As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in a coffee shop, organizing photos, sipping a decaf coffee (hey’s it’s after 3 pm and I’m not as young as I used to be), and taking a break every once in a while to just sit and savor the calmness. Because my little guy is safe at home with daddy and I can write full sentences without interruption.
Try as I might not to eavesdrop, I can’t help but overhear the conversation that is taking place at the table across from me. Two women are catching up, and one just told the other that she is pregnant. It’s exciting. They’re gabbing about all those pregnancy things that seem very important while you’re pregnant and completely worthless within about 5 seconds of actually having a child. Like, say, whether or not you can eat sushi while pregnant. Current schools of thought on parenting methods. It’s making me smile to hear them gabbing about it.
But that annoying person in me wants to lean over and say, “Can I give you a tip? When your child turns a year old, they will most likely eat either a fistful of dirt, a Lego, and/or several pieces of dog kibble, and he’ll live… so you really shouldn’t worry about a little raw fish at this point. And I guess it’s important to have an idea of what kind of parent you’ll be, but it all pretty much goes out the window when the realization hits you that you are responsible for sheltering and loving and teaching an entire human being.” What I really want to say is, “Try not to worry so much. Having a baby will make you crazy in ways you never dreamed of. And you’ll love every minute of it.”
See, I didn’t think I would be the kind of parent that would make whole wheat cheese crackers for my toddler. I’ve never been much of a heath nut. (I know, I know. Try to keep the shock from your face, please.) I didn’t even have whole wheat flour in my kitchen until recently. But something about that responsibility for another human being’s everything makes you reassess what you’re willing to put effort into. All of a sudden, GMOs terrify me. I, the queen of cheap, will shell out the extra 2 bucks for organic, free-range eggs. And I made whole wheat crackers for my toddler instead of just buying a box of Cheez-its.
The ironic part of all this, of course, is that said toddler didn’t want much to do with them. Which is good. Because I did. I wanted a lot to do with them. Because, for being so incredibly simple, they are really tasty. They’re a bit like cheese straws, but less delicate and with some chew. They have that nice melt-in-your-mouth texture that store-bought cheese crackers do, but without that funny aftertaste that hangs around after you eat them. A little disclaimer, though: they are dangerously addictive. Although this makes a decent-sized batch, they were gone within a couple of days. I love the idea of cutting these into different shapes and setting them out with some drinks for a casual get-together with friends. They’re also just a good snack to have around the house or pack in a bag- they are very portable. I might even try them again with the little one. Is it wrong that part of me hopes that he doesn’t want them, so I don’t have to share? Lucky for me they are so easy to throw together that I can make batch after batch. Which leaves me with more times to do other crazy things, like cut banana slices into heart shapes and such.
Whole Wheat Cheddar Crackers
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt-free seasoning, such as Mrs. Dash
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
Preheat oven to 400 F. Place the first 3 ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse and until a ball forms. Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick on a floured or parchment-covered surface. Slice into crackers, in whichever shape you choose. Bake for 15-17 minutes.