Super chewy, soft pretzels put a smile on the face of even the crankiest kid, so it’s no surprise that families are flocking from Suffolk to Nassau for a freshly baked dozen of the real deal. The Pretzel Shop, located in Rockville Centre, offers hands-on pretzel making classes for families that allow you to skip the trek to find a great pretzel and learn how to make one in your own kitchen.
“Pretzels are my passion,” owner Carolyn Vella, says. “We wanted to share our love for baking with other families.” Vella's inspiration for opening the nut-free bakery was her son Michael, who has many food allergies. “Our goal was to create an environment that is safe for all children.” Vella’s history with pretzels dates back to a home her family used to have in the Poconos. “We used to go to the flea market every week to get hot pretzels from a small vendor."
The pretzel dough is freshly mixed and twisted by hand every day. In fact, when we walked into the shop, bakers were mixing dough right in front of us. Its flavor and smell upon entering the shop comes from a traditional baking method. In addition to the homemade pretzels and nuggets, the bakery offers a variety of cookies, candies and treats.
Thursday through Sunday, the head artisan pretzel bakers teach families the ins and outs of making an authentic Philadelphia-style pretzel from scratch, including how to twist the dough into shape and create a brown crispy exterior and a fluffy doughy interior. The interactive class, which costs $15 per person, provides the techniques to mix, knead, shape and bake the quintessential pretzel. Plus, families will learn the history of the popular snack and get a tour of the behind the scenes action. At the end of class, attendees enjoy trying the fresh pretzels they made with classic toppings such as cheddar cheese, ranch, chipotle, aioli, chocolate, caramel, buttercream, and cinnamon sugar. There are also four different types of mustards offered: yellow, spicy, honey, dijon and whole grain.
The Pretzel Shop is a great destination for birthday celebrations. Its “Celebrate with a Twist” party packages include an hour and a half of pretzel making. It also includes individual sets of dough, aprons, chef hats, wood boards and dipping sauce for $18.95 per child. Pretzel nuggets and refreshments are given while children twist. Once the pretzels go into the oven, a pizza lunch is served. The birthday boy or girl gets to bake for free and for an additional fee, popcorn, cupcakes, face painting, cake, goody bags and live entertainment is offered.
The best part of the experience is that you can easily replicate the recipe at home. Cooking together can be a delicious learning experience for children and their parents. Kids can explore new foods, learn about nutrition, and develop math and reading skills as they measure and read directions. Who knows maybe a trip to The Pretzel Shop will inspire your little one to spend more time in the kitchen learning to cook?
The Pretzel Shop is located at 106 S Long Beach Rd. in Rockville Centre. You can get more information by visiting the shop’s website at www.thepretzelshop.com or calling (516) 543-5050.
Tiredness Has a New Meaning
Everyone warns you about the tiredness, oh the bone crushing tiredness that comes with being a parent. But nothing, I repeat NOTHING, can prepare you for what a sleepless night(s) feels like.
I’m a control freak and a perfectionist so this one was the hardest for me. I’ve learned to let go more. Like, a whole lot more. I’m still working on this because it’s a tough one but my house is a lot messier than it ever was, my nails don’t get done as often as they used to, I shower less…I could keep going but overall, I’m a HOT MESS and I’m learning to embrace it. It’s my new story. Motherhood is a gift and its so much better than running around in my perfect little outfit doing God knows what. I seriously cannot remember what the heck I did with all that extra time I had. WOW.
Embrace Each Phase
Most moms will tell you that it gets easier but I was lucky to have a mom friend that told me the truth. It doesn’t get easier. Why? Because once you think you’ve got it down; you’ll have to start all over again. Babies are constantly changing. I thought that feeding around the clock was hard but what I didn’t know was that the newborn phase was the easiest. I had so much free time, which is probably why I was blogging so much more than I am now. Yes, feeding the baby around the clock is hard work but it was all I did. The baby ate, slept and pooped. Once that phase was over, there’s night weaning, a tighter and more filled schedule, teething, keeping your baby occupied because they want more attention, way less time for yourself because they sleep less than they did during the day when they were just newborns, the introduction of solids (holy work), teaching them to sit up, and tummy time. Right now, I feel pretty good, like I’ve got the hang of this new phase but I know it will all change once he is mobile then we will have to START. ALL. OVER. AGAIN.
Let Your Baby Be a Baby
Doctors and other moms are always forcing you to get your baby to grow up so fast. They try to get you to teach your baby independence so early. Who’s weaned, who’s potty trained, who’s sleeping alone all through the night, who’s reading chapter books? Whoever achieves independence first wins. Why are we rushing them through babyhood? My doctor was forcing me into getting Richie into the crib at 3 months. I’m glad I didn’t listen to him. I was really rattled for a while when I thought that I was doing something wrong by co-sleeping until Richie was almost 7 months. But I wouldn’t take back co-sleeping with my sweet babe for one second. Not one. Because he won’t be a baby forever and having him close to me was so special. I was able to easily nurse him and it was peaceful knowing he was safe. He’ll sleep in his own bed now for the rest of his life. I got to snuggle him for 7, just 7 months. Don’t rush things if you don’t want to. Your baby can be a baby. It’s OK.
Give Yourself a Break
I stopped trying to put on my super skinny jeans. I stopped trying to have it all together. Ok, another one that is SO hard but I’m learning to be easier on myself. At the end of the day, try not to beat yourself up for all things you wish you had done. They will get done in their own time. When I look back on all I’ve accomplished in these short 7 months, I am amazed. Thank GOD for my insanely helpful and supportive husband, but holy crap, we kept a human alive and healthy for this long. We are amazing.
Mom Friends Are Your Sanity
I would've NEVER been able to make it through these months if I didn't have my mom friends. These moms are there to remind you that you are normal. You are amazing. And you can do it. They've been there. They've been through it. And the good ones will NEVER judge you.
You'll Have More Patience
Babies can sense when you are rushing. Babies can sense frustration. Patience is important when you are taking care of them. When I feel myself on the verge of losing it, which is easy to do when you are exhausted, I remind myself of that. I have to dig really deep. But I’ve learned to take a deep breath and let it the frustration go.
**I started writing this post when Richie turned 6 months then well, Mom Life, so I'm sharing his 6 months photos anyway. Because come on, he is so darn cute.
natalie ferro aurigema
Sharing all the things that make me happy through this blog.
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