Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Graham Crackers | Home-making

 Graham Crackers!

There are foods that you never think about making from scratch, until you do.  I love the *aha!* moment when people realize that a three-year-old could make hummus for less than a dollar a batch rather than buy the stuff from Trader Joe's that has xantham gum and even whey (!?) in it.

I have plans to make some pretty neat birthday cupcakes later this week that call for graham cracker crumbs, and it was only after picking up an overly sweet, overpriced box of them from Trader Joe's that it occurred to me: graham crackers are made out of really simple ingredients.

[n.b.: I still love Trader Joe's for many other things besides hummus and graham crackers!]

So I made some using the recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar (you should buy it!).  Easy, simple, even healthy, really.  Next time I will use a bit more salt and sugar.  But as long as you get them crispy enough, they taste like the real thing.

Can we talk about Sylvester Graham, though?  The father of the graham cracker was a nineteenth-century college dropout who advocated for vegetarianism and eating fewer refined and processed foods--and who was also against the wearing of corsets.  His proto-hippie talk upset the establishment so much that he had to worry about RIOTS by "butchers and commercial bakers" (Wikipedia).


Super badass, right?  A clear forefather of twenty-first-century veg*anism, right?  Except... he was also a Presbyterian minister, and the driving spirit of his campaign was to combat 1) alcoholism (actually, ALL alcohol consumption) and 2) lust (and especially the disease-causing evil of masturbation!).


Continuing the theme of stuff that you can easily make from scratch and it will be better and super cheap, there's always olive oil-sugar scrub.  I'm not really into bath products--the day I realized you can use the same soap for everything was a good day--but if your skin is dry, this stuff is the bomb, and I think you'd pay big bucks for it in a store.  I use it on my legs, arms, elbows, feet, etc.  It exfoliates and moisturizes.  Just put it on at the end of your shower routine, then rinse it off.  After-shower lotion no longer necessary.

Instructions: fill a small container almost to the top with turbinado sugar, then slowly add as much olive oil as you can, stirring it in as you go.  That's it, though I usually add a few drops of peppermint or vanilla extract, or an essential oil like sage, as well.


Herbs drying in my kitchen.  No more throwing fresh herbs out because they're going to go bad!

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