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.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I bet the pretzels were awesome! - I guess it pays to hang onto those old magazines. Nice blog by the way!

Betsy Neznanski

Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

I'll have to dig out a recipe that I have for homemade pretzels. They are so good fresh and dipped in mustard...

I wonder if my parents still have that chapter book that I used to read. It had a recipe for pulled taffy in it.

MadMad said...

Oh, too funny - and yummy! I love homemade pretzels! (How cute does she look, btw?)

Caren said...

WOW! I remember these pretzels. We made them as a family all those years ago and then my mom could never find the recipe again! I remember them tasting SO good, I just copied down the recipe and will be making these with my son ASAP! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I used that same recipe with my parents when I was a kid. That recipe hung in our kitchen for YEARS but eventually disappeared. I'm SO glad to have it again.

Anonymous said...

Dear Poster,

I too reveled in the pretzel recipe - and today thought my tattered copy of World was finally lost 29 years later. Fortunately you were a 'pack rat' and saved/made my day. Eternal thanks.

Anonymous said...

10 seconds ago I mentioned to my wife that when I was a kid a made pretzels from a recipe in World magazine. Now I'm looking at the page. I love the Internet.

Now if I can only find the recipe for chocolate mousse from WORLD in the 80s.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much. I have searched for this recipe for many years with no luck. This was one of the best magazines and one of the best pretzel recipes. I had a lot of fun making these with my sisters when we were younger. I think I'll bring it to X-mas so we can make more. Thanks again.

J in Chas, SC said...

I wanted you to know that I am holding my copy of the March 1980 World magazine. I was looking up what had been going on with Michael Tshudy after 30 years and came across your blog. I too made these back then and made them usually during the holidays. I now have made them with my 7 year old and 5 year old. This 2011 New Year weekend we will be making a fresh batch. Enjoyed your story.

Amanda Lucas said...
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Amanda Lucas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda Lucas said...

Thank you so much! I used to make the pretzels when I was a kid. I even won a contest at the public library with the recipe. I can't wait to start a batch!