a little invincible

Last week, I finally picked up The United States of Arugula by David Kamp and reading it, I was struck - as I was reading My Life in France - by Julia Child's otherness. When she was my age, she was in a similar place: working as a career girl, but kind of floundering. And of course, there's the fact that she did not start cooking until she was in her thirties. Her story heartens me, makes me remember that it is okay to not know what I want to do with my life at age 23.

I became aware of this book while searching for a present for my friend Abbi. I don't see nearly enough of her, and I was not only lucky enough to see her this weekend but to also be gifted with a small food processor from her. (Seriously, I have the best friends. Hands down.)

With that in hand, I knew what had to be done. I had to make crackers.

Crackers, you say? But crackers aren't something people make! (As was exclaimed to me yesterday morning upon my excited admission of what I had baked.) I know, I know. Crackers are certainly not something people make on a regular basis, not when you can go to the supermarket and buy any variety of cracker your heart desires. I find myself less and less interested in this, though. If I can make it, why don't I? Obviously this doesn't work for everything. I could probably make my own pasta, but I'm not going to stop buying pre-made noodles.

Now that I have that tiny food processor, though, I feel a little invincible. I mean, hell, I made crackers! There are few things quite like a baking victory. Finishing a story is similar, but that (sadly) occurs much less frequently. I still get excited when I make a tried-and-true recipe, like
focaccia, but that is nothing compared to pulling off something I've never made before.

But enough talking. Go make some crackers.

Spicy Cheddar Crackers
adapted from Orangette

1/3 stick butter (room temp.)
1/2 c. cheddar cheese (4 oz.)
1 egg yolk
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. dried mustard
3/4 tsp. salt
optional: 1 tsp. seasoning - I used cayenne pepper

Makes about 30 crackers.

Combine butter, cheese and eg yolk in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add flour, mustard, salt, and the seasoning of your choice. Again, blend until smooth. Transfer dough to parchment paper and - using the paper to help - roll into a log. Chill for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line a baking sheet and slice the log into thin rounds. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool. Enjoy!


  1. But how WERE they? I have no way of gauging the awesomeness of your crackers from this story.

  2. Let me tell you, my friend: they were amazing! (If I may say so myself.)

  3. Sounds delicious! I have no cheese in the house and the weather is rotten, so I may try them without the cheese first. I know it won't be the same, but it may still work.