This year’s Advent Film Festival is chock-full of double features!! Each week, we’ll watch a pair of classic, comedic films the kids have not yet seen and which, in some way shape or form, convey the Christmas spirit. To that end, we’ve chosen to structure our first three Double Feature Fridays [and yes, there will be a bonus post on Dec 27] around specific actors the kids already admire. First up? William Powell. Why? The kids absolutely adore William Powell in both The Kennel Murder Case and The Thin Man. Tonight, we’ll watch two Powell movies which are set just after Christmas and which get us thinking about how soon people may or may not forget about the spirit of the season. Those movies are My Man Godfrey  and After The Thin Man [also 1936].
A note on editions: Godfrey was long part of the public domain, and so there are several grainy and poorly edited copies of the film floating about. Your best bet is to have a look at the Criterion Collection edition if possible. And, yes, you’re likely to hear the beginning of Tennyson’s poem, “The Lotus Eaters” during Godfrey! Don’t think we’ll go to bed before we have a look at that!!
To go with our Friday “classic” films of Advent we’ll be enjoying a “classic snack” drawn from the archives of The Lunchbox Season and our sister Site, Summer of Funner. Tonight, we’ll be enjoying a batch of our famous Pilsner Pretzels. The recipe below is drawn from our Kids Make Street Eats post from the summer of 2012.
Pilsner Pretzels [Soft Beer Pretzels]
- 1/2 c warm water
- 2 tbs brown sugar
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 pckg active dry yeast
- 1 c Creemore Springs Pilsner or any beer - light or dark - of your choice
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 4 1/2 c all purpose flour
- vegetable oil spray works best
- 10 c water for boiling
- 1/2 c baking soda
- 2 egg yolks beaten with 1 tbs cold water
- coarse salt or pretzel salt
- Combine water, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer.
- Let sit for 5 minutes or until foamy.
- Add beer (mixture will foam up lots more) and stir to combine.
- Gradually add the flour and butter, adding flour by the 1/2 cup, mixing with the dough hook on low speed.
- [You may not need to add the entirety of the flour to reach a smooth consistency]
- Knead the dough at medium speed until the dough smooths out and begins to pull away from the bowl.
- Remove dough to a clean, oiled bowl.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for about an hour, until dough rises or doubles.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with vegetable oil.
- Divide dough into 8 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece into a long rope, about 18-20 inches long.
- Bring the dough-rope into a horseshoe shape, free ends north, curve south.
- Bring the free ends together and twist the rope once or twice near these free tips (but with an inch or so to spare).
- Bring this knotted portion down to the middle/center of the original horseshoe.
- Pinch free ends down onto edges of dough to form a pretzel shape.
- If all else fails, roll out a rope and twist it into something that looks like a pretzel!
- Place pretzels back onto baking pan.
- Allow pretzels to rise again slightly as you...
- Preheat the oven to 450.
- Bring the 10 c water and .6 c baking soda to boil in a pot or roasting pan.
- Add pretzels 1 or 2 at a time to the pan and boil for 30 seconds, spooning tops with boiling water.
- Remove the pretzels with flat slotted spatula.
- Return the pretzels to the parchment lined pans.
- Brush them with the beaten egg-yolk & water mixture.
- Sprinkle with coarse salt to suit your taste.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden-warm brown.
- Cool pretzels on wire racks until you just can't help yourself and dig in!!!!