Well man, a lot has been going on in the last few days and the vast majority of it is awesome stuff, like transitioning out of a job that stressed me out into a job that rules, putting my son into a preschool/daycare type of situation that he really loves for 2 days a week, and the beginning of my kitchen remodel. This is pretty Big Stuff for us, but I'm fighting as hard as I can against my doomsday nature and trying to just roll with how awesome it is, and enjoy myself, instead of stressing out about everything going wrong at the last minute (BECAUSE IT ALWAYS DOES!!!! PICTURE ME ALL CLENCHED UP! THIS IS HOW I FEEL!!!)
But, the other day I was visiting my dear friend Alia, you remember Alia, from Darling Press? And she handed me a homemade graham cracker, and it was tasty. And then she said, "It has whole wheat flour! I'll email you the recipe!" And then she did. Pretty cool story, right?
Here is the recipe as she emailed it to me (I like imagining that the name of the recipe is "Makes About 3 Dozen 3-inch Crackers):
"makes about 3 dozen 3-inch crackers"
Time commitment: about 1 hour
From "jam it, pickle it, cure it and other cooking projects" by Karen Solomon
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup honey
1/4 blackstrap molasses
1/3 cup plus 4 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a bowl or food processor (food processor worked like magic for me), mix or pulse the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in the butter or, if using a food processor, add the butter and pulse until the dough is the consistency of course crumbs. Add the honey, molasses, and the 1/3 cup sugar and combine. Then add the milk and vanilla, bringing it all together into a stiff dough
Lightly oil 2 baking sheets. On a work surface, cut the dough in half. Shape the first half into a rectangle and place in the center of a sheet of parchment paper. Lay another sheet of parchment paper over the dough. Roll, trying to keep the dough as rectangular as possible. The dough should be 1/4 inch thick, and about 12 by 15 inches. Lightly prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork. Sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and roll the sugar gently onto the top of the dough with a floured pin. Using a knife or a fluted pastry cutter (for the cute wavy edges), trim the edges of the dough rectangle to yield neat crackers (next time I make these, I'm going to use cookie cutters). Cut into approximately 3-inch squares. Using a spatula, carefully transfer the crackers to the prepared baking sheets, leaving a little space between them. Repeat the process with the second half of the dough. Freeze the crackers for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F.
Bake the chilled dough for 18 to 22 minutes, until just a little browned at the edges. Coll completely and enjoy.
Storing: Store an an airtight container, up to 2 weeks. You can also freeze the crackers for 2 months, allowing 2 hours to thaw before eating.
Variation: Add 2 teaspoons cinnamon to the 4 tablespoons sugar, and sprinkle evenly over the dough before cutting the crackers.
These were REALLY GOOD, by the way- hence the bite taken BEFORE I managed to get a good picture.
Drawing by Alia Hoffman
Anyway, after you make these crackers (well, cookies, let's be honest) you should seriously check out Alia and her husband's blog, where I will occasionally be writing posts. I spend a lot of time at her house, where we work together on different art projects (we met in art school, actually!)- me for my 10 Dollar Drawings blog (which you should go check out to see details about my upcoming art show, opening Friday April 2nd, at Skeleton Key tattoo here in Portland!) and her for her burgeoning letterpress company, Darling Press. Our kids play trains and dolls and whatever else they feel like doing, and we hang out and draw, and sometimes cook. I showed her how to make no-knead bread, chicken stock from scratch, and she's giving me lessons on how to raise chickens and grow plants. It's a pretty good arrangement.
OH! And, so- since we are beginning our kitchen remodel, we're about to live without an oven for, well, just about as long as it takes for us to get the new oven installed. Considering we have to rip up the old floors and remove some water-damaged drywall (mmm, mold. and lead paint. wish us luck with that.) and replace those before we can even put in the new stove, not to mention moving some plumbing for a new sink- it's probably going to be a month or two. It's not a huge deal in the scheme of things, but we cook almost every meal at home, so we're planning to use our crock pot and we might even break down and buy a cheap microwave at the goodwill. I'll keep you updated on the progress and hopefully soon I'll get to unveil a lovely new kitchen. And yes, we are on a super limited budget, so it's basically going to be an Ikea model kitchen. Don't make fun of us.