Saturday, July 28, 2012

Thoughts for August...

I CAN'T BELIEVE it will be August this week! I don't know where summer has gone. Wednesday begins another fasting period. In some ways I look forward to these fasting periods during the year. It gives me a time to refocus and slow down a bit. Often times there are more services, our meals are a bit more simple and we are forced to slow down and redirect our attentions.

August also gets me thinking autumn is just around the corner, school plans to finalize, up coming birthdays and names days to plan. Autumn is one of my most favorite times of year. I love the weather, the inspirations for crafts, decorating... on and on it goes. It also gets me thinking of knitting projects. I know I've been doing lots of quilting, but I need to begin my knitting or the kiddos will freezing this winter.

I've been getting out my needles now and again and now the kids are getting in on the act. The kiddos have Knitting Towers to learn. They love making their long "snakes" of yarn (simular to i-cords) with their towers. Soon we'll have snakes throughout the house!!

I'm in the process of finishing up a hat before I get started on some winter jumpers for the boys. Because of a mix up with an order earlier in the year I have a bunch of skeins on lovely grey merino wool. I think I'm going to get a skein each of their favorite color so I can do some color work so they can be a bit different. I also have some lovely wool to make a cozy cardy for my little bit. I also found some adorable mushroom buttons for her sweater. But I'll share the photos of those when I begin that project.

As for now we just need to finish up with our visiting family and begin to finalize the structure of our upcoming shift in cycle. I also need to think about the new year. The "new year" you ask? Well, the beginning of the new Church year is September 1st. We usually have a blessing service at church and then we sit down as a family and talk about what we would like to work on during this new year to help our relationship with our Lord. Our new years "resolutions" so to speak. Each year as our children grow older they take on more of living their faith with the rest of us. For example in our family our children don't completely partake in the fasts until they receive their first confession. Then as they grow they work on it each year until they can keep the fasts more completely. This year my 7 year old will begin to serve on the altar with his older brother, which is very exciting. The new year is just a time to examine our walk with the Lord and what we can do better. We really do this before each fast as well, but we make a bigger deal about it for the "New Year".

So as we prepare for the Dormition of Our Lady, we can also be looking for her Nativity in the new year! Hope you are enjoying your summer! Have a lovely day!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tasha Tudor...

HOW MANY OF YOU are familiar with Tasha Tudor? Well if you love good children's literature you probably are, but maybe not. She's was a wonderful American illustrator and illustrated nearly one hundred books. I just love her things and the way she lived life. What made me think to blog about her was an email I received the other day for some fabric inspired by her and some lovely "receipts" of hers.

If you are a Charlotte Mason homeschooler you will probably love Tasha Tudor, if you're not already familiar with her. She was passionate about the "home arts". Creating a comforting haven for her and her family. Sewing, knitting, spining, gardening, keeping chickens, just creating things for every day life. Afternoon tea always included some of her "tea stories". I imagine if I was a young child in her home I would have cherish these afternoons of tea, treats and stories. Doesn't that sound lovely?

If you're ever visiting Vermont you should look up her museum. There are always events going on featuring things from her life and home. In upcoming events they will be showcasing her favorite frocks, there will be a spinning bee and other crafty things on display. I think if I lived in that neck of the woods it would make for a fun outing. The Tasha Tudor website also spotlights many of her "receipts" and patterns for aprons and other things she enjoyed.

If you too love this type of homemaking, check it out! You won't be disappointed!

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Waking up to Breakfast...

ISN'T IT WONDERFUL TO wake up to a cooked breakfast? When I have company visiting and during the school year, I love to have breakfast options that can be made the night before. Stradas are great for these kinds of mornings. I also love to make crockpot oatmeal and other crockpot breakfasts. Watch for future posts!

Since we have family visiting it's been busy here and we're a little off our normal schedule. Blog posts have been infrequent. Since I don't have a normal flow to my day, content is more challenging to come by. However, we all have to eat! So here is my "clean up left overs" strada!

I purchased these lovely pretzel rolls at Costco and my kids just loved them on our road trip to the family reunion. However I still have a few to use up, hence the strada idea! I cut up 5 rolls for this size casserole dish. Threw in some fresh mushrooms, spinach, and onion. Mixed up the eggs (8) and cream/milk (3/4 cup) and tossed some cheese on top and in the morning we'll have a lovely breakfast dish!

