Wednesday, August 10, 2011

10 August 1957 “Easy Cheese Crackers and Staycation Under Way”

poolsidefamilyThere is something about getting out of the pool or ocean or water, basking in the sun and reaching for those deadly delicious little cheese crackers. Perhaps it was my actual childhood in the 70’s and 80’s, but Cheese crackers, be they Cheezit, Nips, Store brand, just had that taste of Summer. The damp hands, dripping hair and warming sun mingled with the sandy legs or smell of chlorine and then that quick taste of cheesy goodness.

It of course follows that I would try to make my own. And I have in the past as well. I have shared that recipe. And much as most of my pastry type recipes it calls for cold butter broken into flour. If you have a food processor, which I do not (Well, my hands, a hand held pastry cutter, or two knives are My food processor) it can be quick and easy.

The other day, after swimming, I had a powerful craving for these little yummies. I often don’t buy such items as they don’t fit my food budget and I do try to stick with homemade. Though, this Summer, I have treated myself a few times with the actual thing, in the package, just for ole’ times sake. I have to say, I don’t know it there is a chemical additive, but I could honestly eat an entire box of Cheezits myself! While, the same amount of homemade cheese crackers, I never could. It would be far too filling.

Hubby mentioned to me that they use labs and spend quite a bit on the chemical compounds to affect the eating stimuli in the brain and such procedures are used to mix the right amout of this and that into processed foods so our brain literally doesn’t know when to stop. I believe it, as having done the experiment, it works every time. Cheezit’s, easily the whole box; Homemade: usually around 20 crackers and I am done.

Well, onto my point. I wanted to make some easy crackers and being without a food processor (save my own little hands), I thought I would try an experiment. Instead of cold butter, room temperature/soft butter and rather than use water, cooking oil (Olive/veg what have you). The following was the surprisingly flaky and wonderfully delicious results.

 cheesecrackers1 Look how flaky and wonderful. Here is the simple recipe. You can always fudge here or there. More oil if you need, less, more cheese. You want the dough to be easily made into a ball without sticking to your fingers. You can even sprinkle the top before baking with Romano or Mozzerella, garlic salt, what have you, go nuts.

 50’s Gal EasyCheezy Crackers

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons soft butter

1 cup grated cheese (your choice of cheese, a medium to hard cheese preferred)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, but recommended)

4 tablespoons olive/vegetable oil

Mix the ingredients until dough like and then for easy rolling, place between two layers of waxed paper.cheesecrackers2

cheesecrackers3 With a knife cut Cheese Cracker size squares (about an inch square) and then poke holes with a fork. This allows for flaking and puffing of crackers and even cooking.

Cook in a 350 F oven for about 25 minutes. Watch them and then decide how dark you like them. This first batch, which is lighter, were so good and had a more gourmet taste, like a cheese straw. But, I found if I cooked them a bit longer until they turned a darker orange, they tasted SO close to the Cheezit brand crackers (without the chemical engineering to not stop eating of course).

cheesecrackers4 You can see the do not have to be all uniform and look lovely in a jar on the counter. They last about five days in a sealed jar. These are easy and well worth the little time to make them. You could make a double batch the day before a picnic or beach outing and surprise your family or friends. They will ask for me, believe me.

As hubby and I are still busy with our staycation, I have been a very bad blogger and I do apologize. We have had some rainy days thus far, but were able to do our usual bike to the beach, swim, read, relax and then bike into town for lunch, tea and lazy summer afternoon poking about the shops. Just as we returned from our day yesterday, we sat on our little terrace and enjoyed a fire in the little fireplace, some cake and coffee and then the rain began again. But, hubby went off to his office to write and Gussie and I headed out to our Barn to play cards and Chinese checkers while the dogs lazed on the old wing chairs and the rain beat upon the old windows. It was a very good Summer day.

This year, despite all the continued stress with our rental property and tenants, it has been that sort of Summer that you don’t want to end. Great lazy days mix with my usual busy days of chores and to-doing. Casual moments for lunch or bike rides, cool dips in the ocean or fun excursions to find our ‘treasures’ from the sea to line mantels and window sills. Overall, it has been a good Summer.

Though, I know, that Autumn is on its heels. Every so often I catch its strong scent in the end of the Summer rain. That slightly ripe and rotting tone that Autumn brings. I have always loved that season and when it arrives, I am sure I shall. But, today, this week, with hubby home and Summer still seeming to stretch before us, I have to say I am not excited about Fall just yet. How about you, do you live where there are seasons? Do you look forward to the change? What is your favorite season?


  1. I'm so glad you're enjoying your stay-cation.
    Like you, we live in an area where people come to vacation, so we don't mind recreating here.
    Our area is where the Rockies meet the prairies and we have 4 reservoirs within 30 miles of home. We like to fish with our old boat or camp with the trailer we found on Craig's List. Our little vacations are restful rather than a two week tour that leaves the whole family feeling exhausted.
    Last week brought hot weather to our area, but this week the temps are cooler, staying under 80 degrees. It is lovely and it reminds us that in a month's time we will begin to see an explosion of color around us.
    I love summer with the gardening, bicycling, fishing and camping and picnics. Fall is lovely too, as our focus begins to move indoors. We're hunters, so fall is the season for that.
    Have a delightful day.............Denise

  2. I love cheezits in the summer too. Your recipes looks good, I'll have to try it. My son really loves them; of course, being five years old, he'll probably not like the home made ha ha.
    I like fall the best, always have. I like the colors, the smells, the kids going back to school. I always loved back to school time myself, so even before I had kids, I still liked the idea of kids going back to school---brings back good memories of walking through crunchy leaves in knee socks and brand new Buster Browns, swinging my bookbag. That said, I'm going to wring the last bits of fun out of this summer before it's gone!
    Happy Staycation!!!

  3. we just moved from florida to upstate new york. we've been in summer mode since around april, so i am really looking forward to a new england autumn. i can't wait to feel that crisp air and the smell of wood burning stoves and the colorful leaves, etc. i guess i am gushing, but i have been in florida for 20 years and i can't wait.

  4. I had a mini-rant on my blog yesterday about how food companies are poisoning us and that we need to really return to WWII-style eating when we were the most healthy. Your admission about the cheese crackers reinforces my determination to avoid processed foods as much as possible.

    I miss living in parts of the country where we could enjoy seasons. Being in Los Angeles, our seasons are fire season and not as hot season. I was thinking this morning that I should start thinking about when I'm going to plant my vegetable garden. It made me chuckle--while everyone else is harvesting their bounty, I'm planting since it is too hot in my yard to grow anything during the summer.

    I'll savor Autumn (my favorite time of year) through you!

  5. Ohh, what a lovely feeling you brought here. :) In Denmark we have two seasons – a green and a white Winter! No, just kidding, but that’s what the Danes say for fun. We have four seasons and I love all four. In fact I think our weather is much like yours. This year we have had a very bad Summer, rain, rain, and more rain. It has been cold and windy and it already feels much like Autumn. But I find beauty and cosyness in every season. I love sitting in my vintage garden swing in the Summer evenings, after coming home from work and having done the household chores. DH and I make ourselves a pot of tea and sit there talking, perhaps I will be knitting. We enjoy the view over our old-fashioned house and garden. I love the beginning of the Autumn, all the colours and we start moving indoors and even the first fire in the fireplace. But our Winter is way too long. It is cold and dark and windy for sooo very long. If it wasn’t for Christmas I would die. Then comes Spring and everything is lovely again, after a long Danish Winter we Danes really appreciate Spring. I love seasons and I adore holidays. I love to celebrate, I love to decorate and I love traditions. I don’t think I could live in a country with Summer all year long, but I could definitely use some Summer this year – please send some sunshine. :)

  6. Oh, I loooove cheese crackers! I will definitely be trying this recipe - thanks!

  7. Mmm... I wonder how they'd be made with whole grain or coconut flour? I have to mind my blood sugar now due to gestational diabetes but cheese and butter are very much ON the menu! A cheesy cracker, topped with cheese (and maybe a side of cheese to go with it) would hit the spot right now.

  8. As it is my last day as a SAHM for a while I a going to try those crackers for the kids for afterschool - I know they won't last 5 days around here!
    Here in Mackay, Queensland, Australia it is nearing the end of winter - it has been cold enough to have a doona at night, and we used the heater twice this year! It rains about once a week so stays quite green until the wet season in summer.
    My tomato plants grow all year - they self seed - but I am planting carrots and corn now. Now for some chooks!

  9. I just tried these and the are delicious! Thanks for the recipe, now I can enjoy 'Cheez-its' even here in Europe : )


 Search The Apron Revolution