Sunday, August 24, 2008

Stormy Storms

Boo, Tropical Storm Fay has been sitting on Tallahassee for the last two days. It's finally starting to let up this morning, but we sure have gotten a LOT of rain. Our retention pond next door (which is always empty) is currently at capacity. Sweet, lake front property! We, unlike my parents, did not lose power (except for a few minutes here and there). And that means that I spent all day yesterday cooking/eating. Here are just a few of the things I made:

Slow cooker split pea soup
1 bag dried peas, rinsed and sorted
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
A couple of carrots, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Smoked ham hocks, 2-3
3 TBS celery seed or a stalk or two of fresh celery (I didn't have any fresh celery and wasn't about to leave the house to get some!!!)
Season with salt and pepper
6 cups water

Combine all your ingredients in your crock pot and cook on high for about four hours or low for about six hours. The timing kinda depends on your crock pot, the soup is ready when the peas are mushy. Veeeeerry easy, just put it together and check on it occasionally.

Ninety-Minute Soft Pretzels
(from "A 1993 Hometown Collection: America's Best Recipes")
1 cup water
1 TBS butter
3 1/4-3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 TBS sugar
1 TSP salt
1 package dry yeast
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 TBS water
Kosher salt

Combine 1 cup water and butter in a small saucepan, heat until butter melts, stirring occasionally. Cool to 120-130 degrees.
Combine 1 cup flour, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl; stir well. Gradually add liquid mixture, beating at low speed of an electric mixer until blended. Beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Gradually sir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
Turn dough onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). Place in a well greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Punch dough down; divide into 12 equal portion. Roll each portion into a 20 inch rope. Twist each rope into a pretzel shape. Place about 1 1/2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheet.
Combine egg yolk and 1 TBS water in a small bowl, beating with a wire whisk until blended. Brush dough with egg yolk mixture, sprinkle with Kosher salt. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden.

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