What do you like to make for breakfast? I guess I've spoiled my kiddos because they love a cooked breakfast. In fact my oldest almost considers it punishment to eat cold cereal. I think he's odd, but I guess I've created this some how. So "put together the night before" breakfast are genius to me! After all breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not to mention this is a wonderful way to use up bread, veggies, left over meats, etc! Since we are on the heals of another fast maybe this would be a good thing!

Hope you're having a lovely week!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Generations and generations...

WE JUST GOT  back from visiting family. First we had my husbands annual family reunion. There were folks from all over Oregon, California, Washington and even Nebraska, where they originally came out from. It was lots of fun. Got to see lots of familiar and some new faces. Then we were able to visit my Grandma. She'll be 98 years old next week! I just find that amazing.

When I think about the generations and all differences in them it makes my head spin. Just think of my Gran for example, as a girl they didn't even have indoor plumbing, let alone a phone and the modern conveniences we have today. To grow up with that and now to have cell phones and Skype, it's pretty amazing. I mean just think about car seats and cars these days. My Gran tells the story of bringing my Dad home from the hospital and she just stuck him in a box and placed him in the back window of the car! Seat belts, unheard of! Isn't it astonishing that folks grew up? Then there's all the cleanliness these days. I mean getting a drink out of the creek or a garden hose. Now we have to have bottled water! It gets a little crazy.

But it was a wonderful weekend full of family, good food and sun. I mean what could be better? My kids were able to enjoy their cousins that we never see. Lots of fun!

So now back to the routine. We have family visiting this week so if my posts are more sporadic, bear with me I'll be back!! Enjoy your day!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Works in progress...

ISN'T EACH DAY A work in progress? Each day I get up and sit at the foot of our Lord and pray over all that the day will bring. Then I move on to feeding children, doing chores, activities with children and on it goes.... If I'm lucky I get to fit in some time to work on my projects and if any one is interested I let them help. My goal here is to get more time to play with fabric, yarn or wool. Aren't I sneaky. But I think all people, especially children like to be creative. I also think that children appreciate things made especially for them and it's even better if they get to be part of the process.

Now that I'm done with the two gift quilts I've been working on, I'm on to my Thimbleberries project. It's so fun to take a bit of fabric and thread and turn it into something beautiful and useful. I wasn't sure if I'd like cutting fabric into pieces only to sew it back together, but I really do enjoy it. It's like a puzzle, and I do enjoy a puzzle.

Each time I find a pattern, pick out fabric and watch it all come together it just amazes me how each step in the process brings the whole thing to life.

This quilt has lovely pinwheels in it. I guess I'm just a fan of pinwheel and star quilts. After cutting all my pieces then I begin piecing and marking. It seems time consuming to have to mark each piece, but once it's done it really just flies together.

Once all the piece sets are together I can begin making the blocks. This the first quilt I've made with the setting triangles and I have to say I really like that all the blocks will be set on point.

At this point I've gotten all my blocks together and the center of my quilt is coming together nicely. Hopefully next week I'll be able to get the picket fence boarders done. Then I'll just have the final boarders to go and I'll be home free with another quilt top done!!

What projects are you working on? Enjoy your weekend!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Perfect summer meal...

Chopped Greek Salad with Chicken
DON'T YOU JUST HATE it when it's hot and you need to make dinner. Or maybe it doesn't need to be HOT, maybe you just feel like that every night! Ha! Ha! I know some times I do!!Well I have the perfect meal idea for you on a hot day. I love the magazine Eating Well! They have great healthy meals that are quick and most of the time all my family likes them. Even this meal, all but one child ate this salad. I call that success!!

I changed up the recipe a bit, due to the ingredient I had on hand. But here it is!

First I chopped up the lettuce, I used iceberg since that's what I had. Then chopped up the tomatoes, cucumber, olives and chicken. I omitted the red onion since I thought the kids would be put off and I wanted them to at least try it! Then sprinkled the cheese, made up the dressing and tossed! Voila, there you have it a great quick dinner for a warm summer day!!! If you have cooked chicken on hand you could whip this up in minutes!! Click here for the full recipe...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Just because cookies...

