The spark that lit the fire of my new-found obsession with culinary adventures was a casual encounter I had with a soft pretzel in a restaurant at the end of a photo outing in June — see Mount Hood Summer Sostice
for all the delicious details. That huge, tasty pretzel — the first I had eaten in many years, and one of the few in my entire half-century life — was served with an awesome, spicy, whole-grain honey mustard.
At the time I thought that the $5 Gustav’s Bargarten
charged was kinda spendy.
However, after looking at quite a few menus from Portland-area restaurants since then, I have seen that there are some which charge even more! For the Gustav’s pretzel, by the time I paid for a beer to go with it, along with a tip, that little snack cost me $15 — way too much to afford very often!
As an alternative, I bought pretzels at three different bakeries in Portland. That was a cheaper solution, but they still seemed on the spendy side. In addition, two of the locations had hardly any pretzels on hand, and at one the pretzels seems somewhat old and stale. Why pay someone else to make a pretzel and some mustard for me when I can have the fun and satisfaction of doing it myself?
During my search for Portland pretzel vendors, I ran across the Pretzel Making at Home
cookbook by Portland-based food writer and instructor, Andrea Slonecker.
Once I had purchased my own copy from Amazon — and had taken some detours on some other culinary adventures — I rolled up my sleeves and got my hands on some homemade pretzel dough.
The results definitely lived up to my high expectations! The consistency and taste were marvelous — better than some of the pretzels I had bought in Portland. And as Barney
sang about popcorn, they are fun to make and fun to eat!
For further details about the stories behind the photos in this album, see the related articles: