Tuesday, October 25
CRACKERS AND THACKERS
Today's recipe comes to us from The Happy Table of Eugene Walter: Southern Spirits in Food and Drink, edited by Tom Head and Don Goodman (UNC Press, 2011).
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon nut or corn oil
5 tablespoons yogurt or 4 tablespoons buttermilk
½ cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup Martha White yellow cornmeal, slightly moistened with milk
Pinch of Salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat thoroughly together ingredients in order listed. Let dough sit 5 minutes or so. If dough is too stiff, add more yogurt or buttermilk. You can add to dough sesame seeds or 1 tablespoon dried and pounded basil, thyme, dill, or oregano, as you like.
Lightly flour a board and knead dough enough to form a ball; cut into 3 sections, dust with flour, and carefully roll out each section into a sheet 1/16 of an inch thick. Keep dusting the rolling pin. Now, according to weather, altitude, and temperature, you might want to cut out your crackers with a cookie cutter before the dough is rolled so thin. Then roll crackers out flatter, so they will be crisp crackers, not doughy biscuits. Sprinkle more sesame seeds. Prick each cracker with a fork. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and let them dry a bit, then bake crackers from 5 to 8 minutes. They burn easily, so check often; hover over oven. When they’re golden, they’re done. Let them cool thoroughly. Store in airtight container of not devoured immediately. If humidity gets to them, just crisp them up in a 200-degree oven. These are delightful with all manner of soups, vegetables, and salads.
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If you'll be in Oxford on Thursday evening, don't miss Thacker Mountain Radio. This week's show will take place outdoors on the Oxford Square from 6–7 p.m. (In case of rain, it will move indoors to Off Square Books.) Featured author Randy Fertel will be discussing his new memoir, The Gorilla Man and the Empress of Steak. Musical acts are Oxford locals Young Buffalo and Eleanor Friedberger of the Fiery Furnaces, who is touring behind her first solo album.
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Don't forget to follow this weekend's symposium fun on Twitter (@potlikker) by searching for the hashtag #foodways.