Pandemic Journal, Day 641

I made pretzels again today, and for the first time, I was able to roll them out to the 18-24” length that the directions suggest you need before making the twist. I wish I knew what I did right – was it:

  • Letting the butter soften for 90 minutes before starting things?
  • Adding an extra couple of tablespoons of water during the mixing process to incorporate all the flour?
  • Mixing longer than usual so that all of the dough wound up in one ball?
  • Letting the dough rest an extra five minutes before shaping it because we were finishing up lunch at the time?

Or was it some combination of the above? Or was I just lucky?

Boiling the pretzels on the induction cooktop was a real pleasure compared to the electric cooktop; at no point in the process did I worry that it was going to boil over (I usually had to move the pot off the burner a few times with the old top).

We wanted to watch the Worldcon Masquerade, but it was on at dinnertime. I thought it would be available for delayed streaming – and it will be, but not until after the con ends. Oh, well; at least I’ll know to plan time for the Hugos tomorrow.

After dinner, we did go to one panel: Science Talk 11: Space Exploration. We tuned in about 20 minutes into the first panelist’s talk – he had lots of slides with lots of words and he read them to us. The other two talks were much more interesting – Katie Mack’s “Mars or Bust?” went into problems with getting to Mars and living there (and possible solutions), and Geoffrey Landis took us through some possible uncrewed Titan missions.

Katie Mack finished her talk with a lovely photo of Earth, taken by the Curiosity rover. It’s not quite the same as seeing it first-hand, but it’s pretty amazing nonetheless!