Friday, February 06, 2009

Soft Buttery Pretzels

I have a confession to make. I've never had a pretzel from the mall. You know the ones where you watch them make the dough and smell the soft, buttery, morsels cook. Lord knows I've been temped to purchase one of these salty temptations, but I've always controlled myself. Thanks to my mother, I have a terrible time buying food from vendors at the mall, the fair, or theme parks. She instilled me in the value of a dollar and I've never been the same since. She would run math problems for my sister and I, showing how much the prices were increased in places like this simply because people were hungry and had no other option. Our family always had another option and it was called bring our own food. I was humiliated by this as a child. I couldn't understand why my mother insisted on making sandwiches in our motel room before we headed to Disney Land in 1989. My dad's family traveled with us and ate out every meal, even at Disney Land. I was insanely jealous watching them eat greasy hamburgers and fries while I ate warm ham and cheese on wheat bread. Then, in 2004 Jeff and I found ourselves at a Food-4-Less in Anaheim, CA buying bread, jam, peanut butter, and apples as we prepared for 2 days in Disney Land. We estimated we saved about $150 on food that trip. Without even trying, I had married a man who was raised with the same frugal mentality. 

Because I love to cook and bake, we often find ourselves at home eating food I prepare. I splurge on nicer ingredients every now and then and we rarely eat out. When we do eat out, both my husband and I have to control ourselves and not think about the money that we are wasting. I dwell on the fact that I will not have to set one foot in the kitchen to help clean up and my dirty dishes are whisked away and not by me or by a 4 year old who may or may not drop them on the way to the kitchen. Just last night we feasted on salmon that I baked with lemon and rosemary, fried red potatoes, green beans and fresh bread hot from the oven. This gourmet meal was less than $6 for our whole family and I have leftovers! My husbands wonders why we would ever eat out with food this good and he is completely spoiled. Then I remind him of the messy kitchen. Cleaning the kitchen is my #1 least favorite household chore.

Was I talking about something in particular? Oh yes, pretzels. Mall pretzels. I recently tried a recipe for Soft Buttery Pretzels that Lindsay submitted on Food Love. They are supposed to be a replica of the mall pretzels that I've never eaten, only dreamt about and then didn't buy because they cost too much. I have to say that these delicious buttery pretzels are exactly how I imagined they should be. They are soft. They are chewy. And I will never be the same. Try them and save yourself some money. :) Pack them in the little baggy and eat them in the food court at the mall and get a taste of money saving satisfaction as you and you alone know that you just saved yourself a few bucks.

Emma's been sick the last few days. In one way, having a child who can communicate her symptoms is a relief, but those symptoms don't always make a lot of sense. She woke up with a high fever on Wednesday complaining that her frote, head, and fingers hurt. She slept most of the day and yesterday she was fine until last night when she had another fever of 103 and said her door and blanket were hurting her. She's spent a lot of time on the couch telling her sister to get away from her because she's "not in the mood to play." This morning she is asking me for ice cream. I don't have any ice cream, but she requested that we go to the Bar-Mort and buy some. I have a terrible time resisting a feverish child, so I may end up going out for ice cream. I also need to return library books and buy some milk. I am fully aware that this is how the germs get spread, but seriously, I don't think I can handle another day trapped in this house making pretzels and salmon and chicken bbq pizza and then eating the leftovers. So, I'll go buy ice cream (for my sick child only). That will make me feel much better.


Kellie said...

We enjoyed the pretzels for the Super Bowl and they are definitely yummy! I confess I've had an Auntie Anne's pretzel at the mall when I ran out of snacks and was desperate to feed my starving 2 year old. However I think the recipe Lindsay shared with us tasted better.

Hope Emma feels better soon!

Grandma Sherri said...

I was contemplating warped children the other day and came to the conclusion that every child is warped in some way by their parents, no way around it. But you have a false memory of Disney Land- all of us made sandwiches in Grandma Bonnie and Grandpa Harv's motel room, some bought snacks,as well and cold drinks which even back then were $1.50 from the vending machine!So here's to another generation of warped children- lets hope we all recover and only rebel in mild forms that won't affect the destiny of the generation to come!!(my mother always let me eat whatever I wanted when I was sick:)

Linds and Manda said...

