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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

Is Winter Over?

Iris reticulata 'Harmony'

It is not even February yet but you would not guess that by the weather and the flowers that are blooming. Yesterday, the dwarf iris started blooming. These were planted last fall.

Hellebore 'Merlin' has been blooming for weeks. I added another last year and it has a fat bud on it. I believe it is 'Berry Swirl'.

Hellebore 'Merlin' 

Hellebore 'Berry Swirl'

More winter interest -

Heather (Calluna vulgaris 'Firefly')

Heather (Calluna vulgaris 'Multicolor')

(Gaultheria procumbens 'Berry Cascade')

Mahonia 'Charity'

What is blooming in your garden?

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Hahahahaaha... Winter is still here. I do have a Galanthus nivalis blooming and buds on some of my hellebores but no other blooms. It is 40F here today. Crazy for January. Your blooms give me hope for the near future.

  2. It seems like the smaller the iris, the earlier it blooms. Those baby blue ones are lovely. Hellebore is blooming in my garden too, getting me excited for the upcoming gardening season, and the low growing heather that is practically Glowing this time of year (mine is called blazeaway)!


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