Cheese, Crackers, and a Little Whine

My posts have been farther a part than I planned.  Seems posting is more difficult and time-consuming than anticipated. And, it is time to do taxes.  I am great at procrastinating when it comes to getting started.  Once I start, I’m ok, but I am often gathering papers the first part of April.  In addition to this unpleasant task hanging over my head, our weather has been extra cool and dreary.  To avoid the return of cabin fever it became necessary to escape to the big city.  On Tuesday, the husband and I  visited the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.  It has recently been expanded and remodeled.  It is a beautiful spacious building.  We both enjoyed the Cattle Raisers exhibit,  Fort Worth History Gallery  and the Native American Gallery.  The CSI exhibit was a hands-on exhibit and I loved it.  The hubby was not so enthusiastic.   The museum is well-known for its excellent interactive children’s exhibits.  I can easily testify to this because every grade-school-aged child from Fort Worth and surrounding counties was there.

After a quiet lunch at Angelo’s Barbecue, we were off to see Avatar.  I was not excited about this.  Noise, battles, and conflict are not entertainment in my book.   Because we had a gift card to a specific theater and everything else showing there seemed to have a lot more conflict, noise, and battles, we agreed on Avatar.   Well, it wasn’t really agreed on, it was one of those husband/wife things that we won’t ever agree if I push for the love story.  As it turned out it was a love story and I enjoyed it.  Now, it does have battles and noise but they were tolerable and the 3D was great!  I’m ready to go see  Alice in Wonderland and Shrek 4.   If I can’t convince the husband I know Mel will go with me.

On Thursday Mel and I did a whirlwind trip to Southlake to pick up some essential non-essentials.  A trip to Crate and Barrel always involves a lot of exploring and the development of a long wish list.  For some reason I need 1 of most everything in Crate and Barrel and I’m almost as bad in The Container Store.  We had a semi-good lunch and a fabulous time visiting.

Monday morning was not too productive, so I returned to my newest cookbook Artisan Breads Every Day, by Peter Reinhart.  While signing  my book, Peter (we are on a first name basis) told me that the cracker recipe in the book was one of his favorites.  I like crackers but making  my own didn’t seem like it would be worth the time or effort.  Well, once again, I was wrong.    They are a wonderfully crisp and tasty cracker that really took very little time.  There are no corn products,  sugar, partially hydrogenated oils, leavening, high fructose syrup, or emulsifiers in these crackers.

1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, 3 tbls flaxseed, 6 tablespoons sesame seeds, 1 3/4  cup rye flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tbls vegetable oil, 1 tbls honey or agave nectar, 3/4 cup water, egg white mixed with 2 tbls water, and  extra seeds.Grind sunflower & pumpkin seeds to a fine powder.  Grind flax seed to fine powder.  Add all ingredients (except egg wash) to mixing bowl.  With paddle attachment mix 1-2 minutes on slow speed.  Add flour if dough is sticky.  Place on floured board, knead 30 seconds to insure the dough holds together.

Preheat oven to 300.  Divide dough in 4 equal portions. Prepare 1 baking sheet for each portion, using parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Roll each portion to about 1/16 of an inch on lightly floured surface.  Turn often to prevent sticking.   Brush the dough with the egg wash, sprinkle with seeds of your choice.  I used sesame and poppy.  Use a pizza cutter to cut dough into rectangles.  Place on prepared pans. Place in oven, bake 10 minutes, rotate pans and bake 10 minutes, once again rotate and bake until golden brown and fairly dry.  Multiple pans may be placed on different shelves.  Allow to cool in pans.  If they do not snap crisp when cooled return them to the oven for a few minutes.  Store in airtight container for 8 days at room temperature or in the freezer until you have used them up.  These are wonderful with the cheese of your choice, my favorite being smoked Gouda.So, I’ve had my whine about the weather, two days to escape, and now I’ll enjoy my cheese, crackers and maybe, a little wine.  Maybe I’ll start my taxes tomorrow….. oh, maybe not, the sun going to shine and the next day……well, I’m sure I shouldn’t do taxes on Sunday, maybe Monday……………………

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