The Things We Do For the Hell of It

Last week I had a small epiphany regarding what to get my husband for Christmas this year, and I took to my computer and with a few keystrokes, I’d ordered him a gift which was — I think — a little shard of genius. The thing I had to be careful about was its arrival: this is an item that I had to be sure to slam into the freezer as soon as it arrived. I’ll say no more.

I scheduled the delivery for today and as such after I dropped my daughter off at school, I came back home and determined to do this and that around the house to make the most of the time when I’d be waiting around for Federal Express to bring my package. A friend got in touch unexpectedly and asked if I was free for coffee, and I said, “I am, if you’ll come to my house — I’m waiting for a package and can’t go out.” So she came over, we had some coffee and chatted, and when she left a little after eleven o’clock, I decided to take some of the pimiento cheese I threw together yesterday and use it to make crackers. Because that’s the kind of thing I’ll do when I am at home by myself and, okay, I could be doing other, more important things, but… it seemed like a good idea.

I’m sure it is a good idea, too, but the crackers I produced strike me, so far, as a little bland, a little lackluster. I don’t know where I went wrong. I took pimiento cheese and blended it in the mixer with butter and chopped pecans; then I added rice flour, all purpose flour, and a little bit of baking powder. I rolled the dough into cylinders, froze them for half an hour, and then cut them into thin slices and baked them with an egg wash. Some of the cylinders were rolled in a brown sugar-spice mix; some of them were not. Some were sprinkled with the spice mix on top. It seemed like a no-fail proposition, but right out of the oven, these crackers taste bland. It’s very disappointing, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them all…. though I suspect that, if nothing else, I can give them to my daughter as an after-school snack with a cup of hot cocoa. I’d hoped they’d be yummy enough to give as gifts to friends, but I don’t think they are. On the other hand, it is sometimes my experience that things right out of the oven don’t taste right, and that it takes a few hours for their real character to come through.

Wish me luck that when I taste these again at three o’clock, I’ll think they’re good. Otherwise, I’m facing some more baking tomorrow. ‘Cause I’ve got to come up with something decent to give to folks.

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