This pregnancy, my cravings have been odd, unnatural even. Well, unnatural for ME, I should say. With the other three I craved things like Wendy’s frosties, DQ slushies, hot cocoa – all over-indulgent sweet things. But this one . . . in the beginning it was apples all the time. And as of late, it has been pretzels. I’m not kidding when I say we can finish off a bag in two days. Once the kids see me with some, they want some and on and on. I was glad that it was a little lenten, too, during those forty days.
So, in an effort to satisfy my craving (though I must admit that the small, crunchy pretzel rods are what really fit the bill . . . ) and get in a little catechises, we made pretzels on Good Friday.
It’s a simple “semi-homemade” recipe from a book my mom gave me in college. The year I came into the Church was the first year I baked the pretzels and repeated the tradition each year, even making them for the Newman Center crowd for Bible studies and hang out nights. But this is the first year we made them with the kids.
Back to the recipe . . .
Thaw frozen bread loaves. Roll them out and cut them into strips. Roll the strips between your palms until they are “long and skinny” (according to Philip. He likes things “long and skinny.”). Twist these into pretzel shapes and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Brush with a lightly beaten egg white that has been combined with a Tbsp. of water. Sprinkle with Kosher salt. Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes. Soooo good fresh!
The lesson behind these is beautiful. We talked about how back in the day, Lent meant fasting from fat, dairy, eggs, meat, sugar – mostly anything tasty. It made meals a little tricky to put together. It was good monks in Germany that discovered pretzels and shaped them into forms that resembled hands and arms in the attitude of prayer to remind the people (and themselves) that fasting is nothing without prayer. We also discussed what “Kosher” meant and how Jesus was Jewish. And when the kids tasted the pretzels and licked the salt, we reminded them that Good Friday is a sad day and the salt reminds us of the taste of tears and sorrow.
The kids and I ate our weights in pretzels, they were so delish. (Children and pregnant/nursing women do not have to observe the obligatory fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Brilliant!) Jac watched in envy, though I’m sure he offered up his own craving.
I probably should have done the same. I guess I can claim the baby made me do it.
And how could it not? Don’t they look irresistible? I can’t even begin to describe the smell . . . Somebody get me some pretzels!