There are times in everyone’s life when there’s more time than money and sometimes the reverse is also true. For those of you that have the time, I highly recommend this cracker recipe from the book Whitewater Cooks at Home by Shelley Adams. Since this isn’t the easiest cookbook to find outside of Western Canada, you’ll need to do a little searching to find a copy. It’s well worth the effort if you do. I’ve taken to altering it not because the recipe isn’t amazing the way it is, but more because I make it with what we have in the cupboard and it turns out fabulous every time.
Friends of ours from Nelson, BC were kind enough to give us both of the Whitewater cookbooks (You can purchase the first book, Whitewater Cooks, through my recommendations on the right). I remeber visiting them after a long summer of living in the sticks (at the fire tower) and our friend Tamara would always have an amazing meal prepared for us whenever we showed up. After a few “ooohs” and “ahhhhs” once we’d seen and tasted the food, she surprised us with the cookbook that the recipes came from. If we could all be so lucky as to have friends like that!
The treats did not stop there. Last time we visited she sent us home with a jar of homemade Apricot Butter and a jar of White Wine Rosemary Jelly. My favourite cracker topper was a thin layer of goat cheese and a “dollop” of her White Wine Jelly. So simple yet so amazing. If I ever get my hands on that recipe I will plaster it all over the internet for the whole world to see. THE WHOLE WORLD!
My sister recently sent me a slideshow with this quote in it: “Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon”. Try a little reckless abandon by using different variations to suit your mood or your condiments of choice.
If you find yourself with more money than time, Raincoast Crisps are amazing store bought crackers and retail at about $5.99 for a box of approximately a couple dozen crackers. These can be found in both the US and Canada.
If you do have the time, or decide to make the time, (because time really is a choice isn’t it?) then this recipe makes on average 90 large crackers or 125 smaller ones. So in other words, it’s very good value versus time.
The recipe I’ve included is my adaptation of these delicious crackers from Shelly Adam’s Whitewater Cooks at Home. These crackers freeze very well. So well in fact, that we usually freeze them by the dozen and take 1 baggie out at a time so that they always taste fresh (Not that these crackers will last very long. You’ll be surprised how quickly they disappear!) Another tip is that the batter can easily be separated into 2 bowls and then add different herbs, nuts and seeds to each one. Allow yourself to create your favourite versions.
West Coast Crisps
2 cups white flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk
¼ cup organic brown sugar (demerara, turbinado or sweetener of choice)
¼ cup honey or maple syrup
1 cup raisins, cranberries, currants, or dried apricots (or a mix of all four)
½ cup almonds (waltnuts are excellent if using cranberries)
½ cup roasted pumpkin seeds (a must if you ask me!)
¼ cup sunflower or sesame seeds (flax seeds are nice too)
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary finely chopped (This time I tried 1 tsp of Herbes de Provances, but try mint, basil or anything else you have that might be a fun addition. Just be mindful that if you’re using a strong herb then you may want to reduce the amount)
Preheat the oven to 350 F
Mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add buttermilk, sugar and honey and mix until just combined.
Add seeds, herbs, cheese and mix and pour into two 8×4 inch greased loaf pans. (I used five 2×5 pans. Cooking time decreases to 25 minutes. I was able to get a smaller cracker.)
Bake for about 35 minutes until springy to the touch.
Remove from pans and allow to cool. Cool the loaves overnight in the fridge works best.
Cut very thin slices and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes on each side or until crisp.
Allow to cool completely. Store in an air tight container. To freeze use an air tight container or zip lock bags.
Pair these crackers with an elegant cheese board for a party or take some in your lunch box with some brie for a snack. They are so versatile and yummy that I have no doubt you’ll be coming up with all kinds of things to put on them so you can get these in your belly.