FELINA, an indigo pony of the Fae, makes her home in the branches of a willow tree, and she loves the way the long strands sway in the wind, and how the leaves make a delicate curtain between her home and the hills outside. The willow tree sits along the bank of a small pond, where Felina gossips with the fish and the dragonflies. Like many Faery ponies, lily pads are one of her favorite treats, so living by a pond makes perfect sense. Luckily the frogs don’t mind when she nibbles a lily pad or two.
And now, don’t hold your breath while I get to why pretzels are related to clay…
Last week my boyfriend took me to see the Cirque du Soleil show Totem, which was awesome! I held my breath through the most intense acrobatics, and let out a little yelp of awe and relief every time they landed safely on the ground. At the concession stand they had pretzels. Big, soft, chewy, delicious… I love these types of pretzels. My two favorites: from the pop-up stands on the streets of NYC, and in the shape of Mickey heads at California Adventure. Unfortunately, I can’t eat them anymore. (I learned about a year and a half ago that I’m hypoglycemic, and I’ve had to cut way down on sugar, which means no more white dough for me.) Soooo, I decided to make whole wheat pretzels!
I do not consider myself a baker, nor a chef. I am capable of baking simple things, sometimes. I cook. Sometimes. A limited repertoire. Both my mom (like the page for her new artisan tart company Tartisan on Facebook here) and my sister (off in France being co-head of the kitchen for a Buddhist center, among other things) are professional chefs, so I grew up with awesome food magically appearing all the time and hence never had to learn myself. And also, I don’t really enjoy cooking. So I was very skeptical about how this might turn out, but my BF discovered THIS awesome, so simple recipe and I tried it and… ta da!
Now, here’s why the pretzels ended up on the ClayQuarry blog (aside from, you know, me being joyous over this little baking success and wanting to share it): as I was kneading the dough, I was strongly reminded of working with clay. Over the years, I’ve taken and taught pottery classes, and even though I haven’t worked on the wheel in a long time, the same motion of clay-conditioning came back so easily for bread-kneading. Like riding a bike, I guess.
Rolling out the dough was only somewhat akin to rolling out clay since, of course, clay doesn’t bounce back like that. Of course, clay also doesn’t bake out to be quite so soft and chewy and, um, edible.