While I love a crunchy rod or stick as much as the next gal, soft pretzels are the go-to carb-and-salt snack to make at home—because few things on this earth taste this good. And while they are at their best fresh, they are still delightful the next day—just rub them with a bit of water and re-bake for a few minutes. The most difficult part of this recipe will be waiting to devour them until they are really and truly cool; the flavor and crust just don’t develop
until they have rested for a full 30 minutes. Eat without mustard at your own risk. Oh, and feel free to track down fancy pretzel salt if you wish. Straight-up kosher salt works fine for me.
6cups (1 pound, 13 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more
In truth, this is actually two recipes: it yields a fruit syrup that is a stunning Day-Glo red starter for bubbling cold beverages, and also its by-product—my most favorite strawberry jam recipe to date. Absolutely do not discard the macerated fruit left over from making the syrup; when tossed in a food processor or food mill with a squeeze of orange juice, it’s a jam that can be stored fresh in the refrigerator for a few days or canned for later. (The same is true for the other two syrups in this chapter: they give you syrup AND yummy jam.) Note that if you can this syrup, the flavor will indeed become cooked, though it still makes a good soda.
About 2pounds ripe organic strawberries, washed, hulled, and halved (7 cups)
I love, love condiments — particularly the vinegary variety. It’s summer, and the corn has just been rocking off the cob. I offer to you my Sweet Pepper and Corn Relish Recipe, a super old-fashioned relish so self-consciously retro that it’s modern again. It’s ready for a place on your Aunt Bitty’s relish tray alongside the three-bean salad and the pickled beets.
Just FYI, I often say to use frozen corn here because, well, forgive my shallowness, but frozen corn is just prettier than anything I’ve ever been able to cut off the cob. And frozen corn retains its starch better, making for a less cloudy brine. But when corn is as good as it is right now, how can you pass on fresh? Out of season, however, you are still a good person if you use frozen nibblets.
So, it’s cute. My publisher did this video. It was filmed in my kitchen – it’s so grassroots you can even see my trash can and the reflection of The Silver Spoon cookbook in the microwave.
The sound is a little wonky, which could very well be because the day we shot this i accidentally dropped the microphone they had attached to me in the toilet (! – this is not a lie!) and then they had to scramble to use a second, less powerful mike. Um, yeah, Ten Speed, sorry ’bout that…