I’ve been getting this question a lot, and I still pause and stumble over it. I just don’t quite have a clean answer.
My best answer is butter. It’s quick, it works every time, and it will wow anyone in the house. And although you might not end up wanting to make all of your own butter (and I don’t!), it seems to be a good gateway food that gets people wanting to make other foods at home. Butter is an inspiration. And it’s butter. You can’t go wrong.
Beyond that, each person seems to have their own life-changing food they make at home. For some, bread is a revelation. Or maybe it’s condiments–the whisking of the mayonnaise changes it all. I’ve got a few of these: granola bars, yogurt, ricotta. And then there are crackers.
Crackers and cheese might be my favorite thing to eat, ever. I am that easy to please. I like Carr’s. I like stoned wheat thins. I even like ak-maks. Even more, I live in a house with six (that’s right, six!) other people, all passionate cracker lovers. I make crackers whenever I can, and they always bring on cheers. The only problem is that they’re gone too quickly, but that’s an occupational hazard of living in such a hungry and crowded house.
This is my most basic cracker recipe, and it’s a good platform for any sort of flavor combination you are craving. It’s a simple dough that you can make in a few minutes, and then you can cut it into any shape you like. Herbs, cracked pepper, fancy salts, and seeds are all very happy to join in here.
I use millet in these crackers because it gives them such a good crunch, and it adds a bit of nuttiness to the flavor. If you don’t have millet in the pantry, feel free to leave it out. Just add a bit more flour, or substitute with poppy or sesame seeds.
I’m heading down to New York this morning (trying, in the midst of typing, to get my closet to spit out something that isn’t stained with olive oil.) If you happen to listen to Martha Stewart Radio, I’ll be on “Cooking Today” this afternoon at 3:30, doing my best to play it cool and not say “um” as I talk to Melissa Clark. Tomorrow, I’m giving myself a good portion of the day to wander. I haven’t done this in a long time, but I’m determined to buy myself a fabulous lunch before making my way back home. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. And if I fail in my great lunch search, there are always crackers. I’m bringing them along, just in case.