Spicy Birds

If you'd have asked me this morning, I'd have told you that laziness is the Mother of Invention. As it turns out, I was wrong. It is, in fact, soup.
At least it is in this case - soup in general and the canned tomato variety in particular. I had grown weary of my usual lunch (a ploughman-ish affair of saltines, good chutney, good cheese and sweet pickles) and found myself craving something warm in my belly. I was just getting really excited by the ensuing midday meal when I realized that there was not a cracker to be had.

Well there goes lunch, I thought - but wait! We have always wanted to bake our own crackers - why not take this opportunity to whip up our OWN handmade crispy, munchy crackers? How hard can it be?!

Turns out it is dead simple. A couple of cups of flour, add liquid and fat and mix until dough just starts to hold together. Roll thin, cut out, pop in oven - and you've got a cookie sheet's worth of the crunchy little darlings in 20 minutes.

Now flavourings - that's another kettle of fish entirely. I have never been one to opt for "normal" flavours, especially when left to my own devices. Combine this with the fact that I am a completely LAPSED baker and, well - you end up with such food-fiascos as the lovely-sounding Pine Nut Brittle with Lavender Blossoms. That time I managed to over-toast the pine nuts and was heavy-handed with the lavender. The entire affair tasted like burnt soap, and five years on it continues to engender comment.

Since I wanted to actually consume these current crackers I opted for the classic flavour combination of olive oil and freshly-ground pepper. Not being one to completely buck "tradition" I used a blend of multi-coloured peppercorns and edible flower petals. Old habits, etc.
Then it was time to roll and cut the crackers and with it another chance for customization. For the first batch I cut them into penguins; the following two I opted for less-intensive squares. I couldn't believe how nicely they turned out - sweet and flaky from the olive oil, with just enough peppery kick - and they don't taste soapy in the least. And just look how cute!
I toured one of my crunchy penguins around the parlour in a celebratory victory lap.
He was delicious!


Ruth said...

This simply would never have occurred to me, and now I'm going to have to try it.

tamara said...

Wonderful to have your blogger-ly voice back!
And, as yummy as those crackers look, I'm more curious about the crocodile in the last picture: is it from the old Red Rose tea box?

karen alho said...

Glad to have you back! The other quickie to check out for something crackery is lavosh.

Renarde said...

I love your style of knitting and as much your style of writing.I might even like your style of cooking! How cute. Should we expect a Pinguin Cracker Mitten Pattern anytime soon? Lol