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?

 Search The Apron Revolution