ARE YOU KIDDING ME
Sometimes I’m just too foolish for my own good.
I love my vegan cookbooks. I really do. I’ve had a lot of success with the recipes, even though I’m the only one eating them in this house. Not that hubby doesn’t want to be healthy too, it’s just that his idea of healthy-eating involves barbequed rib steaks. Try as I might, he’s not that into marinated tofu cubes.
I was making what some might call “power bars” the other day. The kind of snack you can grab and put in your purse if you’re on your way to an appointment and don’t have time for lunch. There’s lots of goodies in them like pecans, dried cranberries, oats, rice cereal, almond butter and seeds.
While I was putting the recipe book away, it happened to open to a page showing a very crispy cracker, that nature-loving, Birkenstock-wearing hippies like myself would love to have in a glass container on a kitchen counter to impress guests.
I looked at the recipe, the gorgeous picture of the crackers themselves, smeared with guacamole, and then at my open pantry shelves, where I squirrel away squirrel-food in see-thru jars. Lo and behold, I had everything I required! Chia seeds, raw hulled sunflower seeds, raw white sesame seeds, and raw pepitas seeds. All I needed to add to the recipe was water, garlic and Herbamare (or seasoned salt for you hubby types).
Mix together and lay out flat on sheet and bake at 300 degrees for about an hour, turning halfway through the cooking process.
Oh goodie. I’ll have lovely, crisp crackers to dip into things like hummus, or just a thin, crunchy snack on its own. I am just the smartest girl alive. My internal organs are clapping with joy at my dedication to mindful clean eating. Not for me, a trip to the middle aisle of the grocery store to pick up fat-laden, calorie-busting, trans-fat, salt-infused factory crackers! NO!
I am a food saint.
I am worried.
I peer into the oven during the baking process because it said in the recipe to be aware that the crackers could burn if not watched carefully. It’s not a good idea for anxious people to hear things like that. Now I am personally responsible for the health and safety of these various seeds.
I am worried because the crackers don’t really look like the crackers in the picture. They are sort of similar but not really. What am I doing wrong? I did exactly what they told me too. Well, maybe if I just wait until they’re done, they’ll look a bit better.
After taking them out of the oven, unburned, I give a huge sigh of relief. Now it says to let them cool on the sheet. Maybe they’ll look different after they’ve cooled.
They’ve now cooled for a couple of hours, just to be sure. I take one piece of cracker and turn it over before breaking it into pieces, like I’m supposed to.
This isn’t the crisp cracker of my dreams. This looks like a sheet of carpet underlay. Sort of feels like it too.
Now, I suppose I could put them back in the oven for three more hours but who has that kind of time. There’s only one thing to do. I don’t break it into pieces, so much as bend it into little pieces and take my failed crackers and offer them to the squirrels, crows, blue jays, mourning doves and other little critters in the back yard.
Chalk it up to misfortune.
It was also unfortunate that while I was writing this column, I burnt the bottom of my favourite big pot, when the water evaporated while boiling ears of corn. Now the rabbits are happy too.
Bottom line, don’t write about cooking while you’re cooking.
Btw . . . the birds refused to eat the crackers.
Lesley Crewe is a writer living in, and loving, Cape Breton. These are the meandering musings of a bored housewife whose ungrateful kids left her alone with a retired husband. Since all her pets have now died, she’s very cranky. Her 11th book, Are You Kidding Me?! Chronicles of an Ordinary Life, (a collection of her various columns over the past 20 years), will be available in book stores in September 2019.