TODAY IN THE KITCHEN we made sugar cookies. It's always fun to make them, but it always seems we only make them at the holidays. So today we made just because. The kiddos love to make things in the kitchen so today this was our project!

The Recipe
1 1/4 cups sugar                       3 cups all-purpose flour (plus some for sprinkling)
1 cup  of shortening                 3/4 tsp baking powder
2 eggs                                       1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup light corn syrup            1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla

First I cream all the sugar and shortening together until it's light an fluffy. Next I add the eggs, vanilla and syrup. When this is well mixed I add my dry ingredients. I usually whisk them in a separate bowl before adding them to my wet ingredients. Once the dough is combined and able to be formed into a ball I place it into a piece of plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.

Once the dough is well chilled I use my shaker of flour to dust my work surface and roll out the dough. Then the fun begins and we start cutting. Bake for 5 - 9 minutes, depending on size, at 375. I cool my cookies on a sheet of foil on the counter. Then decorate if you choose and eat! Enjoy!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fathers of the Ecumenical Councils...

TODAY IS THE Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils. To me even though this isn't one of the Twelve Great Feast of the year it is so important. This year my oldest will be studying some church history in addition to his 20th Century World History and the ecumenical councils are a large part of that. I want my kids to know about the councils and understand how important they are to what we believe and how we worship today.

In our studies we will be using Orthodox Christianity Volume I: The History and Canonical Structure of the Orthodox Church . I picked this up at the All American Council that was held here in Washington just recently. This is the first of several volumes that will be out. It looks like a wonderful resource and after speaking with a monk at the council it sounded like a good option for my teenage son. As I post throughout our school year I'll let you know how it goes.

As for today, read something about the councils. Go online and find an icon and talk about all that is represented. While we follow the life of Christ throughout the year and look to the saints for our example, we also honor the men that attended and upheld the faith at the councils so that we can be united in Christ today!

A blessed feast to you all!

Troparion - Tone 8

You are most glorious, O Christ our God!
You have established the Holy Fathers as lights on the earth!
Through them you have guided us to the true faith!
O greatly Compassionate One, glory to You!

Kontakion - Tone 8

The Apostles' preaching and the Fathers' doctrines have established one faith for the Church.
Adorned with the robe of truth, woven from heavenly theology,
It defines and glorifies the great mystery of Orthodoxy!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Another weekend...

ANOTHER WEEKEND OF summer down! It's going so fast!! We are now half way through July and I feel like summer just got started, EEEK! I guess the closer we get to August the more I start thinking about school and getting my ducks in a row. Planning schedules, looking at activities, and making sure we have a good balance can take a lot of time. Maybe not physically, but definitely mentally.

We have a reunion and a wedding to attend and by the end of that we will be up close and personal with August! I will need to make sure all my curriculum is here, if it isn't already. AND I will finally have to choose a planner and get things together so I can begin planning. So much to do, it's hard to believe that anyone ever called it "the lazy days of summer". I've never had a lazy summer day yet, have you?

I posted on the Homeschool Lounge a discussion of planners and received lots of great recommendations. I've narrowed it down to going back to the Homeschool Tracker, Scholaric, or going to something that's old fashion like paper. I've used things on line and some times I just like have a good ol' hard copy to write notes, etc. I just can't decide. I just know I need something else to keep me organized and a "to do" list each day for my little guys. Hmmmm.... Still thinking on that and am open to suggestions!!

This is my biggest change this year, since this year I will be homeschooling three children. I have been "schooling" the youngest two, but this year we will begin to have more formal schooling to get them writing well and doing more formal math. I must admit that I tend to be more of a "free form" schooler of younger children. However now that I have two of them and a toddler, I have more of a challenge of focusing on individual time to get reading and writing more in hand. In some ways I feel like a new homeschooler, just without the paranoia of getting it all in. I'm not as concerned with covering everything, because I know we will. I just have to continue to get used to juggling.

The other thing I need to look at is my crafting time. Once summer is over I'll have some what less of it and that's another thing to juggle. But in the mean time I did get another quilt done!! I feel so accomplished when I get one done. I'm getting a little addicted to that feeling!! It's great!

