Flour, Cheese, and Harry Potter

I do not understand how people who do not eat carbs make it through winter. Personally, I’m at the point in my winter journey where every time I see snow, I think piles of lively and descriptive words I do not want to write here, as Lucas sometimes reads this blog. (He and I have a strict rule about swearing, incidentally: No Swearing Before Eight in the Morning. This rule is null and void, of course, when we are reading Harry Potter because, after all, it is JO who is swearing, not US, and we respect Jo’s artistic vision. Speaking of which, I keep meaning to tell you all how Lucas spotted a grammatical error—a pronoun not agreeing with its referent—in HP#4. The only thing that could have made me prouder would have been if he’d used the word “referent” in describing the problem. Maybe that will come in sixth grade next year.) Today, for instance, the forecast was snow again, so I decided to retaliate by making soft pretzels from this recipe.

I enjoy reading “Cooking with Dexter,” but the recipes don’t normally tempt me, and I have never eaten a soft pretzel I’ve liked, so it’s hard to say what, aside from the weather, made me want to try this. The photo? In any case, the pretzels are amazing, especially with mustard, which I am not particularly fond of, either. There’s just something about soft pretzels, though, that makes the mustard absolutely necessary.

The other thing I did today was run to the store to get a few turnips and some nice Gruyère for a dish I intend to make tomorrow—potato, carrot, and turnip gratin. You could really rewrite that as, “carbs, carbs, carbs, and fat.” It is going to be awesome, completely the reason I’ll be getting out of bed. (Well, that and the fact that Lucas will be here at 6:30 am, and we have Harry Potter to read. Between the swearing and the occasional grammatical issues and the, you know, plot, it’s been quite exciting. Lucas has become increasingly aware of the differences between British and American English, too. Just today, he decreed that “vicar” is “a really weird word.” Someone please alert the UK.)

Obviously, I am also going to have to go to the gym.


  1. Posted February 23, 2010 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    I did three brisk miles this morning because of my winter carb thing, and that by noon it is JUST getting to thirty degrees.

    I am sick to death of all of it.

    But, I saw a snowdrop.

  2. Posted February 23, 2010 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    I hear you on the carbs. We’re indulging in oatmeal buttermilk pancakes. Bring on the comfort food!

    Love exploring the differences between British and American English. Go, Lucas!

  3. Jen
    Posted February 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I go back and forth on “Cooking with Dexter.” When it debuted, I thought it was the most annoying column of the new Food lineup, by the power of 10. Now it’s kind of grown on me, although like you (until the soft pretzel), I have never wanted to make a single recipe out of it. “Recipe Redux” is kind of funny (though I’m usually more tempted to make the old recipes!) and “The Cheat” is hit-or-miss. I still miss the old Food part of the magazine. My tear-out-and-save ratio was much much higher.

    I would happily read “Cooking with Lucas” every week, though.

  4. Posted February 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    My dad made soft pretzels on New Year’s Eve for a few years. He wore lab goggles because he dipped them in lye to produce the shiny outside crust. They were sooooo yummy, but only if you ate them right away. If you stored them, the salt made them soggy. So, we always ate a ton that night.

  5. Posted February 23, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Tanita, The weather people are calling for a snowstorm here this weekend, but I am choosing to not believe them.

    Jama, For some reason, I feel like high-calorie foods at breakfast hardly even count. I mean, one NEEDS a good start to the day.

    Jen, I find it’s kind of hit or miss with all the food columns in the Magazine for me. I’ve torn out several since I started subscribing, but this is the first one I went the next step and made.

    Sara, I ate a ton yesterday, but I had no excuse about them getting soggy. They were just SO GOOD, I could not stop.

  6. Posted February 23, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    First off that was the best pretzel of my life and I did not have any mustard and it was 6:30 in the morning. I considered putting the hummus on it but decided against it since I was driving.

    Lucas asked me what “wanker” meant tonight, I was referring to the piggies that refused to die in Angry Birds, he laughed for several minutes after I told him. I love British slang. I can never call jell-o jelly though.

    Jen & I kept a journal of the differences between British & American English when we lived in London.

  7. Posted February 24, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Tam, I’m definitely going to be making more pretzels.

  8. Posted February 27, 2010 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    I really like soft pretzels and mustard. Just reading about them makes me salivate. And you made them? Oh, yummers.

    Turnips aren’t carby… are they? I thought they were a right proper vegetable like something green and good for you.

  9. Posted February 27, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Hm, let me see, how do I feel about winter? Oatmeal, oatmeal, two tons of bananas, peanut butter, Newman’s Ginger O’s by the truckload, more oatmeal, some rice, a bunch of potatoes, bagels.

    Carb Sistah, Carb Sistah–

    We must endure. This is no time for salads. Bulk up. We can all go raw in May.

  10. adrienne
    Posted February 28, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Farida, I just assume all those root vegetables are carb-y, but I hardly care. Turnips are too yummy not to eat.

    Robin, I am also big on the oatmeal this winter. It was on sale at the natural foods store last week, and so now I am all stocked up in case there is an apocalypse or something.

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