Tuesday, January 18, 2011

More snow is predicted for tomorrow!

 I certainly feel sorry for all the parents who will have children home….AGAIN….due to school closings! Here in Johnson County, the public schools have to be in session so many days during the school year, so it looks like all the little children will be going to class into the middle of June unless the weather clears up!

Of course, when the schools are closed because of snow days, the studio is definitely not on my schedule. There is so much work to be done and I want to start a new painting….maybe next week.
Since it will be snowing all day tomorrow, I am going to bake bread again. It is my favorite thing to do on a snowy day. Daughter Betsy wants to make German Pretzels, so that is probably what we will do. I may also make some Schiacciata – a classic Tuscan Flatbread. If I had been on the ball (which doesn’t happen often) I would have gone to my favorite deli and stocked up on German sausages and some great Havarti, my favorite cheese. Werner’s Specialty Foods in Mission, Kansas is a great source for handmade traditional sausages. Dave and Judy Miller, the owners, carry many hard to find European foods, and David’s brats are highly respected! Here are some email addresses for them in case you want to check on the availability of certain items. wernerswurst@hotmail.com wernerswurst@yahoo.com and dmiller167@kc.rr.com.

Werner’s is located in Mission, Kansas on Johnson Drive. Just walking in the door is a treat….the aromas are incredible. Sure wish I had some of their Havarti to pop into a Pretzel roll!
Check out their webpage http://www.wernerswurst.com there you will find their address and phone number as well as menus, specialty items, catering info, etc. If you go around lunch, you can treat yourself to a schnitzel sandwich! If I were you, I’d have them put a slice of Havarti on it!

Back to the pretzels….I’ve mentioned German pretzels several times in the 2 years I’ve been writing my blog, but I have never given you a recipe. There is a reason for that. True German pretzels are dipped in a lye solution before baking, and I just can’t encourage you to do that. But, I can encourage you to visit any one of the dozens of web pages featuring recipes for the authentic as well as some featuring a baking soda bath for your pretzels. I can only suggest you Google German Pretzel recipes and do a little reading. I will tell you this, my favorite is a King Arthur Flour recipe which you will find here http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/classic-pretzels-recipe Yes, I do order the non-diastatic malt powder from King Arthur, and it makes all of the difference in the world.
I should also tell you that when you Google the pretzels, there are several web pages with step by step instructions on shaping and dipping your pretzels, complete with photographs. It would be a good thing to read them first.
One other tip….when you go to Werner’s, buy some Black Forest ham, sliced fairly thin. Open up a warm freshly baked pretzel, add a little butter and tuck that Black Forest ham and a little Havarti or Swiss cheese in it and get yourself a glass of Riesling wine or a cold beer and prepare to feel like you are living the good life!

A big pot of soup is on everyone’s mind this time of year. I have shared so many of my favorites over the last 2 years, but I think I have another one for you.
Here is a soup that is a perfect companion for a pretzel. Simply skip the slices of bread, grate the cheese and sprinkle on top of each serving of soup, then dip your pretzel in the soup! YUM! Hope you enjoy it!

Riesling Cheese Soup

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup diced onions
1 cup diced cauliflower
2 potatoes, cut into 1/2"cubes
1/2 cup carrots, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/2 cup Somerset Ridge Vineyard Riesling Wine
4 cups chicken stock
4 ounces Canadian bacon, diced
5 ounces Gouda cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil on medium-high heat in a 1.5-quart saucepan. Add onion and sauté until softened. Add cauliflower, carrots and potato; sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and bring to a boil. In a small skillet, heat the butter. Add the Canadian bacon and sauté until lightly browned. Add bacon to soup. Reduce heat to low and cover, simmering until vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes). Pour soup into four individual flameproof crocks or bowls. Top each portion with one-quarter of the cheese. Place under the broiler until cheese is bubbly. Serve immediately with German Pretzels.

With the forecast, I’d better start looking for the next soup I will share with you. Spring is NOT just around the corner!
For you dear sweet loved ones enjoying the warmth and sunshine in Palm Springs,
I don't have a recipe for you, but please enjoy your weather!
Kiss Rudy for me!

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