Hope you're enjoying your summer and getting lots accomplished!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel

TODAY IS THE Feast of the Archangel Gabriel! Gabriel is one of my favorites. Keeping the feasts outside of the school year is some times more tricky, I must admit. One of the things I really appreciate about the school year is the structure it provides to my day. However there are important feasts during the summer that need to be celebrated and observed! For me today is one of them.

As we approach August there are so many wonderful feasts to participate in! The first of the month we begin the Dormition Fast that ends in the celebration of the most Blessed Theotokos! I especially love to decorate with all the lovely flowers that are in bloom. I also have a wonderful bread stamp and I bake a yummy sweet bread in celebration of her feast! But that's for another post.

During the fast we have the wonderful feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord (Aug 6) and the blessing of the fruit. I love taking my kids shopping for the tasty fruit for our basket and then taking it to church to have it blessed. Another special feast for our family is the Feast of St. Herman (Aug 9). He is a very special saint in our family and we try to make it up to Port Townsend, WA to the parish of St. Herman to take part in their celebration. They have a wonderful Liturgy and then a lovely salmon feast out on the lawn. Then we spend the day at the beach and wondering through the fun shops of Port Townsend. I look forward to it each year!

How do you keep the feast of the year? What are your traditions? I'd love for you to share what your family does with me through the comments! I read them all and try to respond to each one.

Troparion - Tone 4

Gabriel, commander of the heavenly hosts,
we who are unworthy beseech you,
by your prayers encompass us beneath the wings of your immaterial glory,
and faithfully faithfully preserve us who fall down and cry to you:
"Deliver us from all harm, for you are the commander of the powers on high!"

Kontakion - Tone 2

You look upon God's glory in heaven,
and bring grace from on high to earth,
wise Gabriel, leader of angels,
minister of God's glory, and divine defender of the world!
Save and preserve those who cry to you:
"Be our defense, so that no one can be against us!"

A blessed Feast of the Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel and blessed names day to all those Gabriels out there! Have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Growing up...

TIME JUST AMAZES me. I feel like I watch my children each day and before my eyes they grow up and I don't always appreciate until moments like today. My peanut boy joined Cub Scouts today. It was a little like deja vu watching him with all his new scout mates. It seem like just yesterday I was taking my oldest to Scouts and my peanut wasn't even born yet. For so long is was just the robot boy and me. Now I'm on to a new stage of the these little guys growing up and I just can believe it. Before I know it they'll be as big as my oldest and almost out the door. If any of you know the way to slow down the clock let me know because I'll be right on it.

Scouts is such a great program for boys. And what a blessing to find an all homeschooled pack.  I know that they have had their controversies, but as a program it's great. They teach so many life skills and introduce kids to so many different topics. It's a wonderful way to help them find their passions. Having to test the waters on so subjects really gives a fabulous opportunity to take a large enough bite of something to learn if you want to pursue it or not. Plus there are lots of opportunities for leadership and mentoring others.

I'm also glad to be getting in, in the early days. If we all stick with it some of these families maybe be my sons closest friends. It will be fun to be a scouting mom again! Let the adventure begin!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Homeschool Conference Finds...

ONE OF MY FAVORITE things about attending the homeschool conference each year is looking at all the new curriculum and games. My kids love games, especially board games. One of my favorite companies for games is Simply Fun. They have some of the best games and they are fun and educational. There are many ways to implement learning into each game, which I love. This year we purchased Dreaming Dragon.  What I love about this game is that all my little ones can play it, even the two year old! So often we try to play a board game and because she can't really participate, she gets bored and tries to mess with our game or, on some occasions she sits right in the middle of the board! These games seem to be better at keeping the attention of all my children and most of the time they all can participate. Dreaming Dragon is a great game for counting, colors, fine motor and concentration.

This company is a "party plan" business, but since I'm bad at having these types of parties I just purchase through their catalog. We now have many of their games and we all love them. They have a wide range of games and lots of toddler and pre-school games. I don't know about you, but I get a little weary of Chutes and Ladders and Candyland.

So if you're looking for stuff for Fall or just need something new to do inside to beat the heat, check them out!!

