I don't know what it is. I think my mind is allowed to be set free when I am creating. And since I'm not too entertained by actual craft projects, my craft is in the kitchen. Even if it's a failure (and often it is), I still enjoy the process of creation. This type of failure is easy. And what my husband told me the other day after I made a new dish for dinner that wasn't the best-- you miss all of the shots you don't take in life. As small of a situation as that was, we have to come to the understanding that no matter how much life can fail us, we have to take the risk. In relation to baby loss, I am sure most of us can agree that our children were worth the effort-- even if our time with them was too short and we spend the rest of our lives wondering and wishing it ended up differently. We're worse for wear but richer in love. I hope Becky and her family feel the love and support we are trying to provide and I hope they are thankful for each moment they had with their daughter. It doesn't provide any consolation for having to say goodbye to their beautiful daughter and it surely doesn't erase the anger and frustration, but we hope that of all things, love abounds.
My latest project that I've made twice already (both Sunday and Monday!) are pretzel bites. I saw these on Pinterest and quickly thought back to my struggles with baking in general and how Ray and I attempted to make bagels when we were newly married and failed miserably at it. I surely thought pretzels would be an enormous fail as it requires the same general steps as a bagel would-- boiling and baking. Oh, and there's yeast involved. That right there might just spell disaster because science steps in and offers to screw everything up. But, this was a success. A huge success. So much of a success that we sat there eating nearly all of the pretzel bites within minutes of them coming out of the oven. I can see honey wheat pretzels and cinnamon sugar pretzels and cheesy pretzel bites in our future.
Recipe: Homemade Pretzel Bites (from All Recipes.com)
- 1 1/8 cups water (70 to 80 degrees F)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 8 cups water
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- coarse salt to sprinkle
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
Add first four ingredients and mix in a stand mixer on level 2 for about 5 minutes. Roll into small, 1-inch balls.
Drop them onto a paper towel so the water can drain. Repeat until all have been boiled.
Once boiling process is done, place each one on an oiled cookie sheet. I used olive oil.
Bake at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes on the middle rack. I watched them once it hit the 8-minute mark and allowed them to brown well until about 10 minutes.
Melt a few tablespoons of butter and baste the top of each one-- well. The more butter, the better it will taste, obviously. Sprinkle with coarse salt. I actually have pretzel salt leftover from those frozen Super Pretzel packages. They always provide way too much salt.
Enjoy. I'd eat them within a day-- even hours maybe-- because after awhile they start to lose their pretzel-like texture and taste more like a dense piece of buttered bread. From start to finish, no more than 30 minutes. No waiting for bread to rise or anything like that. These taste just like those mall buttered pretzel places, you guys. So incredibly delicious.