I've been anxiously waiting for the right amount of me time to make soft pretzels from the cookbook Matt bought for me a week or so ago: Bake by Rachel Allen. Lorraine Pascal is my number one cooking crush but I like Rachel Allen quite a bit, too. Both of them create dishes that make you think, Yeah, I think I could really do that. I've made more out of the two Lorraine Pascal books I have than any other cookbook I own and, after making the soft pretzles, I think Bake might become just as popular.
They were a bit labor intensive - lots of steps - but well worth it. They were delicious! According to the recipe, poaching them in simmering water and bicarbonate of soda before baking gives them the real soft pretzel taste.I made several with sesame seeds, a couple with salt and a few with a honey, butter, sugar and cinnamon coating. Next time I might pop the sweet ones under the grill to carmelize them a bit.
I'm kind of enjoying reading books that I've "assigned" myself this month. I still have a couple that will be added to next months reading along - Night Circus and Insurgent and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter which I still haven't finished. I'm really struggling with it but am determined to finish. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett was my favorite read of the month. Shadow of Night, the second in the Discovery of Witches trilogy was kind of a let down.
I broke my own rule (well, I broke it a lot if charity shop paperbacks count because I bought several of those but I don't think they count - you have to grab them when you find them) and bought the first Harry Potter book for my Kindle last night. I've been wanting to reread them for some time and it's even better than I remembered. I really wonder what Rowling's adult novel is going to be like.
We were thinking about a trip to the states in September but it looks like it might be more like December or January. Warmer weather would have been nice since my parents have a backyard that Emmett will love but I haven't spent Christmas with my Ohio family for three years now so the idea of maybe getting to be there even close to the holidays is pretty exciting. And, cheesy or not, if I get the chance, I'm totally taking E to have his picture taken with Santa. I was pretty surprised to find out that they don't do that here. There are places to see Santa and sit his knee and all but not to have your picture taken - at least not that I could find.
Emmett is still asleep, Matt went into town - I should do a bit of housework but I think I'm going to catch up on and episide of "The Good Guys" instead....