I have fun making special occasion meals, and one way I’m trying to make more special occasions is to find theme foods to make. Lately, it’s been all about baseball.
Saturday night, we watched the Phillies lose their chance to go to the World Series. Honestly, I didn’t care who won. Alex, though, is a Philadelphia native and he was pretty let down. Thankfully, we had homemade soft pretzels to console us. I ate a lot of soft pretzels living in Philly – I used to get a breakfast deal that was a soft pretzel and coffee for $2 most mornings.
Oddly enough, I have another connection to pretzels, too. When I was younger, I worked in one of those pretzels shops in the mall. Yeah, you know which one. I had to sign a some kind of agreement that I would not work at another pretzel shop for however many years (a time almost certainly expired by now). That’s funny to me because I never even knew the pretzel recipe; we would “drop” dough by emptying a large packet of pre-made mix into a mixer with some hot water. I did, however, learn to roll and shape the pretzels.
This time, I used Alton Brown’s recipe with only the slightest of modifications (half whole wheat flour, Earth Balance instead of butter, no egg wash) – and they were amazing. I boiled them, as he directs, which I have only done in the past for homemade bagels. I halved his recipe, and I’m glad I did because I made four big pretzels and they, unfortunately, did not make good leftovers. These pretzels were best right out of the oven. With yellow mustard.
I was also hoping to have ballpark-style nachos, too, with a splurge on Teese Nacho Sauce. I was very disappointed that one of the only stores in town that stocks Teese didn’t have any nacho sauce. But these pretzels did not disappoint.
I’ve already shared my love of beer and peanuts. Do you like ballpark food? – and do you try to bring it home?