Friday, May 24, 2013

Soft Pretzels

The boys have been doing more cooking lately (YEAH!) and William wanted to try his hand at soft pretzels.  They were a fair bit of work, and needed some mommy-strength to help with the kneading, but the results were great and the boys were happy.  Days like this have me looking forward when I can call home from work and have them get supper all ready by the time I get home.  Child labour? Maybe.  Worth it?  Definitely!

Buttery Soft Pretzels

4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water
5 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
1/4 cup kosher salt for topping

Dissolve yeast and  1 tsp sugar in 1 1/4 cups warm water and let stand until frothy (approx. 10 min.)

In a large bowl, mix together flour, remaining sugar, and salt.  Make a well in the centre and add oil and yeast mixture.  Knead the dough until it is smooth, about 8 minutes.  If it is too dry, add a few tbsp. of water.   Lightly oil a large bowl, put in the dough, and turn it to coat.  Then cover and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Dissolve baking soda in hot water.

When the dough has risen, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 parts.  Roll each part into a rope, and shape it into a pretzel.  Dip each pretzel into the baking soda and water, then place on a greased baking sheet.  Sprinkle with kosher salt.

Bake for 8 minutes or until lightly browned.


From Christa Rose,

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

LEGO Mindstorm with friends

William has a LEGO Mindstorm that he plays with in fits and spurts.  He will play with it for hours each day for a week or so, and then it goes back on his shelf for a while.  Today we got together with some other homeschoolers, and some great students from the U of Guelph who gave all of the kids an over view of how to build and program their Mindstorm robots.  I think that it was just what William needed to get him back engaged with it.  Having the university students on hand, who know a lot more about the programming piece than I do, worked wonders.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mapletons Organic

The spring weather finally feels like it is here to stay and we needed out of the house today, so we called up Grammy and went up to Mapletons Organic.  I will tell you all that it is a great little farm, with a cedar maze, a tire swing, a boat play structure, and of course lots of animals.  But really, anyone who is from around here knows it is about the ice cream.  Mapletons makes the best organic ice cream around.  Today's picks from the kids were maple sugar and vanilla chocolate chip, with a container of Ginger ice cream to bring home.  Ice cream is really one of those things where there is a world of difference between good quality and bad, and this, in my mind, is top of the pile.

But, since I was too busy gobbling up the ice cream to take any picture of the creamery and store, here are some pics of the animals instead...