Thursday, February 05, 2009

It Must Be Birthday Week

I've probably blogged about this before, but as a child from 1983 on, the first week of February was Birthday Week.

February 1 is Oldest Younger Brother's birthday.
February 3 is my Old Man's birthday.
And February 4 is my sister T.'s birthday.

That's a lot of freakin' birthday cake.

Every other year or sometimes every year, depending on whether or not he requested pumpkin pie on his birthday, Mom would make him birthday pretzels. It helped cut down on the birthday cake overload.

We'd always make two special pretzels for the Old Man that were the numbers of his age. And as kids we thought it was hilarious to transpose the numbers so he'd be 63 instead of 36, etc. when presenting him with his birthday pretzels.

I want to say this is my Grandma's recipe as I can recall my mom bugging her for the recipe (because she lost it? my memory is fuzzy here, I might be making all of this up) and Grandma finally writing the recipe down in a letter. The recipe was on a yellow sheet of that paper you get in those ruled rainbow colored Mead tablets. Grandma always wrote letters on those tablets. (Now she's hooked in with email and we get Grandma Email Newsletters!) That letter was shoved into the orange Betty Crocker cookbook.

Anyway, I got smart and when I left home either for college or when I got married (again, can't remember) I wrote down all my coveted childhood recipes. Pretzels being among them.


Spurned on by the lack of anything better to do between diaper changing and milking sessions, the time of year, and seeing some other blogger I read make them (again, I can't remember who!) I made a batch yesterday afternoon.

Here's the recipe for you to write down on your own Mead rainbow tablet.

1 cup warm water
3 packages yeast
3 cups flour
2 teasp. baking soda
1 egg
coarse salt (kosher salt, sea salt, etc.)

Put yeast into a large greased bowl and pour warm water over it. When yeast beings to proof, add the flour. The dough will be very stiff. Sprinkle a little flour on a clean counter (because why would you do this on a dirty counter? gross!) and knead the dough for five minutes. Form the dough into a ball and put it back into the bowl. Cover with a clean dishcloth and let stand in a dark warm place for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Fill a large pan 1/2 way with water and add the baking soda. Bring to a simmer.

Form the dough into pretzels. Boil the pretzels for 5 to 10 seconds. Coat with the beaten egg, add the salt, and bake for 15 minutes.

I'm thinking you could make your own ghetto bagels using this recipe. I might have to try that next time except doubling the recipe.

And before I go, I discovered this website. Oh my god. Cookie and food porn delight!!! I had to join. You can find me on there as--Bezzie.

As much as I hate The Place That Shall Not be Named, it's turned me on to some great knock-off sites like that one and Folia (that I frequent more in the spring and summer of course).

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Blogger Disco said...

Man, those babies really do a job on the old memory cells!!!

My word verification is poopl :0)

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did you get that recipe?! I have not had it for years!!! And I got it out of the newspaper not from Grandma Riley. Well I guess I have no excuse not to make the old man pretzels!! Love, Mom

8:02 AM  
Blogger Cindy in Happy Valley said...

I remember the days when I went nuts for new recipes. Ahhh...memories. Now I can barely think about cooking.

8:08 AM  
Blogger Tactless Wonder said...

I just sent an email off to a fellow with whom I experimented with pretzel making...What a fab thing to do 13 years later...thanks for the idea!

9:27 AM  
Blogger Tactless Wonder said...

Happy b-day week to your family!

9:28 AM  
Blogger Mag said...

I forgot all about my folia account!
;-0 LOL!

Lovely BD pretzels!

9:40 AM  
Blogger Kay aka dkswife said...

Cool pretzels! And TY for the food website. I have joined. I love trying new things!

9:50 AM  
Blogger knottygnome said...

a new recipe to try!

i've always wanted to make my own bagels. i might have to give it a go.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

very cool. We have our own birthday week coming up next week with LittleGirl, Lucky Husband, and my Grandmother on the 12th, 15th, and 14th. I should try this.

11:48 AM  
Blogger IrishgirlieKnits said...

I love your mom's comment that she hasn't had the recipe for years! Now she does :)

Those look delish!!

Our birthday week starts next week!

1:50 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Happy Birthday to the Alaska crew!

Those pretzels look awesome.

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy B-day to the crew. Sure they all had great days. I'm always up for something other than cake for b-days. Giant cookies seem to be what my bunch have wanted lately for their b-days. Erin and I will have to try the pretzel recipe. Love, Aunt Susan

6:50 PM  
Blogger Donna Lee said...

Pretzels were one of my favorite things to make! The first week in Nov was birthday week for me but it was me, my cousin and my uncle so only one cake in my house. THey often had to share. Too bad for them. TPTSNBN has a baked goods/yarn swap. It sounds like a fun thing. Baked goods and yarn! What's not to like?

7:29 PM  
Blogger JRS said...

I always had to have pumpkin pie for my birthday too. My mom would cook a bunch of pumpkins every fall and keep some in the freezer until July so I could have my birthday pie.

Never had pretzels for my birthday, but yours look delicious.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Boy, Dr. MS and Chunky sure get spoiled at your house with all the baking you do! The only pretzels my kids get come from a bag or a box (the frozen microwaveable kind), ha, ha!

How funny that there's so many birthdays so close together in your house. I once worked with a lady who had the same birthday as her husband and her son - what are the odds of that?!

11:34 PM  
Blogger jaaladay said...

Pretzels! We went through a phase of making those with the kids. It was lots of fun. Maybe I'll try your recipe this weekend....
We have a birthday season in our family, too, spread out a bit more--a birthday a week through may and half of June. What with the end of school and start of frolicking weather, it makes that time of year go reeeally fast.

1:37 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Monday was mine, Tuesday was my sister in law and Wednesday was my cousin!
those look good...

9:44 AM  
Blogger Miss T said...

I've never made pretzels, but I should. Looks like fun.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Alisha said...

I defiantly am going to be trying those!

6:28 PM  

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