We were very fortunate to be able to get an artist guided tour of Renee’s show Field Notes! Her brightly colored and energetic overlapping patterns are a feast for the eyes, food pun intended. Inspired by biological and marine organisms, the works in this show explore a fascination with both the familiar and unfamiliar. She says, “The abundance of sensory information in the work is like the external environment we often find ourselves in.” There is a beautiful stomatopod the likes of which we haven’t seen since The Oatmeal’s Mantis Shrimp comic.
Afterward, we travelled to Renee’s house about a block from Michael’s old apartment. He’s pretty sure they were neighbors for a little while. Most of Renee’s house is covered salon style with artwork, including the kitchen where she & her husband taught us how to make Pretzels and Beer Cheese. Beer Cheese! I can’t imagine making it this far never having consumed beer cheese.
After making these pretzels for numerous parties they have become a staple in their repertoire. Pretzels do take quite a while, but Renee and her husband Jim like to make a double batch. The last time they made them for a party, the pretzels disappeared immediately. I think it might have been the beer cheese.
- 3-31/2 C All Purpose Flour
- 1 TBSP Sugar
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 (1/4 oz) package active dry yeast
- 1C Water
- 1 TBSP Shortening or Butter
- 6C Water
- 1/4C Baking Soda
- Non-stick spray
- 2 TBSP Butter Melted
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 1 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Tsp Celery Salt
- 1 Tsp Mustard
- 1 Bottle of lager, flat
- 1 lb Cheddar or other favorite cheese
- S/P to taste
- 1. Combine 3 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a bowl.
- 2. Heat 1 cup water and shortening or butter in a small saucepan.
- 3. Add liquid to flour mixture until combined either in a mixer or food processor.
- 4. Knead in up to an additional 1/3 cup of flour until mixture is combined and elastic.
- 5. Place dough in a greased bowl to rise until it has doubled in size, approx 45 min.
- 1. Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender to combine into a paste.
- 2. Place in fridge after combined.
- 1. Split dough into 12 even balls
- 2. Roll each ball out into long ropes, about 16 inches.
- 3. Shape into pretzels and place on a cookie sheet to rise and additional 20 minutes.
- 4. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- 1. Bring 6 Cups of water to a gentle boil and add baking soda.
- 2. Slowly drop pretzels into the water, one at a time, cooking for 15 seconds each side.
- 3. Remove from water with a slotted spoon, return to cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt.
- 4. Bake for about 8 minutes, pull from oven and brush melted with melted butter.
- 5. Bake an additional 2 minutes.
- Serve with Beer!
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