Tag Archives: Cheddar cheese

Crispy savoury homemade crackers

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We call them biscuits here in South Africa, actually. But I think what Americans call biscuits are more like puffy scones to us, so I thought I’d go for ‘crackers’ instead.

Anyway, the point is: here’s a recipe for the easiest, crunchiest, thinnest, spiciest savoury crackers you’ll ever make at home… courtesy of my dear mom’s collection of recipes from years of kitcheneering 😉

Four main ingredients

Four main ingredients

Crispy savoury crackers

Ingredients

1 C cake/all-purpose flour

2.5 ml salt

1 ml pepper (1 ml? Seriously? Why not just say a pinch?)

1 ml cayenne pepper (or more if you like it hot)

15 ml butter

1/2 C cheddar cheese, finely grated (I like mature cheddar for this)

Cold water

Method

1. Sift together dry ingredients in a bowl.

2. Rub in the butter.

3. Add the cheese and just enough water to make a stiff dough. (Add it bit by bit and ‘cut’ it gently into the flour with a knife.)

NB: Avoid any unnecessary kneading and pressing. This is the only tricky part of the recipe. Your dough should be dry-ish to the touch but sticky enough to form a messy clump:

Don’t overmix or add too much water!

4. Roll out very thinly. What I mean by thin is this:

Roll out thinly

Roll out thinly

If it’s three millimetres thick, that’s about the max 🙂

Thin now = crunchy later

5. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter of your choice and place crackers on a greased baking tray.

6. Prick the crackers with a fork several times each.

Pricked and primed for the oven

7. Bake for approx. 20 minutes at 190 °C. Afterwards, leave them to cool on the tray and they should just pop off easily.

NB #2: They burn very suddenly! Please keep an eye on them after the first 10 minutes and take them out when they start to look golden. They’re irredeemable when burnt but they’re fantastic when caught just a few minutes before that :mrgreen:

Golden harvest!

Golden harvest!

The idea is that you then use them as a base for any savoury topping you like… if you can stop yourself from eating them all before you prepare the first topping!

Perfect with savoury toppings or eaten plain

Perfect with savoury toppings or eaten plain

I’m sure you could change the spices in this recipe as you like, even adding dried herbs or changing the whole recipe into a sweet cracker instead (mmm… with cinnamon and cardamom perhaps… served still warm cracked over cold ice cream…). Ah, I was born to bake 🙂

Cheddar: how to stay young

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Have I discovered that cheddar cheese is the secret elixir of eternal youth? Alas, no (how I wish!).

But receiving Cheddar the Rat as a gift from my wonderful husband did make me think about what keeps us young at heart…

Here’s Cheddar:

Rat soft toy

Rat soft toy

Cheddar is a soft toy character from the ‘My Blue Nose Friends‘ series, related to the ubiquitous ‘Tatty Teddy’ or ‘Me to You’ brand. Cheddar is supposedly a female field mouse, but if you ask me it’s a male ratty 😉 (The Blue Nose series does include a ratty, Scraps, but his buck teeth bother me somewhat… I think my blue mousie is way cuter!)

Anyway, so what does this plush toy have to do with defying old age and staying youthful?

Well, it struck me as pretty cool that at my age, Ninja could get me a gift such as this, knowing I’d be happier with that than with something fancy or ‘grown-up’.

Sure there’s a time to be mature and behave properly. There’s a place for serious occasions and adult gifts. But I’d rather be fun than fancy, and in my opinion playfulness is a big factor in keeping people young.

Besides, I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Have you heard of Stephen Jepson? He’s an old man on a mission to stay young, and his key to success is creative play. If you have a moment (and even if you don’t), take a look at his website: Never Leave the Playground. How’s that for a healthy dose of inspiration?

So I may be well on my way to 30 and have plenty of real-world responsibilities to face each day, but most of the time I’m still just a happy little kid clutching my stuffed toy ratty and bouncing around with glee. Which is what I did – right there in the mall – when Ninja bought Cheddar for me 🙂

How can you add some play to your day too?

Zest