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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

Margie Anderton's garden

Margie Anderton is a fascinating person. She is an expert on wildflowers, native plants, hummingbirds and gardening in general. Her energy knows no bounds, whether it is organizing local garden clubs and field trips to taking care of her large garden and farm in Killen. And what a garden this is! I photographed it in the very early spring, just as wildflowers were beginning to open, through the spring and late summer. 

There is always something unique to see when you visit, no matter what the season. Large borders of native plants, shrubs, grasses and perennials are punctuated by old garden and household implements as well as stunning carved pieces created by her late husband. Hummingbirds are another attraction. A fence row outside her back door is populated by feeders which attracts hundreds of the tiny birds. Every summer, she has a hummingbird banding party, and asks everyone to bring a bag of sugar to help keep her feeders stocked. Seeing so many hummingbirds at one time is a thrilling experience!

Here are a few photos that take you through the seasons in her garden.



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