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


SO WHAT BOOKS are on your nightstand right now? I don't get a lot of time to read, but a few weeks ago my hubby bought me a Kindle Touch and I have to say I LOVE IT!! I don't know how many times in my life I've struggled to read a book because I either would fall asleep reading or would read only to find myself thinking, "what on earth did that just say" and really having no idea what I'd just read. I like books or at least I like the idea of books and getting lost in the story. However, due to my struggles I have never been an avid reader. That is until now.

I don't know what it is with the e-readers and their e-ink, but it's so much easier for me to read. I can now read for HOURS. I have never been able to do that before!! So I am enjoying it immensely! I guess when it comes to what I read I'm kind of obsessed. I mean when I'm not reading about homeschooling, crafts/activities to do while homeschooling, I'm reading about my other "occupations" quilting and knitting.

I just finished the newest Marie Bostwick novel Ties That Bind (Cobbled Court Quilts) and it was wonderful!! This is a wonderful series of books that feature a community of women supporting each other during the best and worst of times. The book I'm currently reading is The Quilter's Apprentice: A Novel (Elm Creek Quilts Novels), which is another series of novels, again about quilters (guess I'm not to original) and I'm really enjoy these as well.

So what do you get up to in your "mommy alone" time? What books do you enjoy? Now that I'm finding that I am able to enjoy reading I'd love your recommendations!! It seems now a days I always have a book going. When do I find the time? Well, I guess I don't need a lot of sleep. Ha! Ha!

Enjoy your day!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sunshine Award...

I AM SO HONORED! I've been blogging for such a short time and tickled that Carri over at Simply Done Wright has nominated me for the Sunshine Award! Thank you so much Carri for supporting me in this way!!
The Sunshine Award is given from bloggers to "bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere."
Okay, so here's how the award works:

First, you should thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them. Next, answer the following questions about yourself. Then, choose 10 of your favorite bloggers and link their blogs to your post. Be sure to let them know that you are nominating them for the award.

Last, be sure to copy and paste the award to your blog! Here we go!

1. Favorite color- is all shades of purple. However, I have been purchasing lots of sunny color fabric lately so maybe it's still evolving. :)
2. Favorite animal- is the giraffe. They are just amazing to me! I can watch them for hours at the zoo!
3. Favorite number-  5, it's always been 5. Not sure why...
4. Favorite Drink- Jasmine pearl white tea or for a cold drink pina colada bubble tea
5. Facebook or Twitter- Facebook! Don't have a Twitter account 
6. Good book or good movie- Book~ Threading the Needle (Cobbled Court) of the Cobbled Courts Quilts series(any of these books really); Movie~ Hard to choose but the best one I've watched of late is The King's Speech .
7. My passion- My faith and my family
8. Giving or getting gifts- I love to give gifts, but over the years I have become better at receiving them as well. That is something I have to work on regularly.
9. Favorite day- It's hard to say. Each day that I get to spend with my children is such a blessing!
10. Favorite flower- Lilly of the Valley, but really any flower will do! Especially the fists full of dandelions I receive often! :) 
Now you know a little bit more about me.
Now, the 10 blogs that I would like to give the Sunshine Award to, in no particular order, are:
Joey over at the madebyjoey
Tess over at Circling Through This Life
Jenny over at Days of Chalk and Chocolate
Esther over at Happy in Red
Emma over at Intentional Hospitality
Amanda over at Life, Experience Needed
Jodi over at Meaningful Mama
Tina over at One Crafty Mess
Micupoftea over at Poetry In a Pot of Tea
Candace over at Saltwater Quilts

Please check out these awesome bloggers and see what great stuff they have to share.....


Have a wonderful day!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fair time aproaching...

ONE THING I THINK homeschoolers miss is the opportunity to "show off" what they've been working on. In public school students have "Open Houses" and various ways for students to display things they've been working on. But how do we as homeschoolers give our kids these kinds of opportunities? There are always science fairs and if you are lucky enough to live near a Homeschool Conference location there are sometimes opportunities there. But what if your kid's thing isn't science? Have you considered your local fair?

Fairs are a great way to exhibit projects you've worked on throughout the year. We discovered this by participating in 4H, however all fairs offer "Open Class" exhibits that anyone can enter. If you contact your local fair office they can get you an exhibitors program that will give you the vast list of things that can be exhibited. Also, check local granges. They may also have a smaller fair you can participate in. They are usually hungry for exhibitors.

