AGGHHH. What a week! I wrote this post on Tuesday, but due to having no internet at home (Star Satellite, me no like you) and being insanely busy, I’m not posting it ’til low-traffic Saturday. Oh well. :(
My life’s a little hectic these days. It’s crunch time at work, and on top of that I’m taking an American Sign Language class two nights a week, from 6:00 – 8:30. I don’t get home ’til 9:00 on Mondays and Wednesdays, but that doesn’t stop me from booking up my Tuesday evening. Whaddya think – did I have a hot date? Hit up the bars? Get crunk in the hood? Nah. I made crackers.
A work friend hosted an Oktoberfest-themed cocktail/beer gathering on Thursday, and I offered to bring “pumpkin-y snacks.” I spent days musing about what to make. Cookies? Mini pumpkin pies? Pumpkin bread? They just didn’t seem appropriate for a cocktail party.
Then the wonderful Angela came to my rescue. I was over the moon with happiness when I saw her serendipitous post about homemade crackers. Immediately I thought, “What ho – crackers! I shall make crackers!” and then I thought, “PUMPKIN CRACKERS! I shall make a cracking batch of pumpkin crackers!” And then I scrolled down and saw that Angela, too, had thought of pumpkin crackers – she’d even topped her regular crackers with a pumpkin and EB mixture! Brilliant!
So on Tuesday night I took Angela’s flexible recipe into my own hands. I managed to create a batch of some darn lovely crackers, despite nearly getting killed by my microwave (It started up while I had the door open! If I sprout tentacles and become a cracker-eating mutant, YOU’LL KNOW WHY). and discovering that a hasty post-class grocery store shelf-grab of canned pumpkin had resulted in something terrible.
PUMPKIN PIE MIX. AGH. Of course I only saw the writing on the wall after I’d opened the lid, and then I gasped in horror, causing my roommate to think that the microwave had attacked me again. Never in my life have I purchased pumpkin pie mix! Easy food?! Just add eggs and a can of evaporated milk?! You can’t get any further from my food philosophy than that. The ingredients in this “mix” include something horrible called sugar syrup. I… don’t want to know. I hope it’s just sugar + water. Anyway, I ended up using the pumpkin pie mix, and, to be honest, it’s not really noticeable.
Anyway, I modified Angela’s super-flexible recipe a bit when making my crackers. I subbed the accursed pumpkin pie mix for 1/2 C of the almond milk, and I added extra sesame seeds and some hemp seeds in place of the whole flax seeds. I cut down on the nutritional yeast and scratched most of the spices in favor of poppy seeds and rosemary. Then I doused them in the pumpkin pie + EB mixture, sprinkled on some salt, and popped ’em in the oven.
I even got to use the adorable teeny-tiny Wilton Halloween cookie cutters I picked up on clearance a few months ago! Can you spot the tiny bats and pumpkins?
These are tasty little nuggets. The pumpkin flavor isn’t too pronounced, but that’s okay – they’re complex and yummy nonetheless, and about 1000x better than mass-produced crackers. The rosemary flavor is a little strong for me, so next time I think I’d use a little less. I’d also cook them for longer, and be sure to use a dark baking sheet – the batch I cooked on a light sheet is more chewy than crunchy.
I brought them to the gathering, where they were fairly well-received. One girl in particular asked me all about them and said she really enjoyed them. I even served them with a really simple dip, a blend of Tofutti and the pumpkin pie mix. The hostess also served about five types of pretzels and five types of mustard to go along with our Oktoberfest theme, so there was no lack of snacks.
Have you ever made your own crackers? Do you generally try to bring vegan options to social gatherings? Maybe the real question here is, what on Earth am I going to do with 8/10 of a giant can of pumpkin pie mix?!
P.S. Forgive my food snobbery; I tend to use hyperbole for the sake of entertainment. Easy pumpkin pie mix has its place in the world… just not on my shelf. ;)