Connection-the spice of life: that which makes it all matter. Connection is what I’ve most missed since the onset of this pandemic. And the connection to my family is what I most crave.
Like so many other families with members dispersed across the globe, my family and I have had to be creative in finding ways to spend time together virtually. Once we began to realize that the end of this pandemic may actually not be in close sight, we began to search for other ways in which we could connect. Our daily check-ins and “how are-you”s, became longer chatting sessions, which eventually turned into meals. When we were eating dinner, my parents and brothers and their respective families were eating their breakfast. The meals eventually spilled over into a shared story time and at times, game-time and eventually move-time. Soon the virtual world held such a prominent space within our own physical space. There were moments, when we actually forgot the miles of distance that physically separated us and enjoyed the shared space that we had created. In that created space, we shared some beautifully honest and openly authentic moments: conversations that I knew would never ave occurred if we were physically in the same space. We had allowed ourselves to become more open, more vulnerable, because we had no idea when next we would be able to see each other again in person. And that feeling: that mixture of longing and love and fear created a beautiful vulnerability, which completely altered our relationship to something even more special and dear.
My dear Brother offered to read a book to my daughter virtually while he read to his own, in their living room. On one of his reading sessions, I headed into the kitchen to complete our bagels for our move night. I looked over at my daughter deeply engaged, and taking in each word that my brother was reading over the computer.
I was overwhelmed by a feeling love and gratitude: for the moment: for the shared space. I made quite a few batches of bagels, and shared a few with my neighbors. My neighbors declared them to be the best that they had ever tasted, and I would agree, if I might add. I’m pretty certain they were reacting to the feelings of love and gratitude that was baked into them.
Super Satisfying Soft and Chewy Pretzel
Beautifully, soft and chewy pretzel recipe..
- 2 1/2 teaspoons of dried yeast
- 11/2 cups (360ml) warm water
- 11/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar or honey
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 460-500g 3 -3 3/4 cups of spelt flour or all-purpose
- *Optional-toppings: Sesame seeds or course sea salt
- Baking soda bath
- 1/2 cup (120g) baking soda
- 1 tbs. brown sugar
- 8 cups of water
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 204°C / 400°F
- Step 2 Sprinkle the yeast into your mixing bowl (let it dissolve for a couple of minutes)
- Step 3 Stir in the sugar or honey, salt and melted butter. Mix well
- Step 4 Add in the flour bit by bit, stirring in between each addition
- Step 5 Stir this flour mixture until it becomes a thick dough. If it is too sticky, add a bit more flour.
- Step 6 Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic.
- Step 7 Place the dough into a bowl and let it rest for 15 minutes
- Step 8 Cut the dough into 8 equal sized pieces
- Step 9 Roll out each piece into a long rope
- Step 10 Hold each end and bring them together to form a circle
- Step 11 Now twist the ends and pull them down to form a pretzel and press down the edges
- Step 12 To prepare the baking soda bath
- Step 13 Boil the water and add the baking soda
- Step 14 Drop 2 pretzels at a time into the boiling water and remove them after 30 seconds, using a slipped spoon or sieve or spatula (The pretzels will look pale and soggy, but thats ok).
- Step 15 Put the pretzel onto your baking sheet and proceed with the rest of the dough.
- Step 16 At this stage, you can sprinkle your pretzel with course sea salt or sesame seeds or whatever toppings you like.
- Step 17 Put the tray into the oven and bake your pretzels until they are golden brown (between 12-15min).