Many people think fair and they think animals, home-canned goods, pie bake offs, etc. But my oldest showed his carnivorous plants at his first fair and really gave his interest a boost through all the positive feedback he received for his knowledge and care of his plants. He's shown veggies we've grown, flowers, Lego models, robots he and his team created, he's competed with those robots, and participated in archery all at the fair.
We just had such a great experience with fairs that every time it's that time of year I just have to give them a plug. It's a really wonderful opportunity to give your child a place to shine.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Yummy Coconut Cream Pie...

ANOTHER THING I love about summer holidays is all the pies! Can there ever be enough pie? I, for one don't think so!! Pie is my weakness. Fruit pies, cream pies, meat pies, put it in pastry and you've got me! So when I came across this recipe on Dough Puncher for a coconut cream pie in an 11 x 17 pan I was right there!! I mean a whole 11 x 17 pan of pie, I was like Garfield and lasagna. You know what I mean, and while my favorite pies are apple and strawberry-rhubarb, coconut cream is right up there.

So here's our creation from the Dough Puncher's blog. I did make a couple of tweaks.

First, as with any pie, you make the dough. If you have crust phobia, you can always purchase a store bought crust, so don't let this step intimidate you from making this! Since I made my dough I added a little coconut extract to the crust.

Once you have your crust you need to bake it off as this is a cream pie and is not baked. Then you make your filling. The recipe called for whole milk, but I didn't have any on hand, so I substituted a combination of 2% and heavy cream. It worked just fine. Once you've made your custard and poured it in the crust, then you'll need to chill it before you put on the whipped cream.

**Just a note if you've not used corn starch before to thicken something. It seems like it takes forever, but then once the custard gets to a certain temp it thickens real fast. So be patient.

The final step is to just whip the cream and toast your coconut. I tweaked my version a bit from her recipe. I added coconut extract to the cream instead of vanilla. Also, I bloomed some Knox Gelatin in my cream before I whipped it. This step prevents your cream from becoming "weepy" and it hold up better. So whip your cream, toast your coconut and you're good to go! Enjoy!

For the full recipe click here....

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!!!

WHAT A DAY! Hope you all had a wonderful day celebrating our nations independence!! One of the many wonderful things about holiday is all of the foods we get to eat. Loads of BBQs, salads, desserts, etc. This year I introduced a couple new recipes to my repertoire and they were yummy indeed! The first one I want to share is from a blog I came across called Brandy's Baking. The recipe is Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake bars, can you say YUMMMO?!!!

Here's our creation of the recipe. It was a hit!!

First you make and bake the graham cracker crust.

Then make the cookie dough "crumble" topping and set aside. Next make the cheese cake and spread it over your crust.

Then add the cookie dough topping and bake. Cool and refrigerate! It's so yummy I'm sure it won't last long! Enjoy!

For the full recipe click here....

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Homemade Pretzles...

IN THE KITCHEN today we made homemade pretzels! They are the best! My oldest grew up making them, but this is the first time I've made them with my little guys. It was great fun. What a great way to spend a wet day, by playing with dough you can eat!

I used the recipe from Catholic Traditions in Cooking, by Ann Ball and have used it for years. It's a wonderful easy recipe that we all enjoy!

Here's the recipe:

1 pkg dry yeast                          4 cups flour
1 1/4 cup warm water                1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp salt                                     1 beaten egg
1 Tbsp sugar

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Then add the sugar and salt, stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Then add the flour and melted butter. Stir until it starts to become stiff and then move to the counter and kneed until elastic. Divide dough into small equal pieces. Roll into "snakes" and twist. Place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Brush with egg wash and add corse salt (if desired) and bake at 375 for 15 minutes, until golden.

**A note for my fellow Orthodox. We have had these a lot during the fast. In that case I have used lenten margerine and used almond milk for a wash and seems to be fine to help the salt stick to the pretzels.

Did you know that pretzels have a spiritual and historical significance? During the early years of Christianity pretzels were a lenten snack. Lenten bread made of water, flour and salt accompanied simple lenten meals of veggies and fruit and on certain days fish. In the west, as a sign for lent being a time of prayer, bakers shaped their bread in the form of arms crossed in prayer. Bracellae, the Latin word for "little arms", eventually became the Germanic "pretzel".

Enjoy your day!