Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Things I Do for Love

I do a lot of things for love, actually. For the love of tomatoes, I practically kill myself every summer caring for 24 tomato plants and canning the resulting harvest. For the love of my husband, I help him round up his lambs for slaughter and sit for hours at the sheep show at The Great New York State Fair. And for the love of my son, I get up multiple times a night (not so much anymore, thank God), carry him when it feels as if my arms will snap off, put various objects on my head to make him laugh, and make crackers from scratch.

Let's talk about that last one, shall we?

I am not a baker. I do not like baking. I find it tedious and boring and much too finicky. Which is why I sounded quite disgruntled a few days ago when I announced to A. with a big sigh that I was going to have to start making crackers for Cubby. He replied that oh, surely I do enough, it isn't really necessary to make crackers.

But when I told him that purchased crackers are A) a total rip-off (almost four bucks for a box of Ritz? really?) and B) total crap (nutritionally, that is--I must confess to a shameful fondness for Ritz crackers myself), he agreed that yeah, they're probably one of the worst things I could feed Cubby.

"Worst" might be exaggerating slightly, but they're certainly no nutritional prize. And when your kid is eating limited quantities of food, you really don't want to waste any of those calories on crap. Cubby loves crackers. He eats at least a couple every day. If he had enough teeth, he could be eating something like Triscuits, which are at least better than Ritz, although still a rip-off. But he doesn't have enough teeth and he needs a cracker that can be easily chewed.

So I made him some cheese crackers. These, to be specific. They're supposed to be a knock-off of Goldfish crackers, except I was not about to buy a little goldfish-shaped cutter to make these, much less poke eyes in the fish with a skewer. I don't love Cubby that much, apparently. So he got star-shaped crackers, because that was the smallest cutter we had.

I didn't exactly follow the recipe. I couldn't find the whole wheat flour (we had it, I just couldn't find it at the time), so I used half graham flour--which is whole wheat, just a very finely ground kind--and half all-purpose. And I didn't have any onion powder, so I used mustard powder.

As I was standing there cutting out all those tedious little stars, then re-rolling the dough and cutting out more little stars, over and over and over, I may have said, "I can't believe I'm doing this."

But I did. And you know, those crackers are really good. And Cubby loves them, so I guess it was worth it.

I also made some hummus while the food processor was already dirty, because when you have to wash all those pieces by hand, you may as well get as much out of one use of the processor as possible. Also, Cubby loves beans, so I figured he would love hummus. He did.

I also rendered tallow yesterday. But that was less an act of love and more an act of insanity. And something we will talk about in more detail tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

What a good mom you are!

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh when you said 'cutting out all those tedious little stars' after proclaiming you weren't cutting out those tiny goldfish.... heeee.
Guess they could be 'starfish'.
You are a good mom. Beth

Haley said...

If the cutting part is tedious, you could just cut squares from the dough. I doubt Cubby would care about the shape.

I too am disappointed with most packaged food like crackers. The ones with actual good ingredients are even more expensive. I've made Alton Brown's graham crackers with great success if you'd like to try another recipe.

tu mere said...

Too bad your brother is working, since he really loves to cook up new things, and goldfish are a snack staple for the mooster.

Phoo-D said...

I thought those crackers were adorable when I saw them on SK but wondered how I would ever have time to make them. I'm glad to hear time like that shows up later on! You are a loving mom to make homemade crackers for Cubby!

Daisy said...

Now you've got me rethinking the whole cracker thing. I saw this recipe and decided it was much too high maintenance. Maybe, just maybe, I need to try these - not for a baby, but for my teenager!