As a kid I loved bringing cucumbers to the beach. I’d dip them in the ocean, take a bite, and repeat. The ocean salt spiced up the plain vegetable while oils of the Exxon Valdez added a savory flavor, and sewage added a tang. Mostly it was the salt though and I imagine I was not the first rebel to add salt to a fruit or vegetable using the world’s largest sodium vessel.
While I haven’t done this in years I can make a comparison to one of my favorite work-time breakfasts; an apple and a bag of pretzels. On their own they are dull and yearn to be baked into a pie, shot off the top of a jester’s head or smothered in mustard. But combined in alternating bites they are magical and do more than simply produce a salty apple. A few weeks ago I thought of how I could combine these ingredients in one dish and ultimately decided in the family-favorite apple crisp.
While preparing to be bored by the Super Bowl I decided to make an apple crisp to serve as dessert to treat my nursery-painting helpers. I followed a typical recipe of apples, flour, oats, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon but added a final topping of finely crushed pretzels rods as the final step. My concern was that the pretzels would become a soggy mess and ruin a perfectly good crisp. The output was predictably normal with the pretzels making quick cameos in selected bites. I was too careful in the this batch of crisp and used far too few pretzels. However, I did learn something; pretzels rods do not get soggy baked in an apple crisp. I needed a second try.