined, put it on a flat surface (in my case, a gorgeous green thing I found in a cabinet) and knead. FOR 8 WHOLE MINUTES. I kind of glossed over that part when I first read through the recipe. One thing I learned while making this was that it takes exactly 8 minutes of kneading for your arms to start talking and beg you to stop. It was kind of creepy…
Stick the dough in a greased bowl, turn over and cover just to let it rise for 40 minutes. Yes, 40. Four-Dee. At this time I suggest calling a friend, going for a run or curing cancer. Actually, you might be able to do all three of those in the time it takes for this to rise.
Luckily, the next step involves punching down the dough. Which is exactly what you will want to do. Remember, take your anger out on the inanimate object, not fellow humans. Cover the dough, and let it sit another 5 minutes.
Divide your dough into 12 parts. Roll each piece of dough out into a long thin rope. If you ever figure out how to form it into a normal pretzel shape, please let me know. Oh and please don’t look at my pretzel on the top left. We had some…creative differences. It wanted to look like the Green Lantern symbol but I said NO! You’re not allowed to go against the flow. Once they were all done cooking, I ate that one first.
Angrily stomp down the stairs to your basement and dig up your Dutch oven. Don’t get me wrong, I love my (it’s actually my mom’s, but I claim it as my own. Whacha) Dutch oven. But there’s no room to keep it in the kitchen so we keep it in the darkest most hard to reach place in the basement. Fun times. Pour your water and baking soda into the pot and wait for it to boil. More waiting. If you have already cured cancer, you can move on to helping to attain world peace or roaming the world in search for unicorns while you wait for the water to boil. No worries, you’ll have plenty of time.
Once the water is *finally* boiling, drop each pretzel into the scalding hot water and let them cook for 15 seconds on each side. This is the quickest part of the recipe and once you’re all done, you’ll wonder why you waited 5 hours for the water to boil for THAT. Grrr.
Once all the pretzels are out of the water, place them on a baking sheet coated with butter and cornmeal. Why? No clue. Then brush them with egg.
Cook at 425 for 12 minutes. Yes. Twelve. Stinkin’. Minutes. So much effort into something that not only will produce only 12 pretzels, but in the end only takes 12 minutes to cook. I’m really starting to hate the number 12…
See that white thing up there? Yeah, that’s egg. When brushing the pretzels with egg, make sure to spill lots of it everywhere. That way you’ll not only get pretzels, but you’ll have made scrambled eggs too! Oh happy day.
And there you have it folks. Deformed pretzels that took 2.8562 billion years to make! On the plus side, they are really good. But that’s about the only positive thing they’ve got going for them.
Thanks to the lady over at Gastronomyblog.com for letting me use her pretzel recipe. If you want the full recipe, click here. I’m too lazy to post it.
Thanks again to the lovely Tia over at Holding the Future Hostage for submitting a recipe to Stalker Sunday. She’s the best. Seriously.
Frosted Peanut Butter Bars
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup shortening
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 to 1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. shortening
1. In a large bowl, cream the shortening, peanut butter, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
2. Transfer to a greased 15-in x 10-in x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted rear the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
3. For frosting, in a small bowl, cream the peanut butter, shortening, and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Frost bars.
4. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle over frosting. Store in the refrigerator.
Join me in Stalker Sunday :)
How to participate? Glad you asked. Even though I mention how to in every other Stalker Sunday post. Short term memory loss, much?
1) Take a picture of food you made off of a blog/website.
2) Send it to me at thespoonatic(at)gmail(dot)com including the name of the concoction you made and the name of the place you got the recipe from.
3) Eat the food you make. Duh?