Bookish Eats: Soft Pretzels and The Queen of Attolia

In case you haven't been keeping up with me on Goodreads or Twitter, I recently re-read The Queen of Attolia (5 years after I read it initially). The first time, it was rough. I was bored, I was an impatient reader, and I didn't pay attention to the subtleties. I discovered after re-reading Name of the Wind that sometimes when you read a book years later, there's a chance you might like it a lot better! So I decided to re-read The Thief and The Queen of Attolia. Excellent decision, because now I am absolutely in love with the series, and King of Attolia is one of the best books I've read all year (and it's been a great year for books).

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So.... what does this have to do with pretzels?

Quite a bit, actually! Like with Queen of Attolia, the first time I made soft pretzels from scratch, I was pretty impatient and didn't pay any attention to the subtleties of pretzel-making. For example, I didn't wait quite long enough for the yeast to make the dough rise, so the dough wasn't quite as puffy as it could have been. That led to overall less dough, which means overall less pretzels :(

As for subtleties, I didn't pay attention to the amount of time you had to boil the pretzels in basic solution before baking them. I just kind of dipped them and took them out, so they didn't end up golden brown like pretzels are supposed to be. But despite these kitchen misadventures, the finished product ended up being pretty good!

But the second time I made pretzels, I went more slowly and actually paid attention to the little things (much like my Attolia re-read), and the finished product was SO MUCH BETTER. Much better than I expected, you could say ;)

Look, I actually left the pretzels to boil for a whole minute!

And for a less abstract parallel between soft pretzels and the Queen of Attolia: The Queen of Attolia is surprisingly quite a plot-twisty book, so it's only fitting that twisted up pretzels are my culinary tribute to the book. Just when you think you understand a character, revelations are slammed at you and you have to rethink everything you thought you knew. There's the obvious giant bombshell in the middle of the book, but there's also the less bombshell twist at the end, and all the twisty political intrigue from Attolia, Eddis, and the Mede.

look at those twisty pretzels :)

So yes, devour this series the way you'd devour freshly baked pretzels because this series is definitely worth immersing yourself in...just be sure to take it slow.

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