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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

More lilies

The lilies are spectacular this year (with the exception of those annoying white flies that leave the powdery residue).

"Caravan" - 7 feet tall and gorgeous color
"Scheherazade" - another 7 feet tall lily with loads of blooms

Tiger Lily

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Philip... you're singing my song!! beautiful... not familiar with the flies however and hope it stays that way!! Larry

  2. Beautiful! My Tigers have just opened. More rain needed here.

  3. Hi Phillip, spectacular they are indeed! I have no lilies in my garden yet, but your post really makes me want to plant some :-)! I wonder how they will be doing in our dry summer heat.

  4. Beautiful! Love them! Those white flies are on my limelight hydrangea. Hate them too. Spraying doesn't seem to help much.

  5. Your lilies are superb! My crop of whiteflies are the horrible this year. I have been spraying them with an eco-friendly summer oil, and that has helped a lot. But just about when I think I have them truly conquered, I find them in another shrub.

  6. I cannot wait for my tiger lilies and "Scheherazade" to bloom...gorgeous!

  7. For the past few years I have admired lilies in other people's gardens and yours are beautiful. I resolved to add some in my own this year. I wanted something orange and tall to rise over my other plants, particularly over my Black and Blue Salvia. I found some at a flower show that were supposed to be 48" tall, but when they bloomed they looked more like little florist lilies, and if it is even possible, they were too orange, even for me.

  8. What gorgeous lilies, especially that Tiger Lily. I'm a big fan of them too and am looking to add more to my garden for next year.

  9. Simply stunning! So very beautiful, Phillip! You've got me yearning for a flower-bed filled with the most spectacular lilies now.


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