For the past six years or so Matt's parents have watched every Super Bowl from our living room. It started right after Matt moved into our first house, when we were engaged. The idea of making dinner and having his family over was exciting. I made a chicken casserole, green beans, and rolls, and our tradition was born. Now we always have that casserole and watch together. That is absolutely the right kind of party for me. We enjoy each others' company, watch the game (when it is exciting), watch the commercials, and chat. Beautiful. We don't have to worry that the food isn't safe for Harper and we can put her to bed at halftime.
For over a month I have "owed" Matt a batch of homemade soft pretzels that I was going to make for Christmas Eve but ran out of time. Then I was going to make them to enjoy with New Year's Day football when we were in Wisconsin, but I forgot to bring the recipe. So today I finally made some. And Harper "helped."
It was a huge mess, beginning with the cup and a half of water she spilled on the counter and floor in the first thirty seconds of our project. Not that water is difficult to clean up, but it didn't seem a good omen at the time. After a lot of deep breathing and mental reminders that nothing we were using couldn't be cleaned up with a wet rag, broom, or vacuum, I just let it go. I had to choose to let it be messy and deal with it later, which is hard for me. I'm not a fanatic about cleaning the house, but I tend to avoid situations that lead to certain disaster, like baking with a toddler. Matt was at basketball games for the morning and early afternoon, so it was make pretzels with Harper or don't make them at all.
So we just dug in. Harper had so much fun. First there was lots of dumping and stirring. I don't think I've ever heard the phrase, "I want to do it," so many consecutive times. Then we had to actually turn the mound of dough into pretzels. Fortunately the pretzel dough is only yeast, flour, sugar, salt, and water because when we got to the kneading and pretzel forming stage all Harper did was pinch dough from the mound, roll it into little balls and eat it. She also really enjoyed spreading the flour around on the work surface.
With each bit of dough she put in her mouth she exclaimed, "Dat's tasty!" And you try to stop a two-year-old from eating the dough when your own hands are coated with pretzel gunk. There's not much you can do. Once all the pretzels were formed, I did remove Harper, wash her hands and get her distracted with something else. I did the egg brushing and salt sprinkling myself.
The game was fine, the pretzels were delicious!