Poor Emma. Being sick is never fun...unless it involves yummy flavors of Ben & Jerry's ice cream! I think next time I come down with something I am going to head to your place so I can go to "Bar-Mort" and pick up some Ben & Jerry's for 2.88. Just the other day I was walking through our Coop grocery store and noticed that the exact same thing of ice cream was 7.29! Seriously! Something things are much the same when it comes to pricing north/south of the border but when it comes to junk food you guys have it made. Although I know I would eat a lot of it if it wasn't so pricey. I was also raised with sandwiches on brown bread at zoos and theme parks instead of greasy delicious burgers. I didn't like it at all as a kid and couldn't understand why our parents "treated us so poorly"...what a brat. But now I understand and am thankful that eating out is still a huge treat and I know I enjoy it a lot more.

I hope Emma feels better soon. Please give her a big squeeze from Liam and Libby.

Sara said...

Yes, you married into a very frugal family! Sounds like your mom and my mom and aunt Judi would get along quite nicely. ;o) I don't think I have ever bought an item at a food vendor in the mall in my whole life either - who could live with the guilt after having our mothers' pound into our heads the wastefulness of such choices? Even on the rare occasion I buy something at the fair (I'm a sucker for curly fries), it takes me about a half-hour of walking around all the booths to find the best deal - pathetic, I know, but worth the satisfaction of knowing I got the biggest stack of fries for the least amount of money possible in the whole the fair! =) I'm sure my kids will face the same jealous feelings as I did growing up when I pack our homemade lunches for every outing, but hopefully they will not hate me for it and instead will learn about the positives of frugality and stewardship.

Aly sun said...

I think "influenced" is a much better choice of words than "warped" mom. I don't feel warped and am thankful for the ability to save on some things so that I splurge on other things (that last longer than mall food in my tummy).

I was only eight, so it is possible that I have a false memory about the food thing at Disney Land, but I specifically remember Vince and Dusty chowing down on fries and hamburgers.

Lindsay said...

They are good, huh?? :)

I actually have only bought them twice that I cam remember. Once was for Will when he was 2 and Wyatt was about 3 weeks and I ventured to the mall in search of a mothers' day gift. I made a big mistake of buying a cinn-sugar one and Will was a sticky mess when we were finished, but at least I got my shopping done.

The other time was this summer when I took the boys school shopping. It was a special treat for them and that's is what they chose for their snack.

The idea of making them, and bringing them to the mall to eat made me laugh....but I just might try it! Lord knows I will not purchase another one now that I have the recipe :)

Andee said...

This stir crazy mom with a sick kid bought food in a food court just last night. B was bouncing out of his skin and N was a miserable mess. I decided CostCo hot dogs were the perfect fix. No cooking or clean up for me, a special treat for the child who was resenting all the baby's special treatment, and only $1.50. Thank you CostCo for being only 5 minutes away from my house! Go get ice cream. I think Emma would like something with chocolate.
I too remember with a litter jealousy the "others" and their DisneyLand food. But Grandma brought those pudding cup and they were just the best. Tapioca at room temperature out of a plastic cup still makes me happy. I choose not to dwell on the health risks associated with such treats. It's probably still better than greasy hamburgers.

Shawna said...

I laughed out loud and the thought of making my own pretzels and then actually taking them to the food court to eat them! PERFECT idea! Now I want to bake a GIANT chocolate chip cookies and write my name on it in GIANT letters and take that to eat too!

Wow the dinner sounded great and I would give anything to clean the kitchen if I had someone to cook like that at home! (Rick and I aren't cooks, we get by with a few standard menu items).

I tried talking my Stepson into coming and living with us when he goes to College (he is 16) and have him major in culinary arts, but he wants to be an Engineer or Forensic Pathologist. Go figure, where are the priorities with this younger generation!

Melanie said...

I grew up very frugally too, but my husband grew up in a family that ate out a lot. In our marriage, we have each had an influence on the other. He has taught me to enjoy eating out and I encourage him to come home for lunch!

Michal said...

i can't wait to try this recipe.

i remember that on the rare occasions that my family got fast food we would have to share an order of fries between two or three kids and drink water. it wasn't because my parents couldn't afford to feed six kids at a burger joint (although that might be understandable), but because my dad had been trained by his frugal mother and it trickled down. i find that i am in favor of buying one meal at disneyland (because i like the food) or at least one treat and packing the rest in. my husband will skip the treat in favor of saving the $5. so i did well to marry him!