Continuing to play catch up!

Back in March, during my sister’s spring break I headed down to Pa to spend the day with my mom and sister. My mom decided on a day trip to Lancaster County, and instead of purely going to Amish Country to take a horse and buggy tour we ventured off the beaten path.

First stop, Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, the first hard pretzel baking company in the world. Indeed Julius Sturgis invented the concept of a hard pretzel after leaving soft pretzels in the oven overnight.

Growing up in the Philadelphia area pretzels were my go to snack. After moving to New York and studying abroad in London, I was amazed that others did not share my love of pretzels. After our visit to the factory it become a bit clearer why Pennsylvanians love their pretzels, it’s the pretzel state capital!

I learned lots of little facts about pretzels and pretzel making during our tour. For one, the original concept of a pretzel (soft) came from Italian monks who used them as treats for children when they learned their prayers. The Italian word for pretzel-Pretziola.

Our tour guide describing how to make a pretzel and how the shape originated:

A few other pretzel fun facts:

-“tying the knot” =getting married, came from twisting of the pretzel

-the 3 holes in the pretzel=the 3 trinites

-original pretzel makers at sturgis made 10 cents per hour, in the 1860s that was the second highest paying gig in the area

After pretzel making and tour we visited an alpaca farm per my sister’s request.

The veterinarian was in the middle of giving vaccinations when we pulled up but they told us to hang around for a little so we could see a few potentially pregnant alpacas get ultrasounds. How cool is that! Another fun fact learned, pregnant alpacas will spit, kick, or run away when re-introduced to the stud male. The ultrasound just provides clear evidence.

We then used yelp to find a local place to eat and then made it in time for the last ice cream making session at the Turkey Hill Experience.

Apart from making our own ice  cream flavors there are so many chances to eat ALL THE ICE CREAM and sample Turkey beverages during the tour.

For the ice cream making session we started with a base of vanilla then added base flavoring and various add-ins. We ate a serving or two and then attempted to save the rest with ice. Of course it all melted by the time we made the two hour drive home, but it was still cold so we put it in the freezer and it was fine the next day. That said, if you ever go bring some dry ice or be prepared to eat >1 pint of ice cream ;).

Last fun fact, as of 2015 Butter Pecan took over as the number one ice cream sold nation wide. Vanilla had previously held the spot forever!

Catch you on the other side of 30…that is my 30th birthday!