Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) parents, youth, and readers worldwide,

When one thinks of Spring-time in the U.S. one most likely thinks of warm weather, green grass, barbeques, and the return of outdoor sports (especially baseball!). What is a great snack often sold by vendors at these outdoor sporting events? PRETZELS!!! But have you ever tried making your very own pretzel (microwaving one from a box found in the local grocery store doesn’t count)? Most of our youth had not experienced the joy experienced by making a homemade pretzel. Thanks to help from the crew at Ben’s Soft Pretzels in West Lafayette, our youth had the opportunity to finally enjoy the experience of making their very own handmade, home-cooked (or masjid-cooked in our case) pretzels. Using dough, soda water, and a heated oven (plus some very strong muscles), our youth put their energy to good use this afternoon in the kitchen as they prepared delicious homemade pretzels (in various shapes, designs, and sizes as you’ll see in the pictures below):

After dividing our youth into teams, the elder lads patiently awaited their turn in the kitchen by conversing about the beauty of the red tablecloth before them...

After dividing our youth into teams, the elder lads patiently awaited their turn in the kitchen by conversing about the beauty of the red tablecloth before them…

 

Meanwhile our youngest members take the chance to inspect the pretzel dough..."Ooooo, it's gooey and fluffy," shout out Nurideen, Hasan, and Ahmed.

Meanwhile our youngest members take the chance to inspect the pretzel dough…”Ooooo, it’s gooey and fluffy,” shout out Nurideen, Hasan, and Ahmed.

 

Br. Sabir provides Abdelrahman with a few helpful tips on twisting his dough into a pretzel shape...

Br. Sabir provides Abdelrahman with a few helpful tips on twisting his dough into a pretzel shape as Mustafa cheers them on…

 

A few twists and turns later, Abdelrahman has made his pretzel!

A few twists and turns later, Abdelrahman has made his pretzel!

 

Hasan gets to work rolling out his dough before folding it into position...believe it or not, he rolled his dough into a four foot cylinder!

Hasan gets to work rolling out his dough before folding it into position…believe it or not, he rolled his dough into a four foot cylinder!

 

Our elder youth have lost their patience and have begun a random game of tag in the multipurpose room...Danyal appears ready to threaten the mentors with a plastic baseball bat..."we want PRETZELS!!!"

Our elder youth have lost their patience and have begun a random game of tag in the multipurpose room…Danyal appears ready to threaten the mentors with a plastic baseball bat…”we want PRETZELS!!!”

 

Basim leads our older youth into the kitchen and shows them the fine art of crafting a delicious pretzel...nice work Basim!

Basim leads our older youth into the kitchen and shows them the fine art of crafting a delicious pretzel…nice work Basim!

 

"Look mom, I'm in the kitchen cooking!" Omar is now officially ready to go home, don the chef's hat, and prepare a five-course meal for his family (at least our mentors think so).

“Look mom, I’m in the kitchen cooking!” Omar is now officially ready to go home, don the chef’s hat, and prepare a five-course meal for his family (at least our mentors think so).

 

Karim gets to work rolling the pretzel dough as Hasan encourages him with two fist pumps in the air!

Karim gets to work rolling the pretzel dough as Hasan encourages him with two fist pumps in the air!

 

Hamza carefully presses and rolls his dough into its final shape before twisting his dough carefully...

Hamza carefully presses and rolls his dough into its final shape before twisting his dough carefully…

 

Finally, time to eat alhamdulillah! As you're about to see, our youth made some interesting looking pretzels...before you appears what we like to call "the doggy bone."

Finally, time to eat alhamdulillah! As you’re about to see, our youth made some interesting looking pretzels…before you appears what we like to call “the doggy bone.”

 

...next we have the "pretzel magnanamus" given this pretzel's unbelievable size...

…next we have the “pretzel magnanamus” given this pretzel’s unbelievable size…

 

...bottom right corner we have what has been dubbed "the frog" pretzel...

…bottom right corner we have what has been dubbed “the frog” pretzel…

 

...and finally we have Danyal's "Horn of A Ram" pretzel. Omar cant take his eyes off of Danyal's impressive work of art.

…and finally we have Danyal’s “Horn of A Ram” pretzel. Omar can’t take his eyes off of Danyal’s impressive work of art.

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