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Homemade Pretzels

I haven't made homemade pretzels since we were in Alabama and I had forgotten how easy they are if not a little time consuming. I made these last week for Oscar night. They keep a long time in an airtight container. 1   (.25 ounce) package   active dry yeast 1 tablespoons   brown sugar 1  teaspoons   salt 1 ½   cups   warm water (110 degrees) 3   cups   all-purpose flour 1   cup   bread flour 2   cups   warm water (110 degrees) 2   tablespoons   baking soda 1-2   tablespoons   butter, melted 2   tablespoons  kosher salt Line two or three baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Place the yeast, brown sugar and salt in the 1.5 cups of warm water. Stir to dissolve. Stir in the flour. Knead for about 7-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and cover. Let it rise for an hour (I place mine in the oven with the light on). Combine the two cups of warm water with the baking soda in a square shallow pan. After the dough has risen, cut it into 12 equal pieces.  Roll each section into a

Another harbinger of spring

The daffodils are blooming everywhere and the tulips are getting ready to pop. The little grape hyacinths seem to get lost in the shuffle. I should plant more of these. They are not a problem to grow and they spread rapidly. I admire the large ribbons of grape hyacinths planted in Holland but I've never seen them grown like this in the United States. They are so tiny, you almost have to lay down on the ground to appreciate their beauty (which is what I did to get this photo!)


  1. They are so lovely, Phillip. One good use for them is to mark where tulips and other larger bulbs are planted in the fall, since their foliage is persistent all winter, you will know where to look for the emerging tips. They seems to like to be spread thinly, filling in to become large clumps quickly. I think they even seed about. And that color!
    Frances at Faire Garden

  2. I've got a good swath of them that make a nice purple path in the spring. They were at their best the first year and less impressive each following year. I remember seeing them first at Keukenhof in Holland, a big purple explosion of color and that's what I wanted too.

  3. There were some grape hyacinths planted along the back fence when we came - languishing in the shade and roots of the big pecan - I'm ashamed to admit they've mostly been ignored!
    Phillip, your post has made me decide to dig some of them up and move them to a better location to see if it improves the bloom.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  4. That is very pretty! It inspires me to plant them in masses.

  5. One of my favorite bulbs, along with the blue Scilla. I love the fact that it spreads as well. I'm trying to fill my entire lawn with them this year.

  6. I agree---they're too short to be appreciated properly. You have to lie on your belly just to enjoy their fragrance. They are pretty from a bug's-eye view though.

  7. I put a few in pots and hanging baskets where I can enjoy the scent too.

  8. It was love at first sight when I saw my first grape hyacinth. I truly love this little plant. I have a few that randomly pop up around my yard, and I always say that I'm going to do a few more. Maybe this fall I will.


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