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Friday, June 19, 2009

Putting the camp twist on homemade pretzels

Back in April, I blogged about rising early to prep for a camp pretzel-making program I put together for some kids and their families during a family camp session. Below you can see some of the pretzels they shaped that day!

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The thing I love about cooking at camp is that it really opens people's eyes up to ways of cooking they never dreamed of doing with their families. In the same way that parents introduce kids to the source of their food through farmer's markets, introducing new recipes to families can empower them to experience food as more than food consumers. Also, it's fun! During these activities, I can see that people gain new relationships to what they are eating-- whether through the sense of pride that comes from creating something with their own hands, making a recipe outside one's own cultural traditions, watching kids try something new for the first time, or simply because time spent making this recipe is rare time spent together.

One of my favorite moments was when one of the teen campers started twirling the pretzel dough, in the style a passer by might see in a bakeshop window. When I asked her how she learned to do that, she said that she had seen a baker doing it in the mall. She then proceeded to show others around her how to twirl the dough before shaping the pretzel. "How big should they be?" people kept asking. The great thing about this recipe is that it didn't really matter. Kids could choose to shape their pretzels however they wanted.

Everyone was putting their own twist on the recipe, and that was the magic of it all.
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