Monday, January 21, 2013

Spelling with Pretzels

I find I just don’t have a lot of free time these days. Newborns require so much attention. The constant feeding, holding, rocking, diaper changing… Beyond caring for Keira, our house clutters so quickly and it drives me nuts. I can let it go for a  little while, but it quickly bugs me. Some days breakfast and lunch dishes stay on the table or counter even after we’ve eaten dinner. I just can’t stand it anymore. So, when I’m not giving my attention to Keira, I’m trying to straighten up the house, mostly the kitchen. And then there’s the laundry. Piles and piles of laundry. How is it that one tiny person can have the most laundry to be washed? It takes me days, or an entire week to fold the laundry and put it away. By the time I get the laundry finally taken care of, it’s time to do it all over again.

I feel like I have plenty to do and not enough time or energy to do it all. Things are getting better from the time we first brought Keira home. I’m starting to get into a routine. But I still I feel like I don’t accomplish much everyday, yet I haven’t had the time to do much of anything extra. Funny how you can stay busy, but not be busy at all.

The point of this? I’ve found myself occupied taking care of Keira and the house, but I’ve slacked on giving Hailey quality attention. Hailey is so good at entertaining herself sometimes that I forget that I need to reach out to her and spend time with her as well. I know I’ll have more time to spend with her soon enough. I obviously have a little bit of free time right now as I write this post.

One day last week I made a specific effort to do something fun and extra special with Hailey. I had Hailey help me make pretzels. They sounded good, and I thought she’d enjoy rolling out the dough. She loves to play with Play-doh. Making pretzels isn’t much different.

To make our pretzel making fun and educational, we spelled out our names with the dough. Hailey knows how to spell her name, and she knows how to write some of the letters. I thought this would be a fun way to continue to work on that. As we rolled out the dough, we talked about which letter comes next, and how it’s made. I asked Hailey to tell me what the next step was in our letter making (on the letters she knows how to write) and she helped put the dough in place. It was fun! Hailey especially loved eating each of her letters (we stretched it out over a few days).

When we play with Play-doh, this is often what we do. But this was better, because it’s edible. :)

If you’re interested, here’s the recipe we used.

4 tsp. yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/4 c. warm water
3 1/2-4 1/2 c. bread flour (I just used all-purpose and it was fine)
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
4 c. water
1/2 c. baking soda
kosher salt for sprinkling (we used cinnamon and sugar, and garlic salt and shredded parmesan cheese as toppings)

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tsp. sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 1/2 c. flour, 1/2 c. sugar, and 1 1/2 tsp. salt. Make a well in the center, add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix. Add more flour if dough is too sticky. Knead 3-4 minutes. Cover and let rise until double (approx. 30 minutes). Gently punch down dough. Cut the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each until about 15 inches long and the thickness of your finger. Twist into a pretzel. In a pot, mix water and baking soda. Bring to a boil. Dip each pretzel into boiling soda water for 5 seconds. Place on greased baking sheet, lightly sprinkle with kosher salt and bake for 8-10 minutes at 425 degrees.


  1. You're such a good mom! I can definitely relate to the struggle to balance attention for each kid and the house and other things that you'd need/like to do as well. I'm totally going to make these name-pretzels with Olivia. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  2. Oh, I totally understand! I'm still trying to figure it out. All I know is that a good night's sleep has become my best friend. We have been slowly tapering off how much time Jed spends in front of the tv. That thing was my lifesaver for the first two months. You are a wonderful mother! I can't wait to try this out!



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