Today for lunch I made pretzels.Â I like the soft, almost chewy kind, but I think I may have gotten in a losing fight with the sea salt. I don’t like salty pretzels, and unfortunately that’s exactly what I got. This didn’t prevent me, however, from inhaling three: one with mustard, one plain, and the last with microwave melted cheese. I should note that I am already two water bottles down after eating these. I imagine they would taste great with beer infused anything. Now I am day dreaming of a cold beer andÂ eating/drinking outside in the sun. Try to focus, self! The dough rose quite well, as I had turned off the air conditioning so the house was about eighty degrees. However, I think that after I had cut the pretzels and started forming them, I should have let less time pass between the second rest period and the poaching.Â I also wonder if the salt that is more suited (ie bigger) for pretzels would have made a difference in the taste. I am sure it would, but I mean to say more wondering to what degrees.Â Alas, all what if’s aside, I am getting ready to go and take most of the pretzels to Mike’s work for his coworkers. We don’t need two dozen at home, that’s for sure.
Also, because I was like pretzels are so ten minutes ago and I totally got this, I made a pretzel fish. I braided the fish going in one direction until the middle, and then the opposite direction the rest of the way. I even gave it a tail, which I am not sure is really clear in this picture (darn phone camera).Â That’s not all, folks!Â I filledÂ it with cheese inside, and then ended the whole piece de resistance with a sesame and poppy eye, and poppy and sesame “colors”. The worst part was the poaching, as the fish was long and lean, and required two large spatulas to transport. Once in the pot, the cheese began to melt, so the poaching was cut short of the one minute per side recipe direction. All in all though, a pretty nifty fish shape, especially since this was my second time braiding dough. I think that next time I will make sure to leave less time between rising/resting, and poach less. Memo to self: buy an open slotted spoon as well.
Â I love days where I can work from home and make my own lunch. Today I wasÂ inspired by the bountiful basil plants, and a package of pine nuts from my parents, to make basil pesto. Of course, having the Vitamix also did not hurt. The cucumbers are fresh, Â my mom actually sent them via USPS (her garden must be huge this year!). The are heavy, and full of water. And Texas makes delicious watermelons – so juicy and sweet!
Today was a particularly spectacular day to be indoors. The sunshine made everything come alive, and I was inspired to make something that would be equally delicious and sweet. I ended up with a baked beet and French baby swiss cheese salad. It was light and fragrant from the beets who had begun caramelizing inside the foil I had wrapped them with, and the vinegar brought out such a nice complement to the cheese and beets. I wish I had more days where I am reminded of the windows of time that I had growing up, sitting in the sun. It was an ode to the last batch of beets, and wishful optimism for a sun filled summer (full of flowers and herbs!).
Also, the orchids bloomed again, and became my first successful hobby since moving down here. They are not as easy to take care of as the label says. I am still hoping Little Magenta returns to blooming form soon. Below, for you, is the Great White.