14 February 2009

Golden Oldies

When I was a kid my parents gave me a subscription to National Geographic World magazine. I remember looking forward to receiving my issue each month, and hoping that it would be one of the ones with a poster in it. At one point my room was nearly wallpapered in posters that had come out of the magazine. Being the pack rat that I am, I didn't throw them away, but carefully stored them up in neat piles on the bottom shelf of my bookcase. When I got old enough to move away I packed them all up in a cardboard box and they have traveled with me to every place that I have moved to since then. Husband has often bemoaned my tendency to accumulate things, he's more of a throw-it-away-the-instant-you're-done-with-it kind of guy. Today I proved that there are actually good reasons to hang on to important things like the box of magazines that you read when you were 11 years old.

Behold the cover of the March 1980 copy of World magazine.

I remember trying valiantly to get my hair to feather like that, but it was just not in the cards for me.

Inside were articles on raising service dogs,

animals that camouflaged themselves by changing color,

the article on horse vaulting,

and, finally, an article on a boy who's family made soft pretzels. His name was Michael Tshudy, and the story was about the pretzel bakery his parents operated in Pennsylvania. It was the first pretzel bakery in the United States, and still is in operation today. It's called the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery. One of the features of the article was a recipe for making soft pretzels at home.

You can probably tell from the state of this page as opposed to the others, that this recipe got a lot of use. I used to make these quite frequently as a youth. The were best when they were fresh out of the oven, although they were still really good the next day if you sliced them in half and put them in the toaster. I even made these in high school. Once each year our German class would be allowed to use the home-ec room to make any german recipe that we wanted. Some people make german chocolate cake, some made torte, and my group always made pretzels. As I recall, the were always well received.

After high school this magazine got boxed up with all the others, and didn't see the light of day again for a very long time. Just recently, however, Daughter and I went to a hockey game. During the game she ate 2 huge pretzels and asked for more. I told her that I had a recipe for them at home, and promised her that we could make some. Four short months later, I finally lived up to my promise and today she and I baked her first batch of pretzels.

That's Daughter, holding a 29 year old magazine with a recipe for some of the best pretzels you'll ever make. I suggest you all dig out your copy and give it a go, they're just as good as I remember.

08 February 2009

C is for...


And after looking at the following picture, every Mom on the planet knows why.

For the Dads or non-Moms among you, let me point out the telltale signs.

1. Daughter is lying on the couch (or sofa, or davenport, pick your favorite,) with a pillow, watching TV in the living room. Under normal circumstances this is not allowed to occur. Especially if you know that she is watching Camp Rock on the Disney channel when House is on.
2. There's a TV tray next to the couch. One of the house rules is that food and drink are not allowed in any room with carpeting. Since there's obviously carpeting in the photo, something has suspended the house rules.
3. The contents of the TV tray: soda crackers, lemon-lime soda, bowl of chicken noodle soup, a large, empty, plastic bowl, and a thermometer. In the living room.
4. Child in t-shirt and shorts, but with a very large, fuzzy, warm blanket in easy reach.

Daughter has a stomach bug, which means that no matter how well planned I though my day was, the whole thing has to be junked because I am now tethered to the small sick individual laying on the couch. Or sofa. Or davenport. You choose.