Cracker Fix


In the past month, I was stuck at the farm quite a bit. There was one point where I didn’t get out for two weeks because of snow and ice except for when my neighbor took me to the grocery store in his truck. I stock up, of course, preparing for that very thing, so other than a little cabin fever, it was all right. I never ran out of anything I absolutely needed. But sometimes there are things you just want. Like, some kind of snack-y thing. I have a cracker recipe I’ve been making for years, but I was in the mood for something different, so several times I made myself some snack crackers–for something to do, and something different to snack on.
I had Swiss cheese, and plenty of coarse ground black pepper, so I went with a Swiss-pepper cracker, but you can make these crackers any way you like, with any kind of cheese and any kind of seasonings. Just replace the cheese and seasonings in the recipe.
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How to make Swiss-Pepper Crackers:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 egg, whisked
coarse ground pepper

Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add the cheese and butter. Using a pastry cutter, blend the cheese and butter into the dry mixture.
This will remain a very dry mixture. Add water a tablespoon at a time, mashing it into the dry mixture with a large spoon, until it forms a cohesive ball of dough. Do not let the dough become too wet! Be very careful adding the water. You want just enough to make a ball of dough and no more.
On a floured surface, roll the dough out.
Brush on the whisked egg then sprinkle with coarse ground pepper and salt. From here, you can shape your crackers any way you want!
Sometimes I cut narrow strips and twist them for cracker twists.
Other times I just cut them out flat.
Place crackers on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 10 minutes, until slightly golden and crisp.
These are fantastic warm, right out of the oven, or cooled.
They take hardly any time at all to make, and they are so delicious–perfect for a snowed-in day, or a party, or just an any-day snack attack!

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Get Your Homemade Honey Buns Here!


Honey buns, from that store thing.
That’s two different brands of store-bought honey buns. Honey buns are sort of like flat sweet rolls with an iced honey drizzle. You could bake them (try 350-degrees, until nicely browned) but they’re truly more of a fried pastry in texture, like a yeast doughnut. I started analyzing this popular little treat recently to figure out the best method for making them at home–because I have a friend who really loves them–and here’s what I came up with.

How to make Honey Buns:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (or two packages) yeast
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

Combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour with the yeast in a large bowl. In a small pan, heat milk, honey, butter, and salt on low. Pour warm milk/butter mixture into the bowl with the flour and yeast. Add eggs. Using an electric mixer, mix on low for 30 seconds then on high for 3 minutes. Stir in the next cup and a half of flour with a spoon as much as possible, then begin kneading. Add a little more flour if necessary to make a soft but not sticky dough. Let rise in a covered, greased bowl for about an hour.
Punch dough down and turn out onto a floured surface. Roll out to a half-inch thickness. Cover and let rise till nice and light, about another hour. Roll the dough out flat and fairly thickly on a floured surface then start rolling it up.
You’re going to be slicing the honey buns pretty thinly, and you want the spirals inside to be thick.
Put the roll in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to firm up. You could do this ahead of time and have the roll ready to slice and fry in the morning!
Make 12 thin slices and then flatten the rolls a little extra with your hand or a rolling pin.
Let sliced buns rise for about 30 minutes. Fry in medium-hot oil one to two minutes per side. (If your oil is too hot, your buns will brown too quickly on the outside and not be done inside–be sure your oil temperature will allow you to fry one full minute per side. Oil temperature should be around 365-degrees.)
Now you’re in fresh honey bun heaven! Drain and cool, then glaze!

Powdered Sugar Honey Glaze:

3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
hot water
nutmeg (optional)

In a small saucepan, melt butter with the honey. Remove from heat. Add sifted powdered sugar and hot water, stirring well. Add just enough hot water to bring glaze to drizzling consistency. I added about 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg. It seemed to make the taste of the glaze just right. You can leave that out if you want. Glaze lavishly.
Then eat at least four before you even sit down.

If you’re like me.

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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