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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

Chrysanthemum "Ryan Gainey"

This plant used to reside next to the walk near the front door but it suffered from too much shade. After the debacle with the cryptomeria, I had more room and moved it here. The additional sun has helped tremendously and it is loaded with blooms and the stems are not stretching for the sun rays.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Beautiful! They do like their vitamin D.

  2. It seems really happy there. Plants look sooo much better without lanky flower stems.

  3. I know you were sorry to see that big cryptomeria go, but there is always a silver lining.

  4. Phillip, I have Ryan Gainey and love the yellow. Your stand looks lovely. gail

  5. Beautiful blooms. I am glad you found just the right spot for it.

  6. Beautiful portrait Phillip. How fun to see Ryan immortalized in a flower. It is amazing to see how far reaching his roots have become over the years. I love the many multi petaled composites. I should love to have him in my garden . . . I wonder if it is hardy here.

  7. Those are lovely blooms. It must have taken love for those plants to produce such amazing flowering. However, with the unpredictable weather those plants should be protected at all cost and one of the best way is to protect it though an instant sandbags should there strong torrential rain that can flood the your flower beds.


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