I love soft pretzels. If I had an unlimited supply of them, I’m certain I would simply eat them until I was sick. So it’s a really good thing they’re basically not available in New Zealand.
They’re easy to make, though, and the kids enjoy shaping them. We make them with some regularity, usually timed so that they’re coming out of the oven at lunchtime. Served with dill pickles, mustard, and a good sharp cheese, they make an excellent meal (if a bit salty).
I love these pretzel meals, but even after the pretzels are gone, they leave a lasting bonus.
A shiny pot.
Boiling the pretzels in a baking soda/water mixture loosens all the burnt-on oil from my cooking pots. You know, all those dark spots you chalk up to ‘patina’ because they’re a real pain to wash off. Loosened by the baking soda, they lift right off when you wash the pretzel-boiling pot.
I learned this years ago, and regularly boil water and baking soda in my pots to get them nice and clean. But I never have the patience to boil it long enough–by making pretzels in the baking soda mixture, I leave it boiling long enough to lift the stains.
Pots looking dingy? Maybe it’s time to make pretzels!