I licked my wounds when I was alone. I sat on my bed and listened to the train roaring two blocks from my window. It was so loud, the coffee pot shook. The little space between your eyes and your brain shook. But that could have been because I was trying to comprehend my commitment to the big unknown that comes with taking out your own trash, sleeping alone at night, sitting in silence with only the big, big train to bully you to sleep.
That was the first night.
The second night was not different, except I wore thick, woolen socks to bed. It made me feel warm and comforted and like I wasn’t so alone when I was bundled up and sweating. I created a womb from “tumble dry” socks and big cardigans I only used to wear on walks with the dogs and to get the mail. It was all survivalism. It was all ways to trick myself that I was just on a very expensive, very revokable vacation. And maybe it is. But what if it isn’t? I spent time thinking these two questions over as I drove to Starbucks and cried in the parking lot. I didn’t make eye contact with the barista and the name written on the cup was Brad. The man that set up my internet thought my name was Bratt. I guess I could be anyone and no one in this central Texas town. I guess, in many ways, I’m both at once to myself right now.
Four years. Four years of not knowing anyone but one person, and know I have a whole world to use as my backstory. Someone today didn’t believe I was born in Indiana. Another woman said I was too pale to have just moved from California. Someone said I didn’t talk like I was from Texas. Everyone was confused and, having lived in seven states and having a story for each one, I was a little confused, too.
I keep pulling a thread from my flannel shirt and it’s bunching where the stitching is missing. I wonder how much power I have to unravel, to mend. To create and to tear. I wonder what other things I have fabricated along the way. Maybe my whole life, maybe nothing at all. I am always amazed at people who can create, who can take the proverbial (or real!) block of marble and turn it into a sculpture. When I was in Italy, we studied the blue-chalked lines of da Vinci’s blueprints. It is a craft I don’t have. Instead, I can create lies and lives and false memories, fake accents, tell people I’m born and raised in a place I’ve never been. But to manufacture a whole, working, livable product…I lack the care and attention, the tenderness of mind and creativity that someone more talented than I possesses.
One such case of talent and beauty, Aron Fischer’s Facture Goods. I was given a black walnut rolling pin by Aron and have fallen in love with its sturdy design and natural elegance. I was inspired by his provisions to create something that would sustain me, comfort and nourish me. With my small artillery of baking supplies, including the rolling pin and an old ravioli cutter my mom got me for Christmas, I was inspired to make some savory crackers. Natural, simple, and versatile, these crackers were my take on being inspired by Facture Goods’ rolling pin (because I couldn’t think of making anymore cookies with it so soon after the holidays!). See the recipe below and go visit the Facture Goods online store (I’m probably ordering the grain scoop by Gin O’Keefe soon!).
Parmesan and Lemon Pepper Crackers (makes 12 large or 24-30 small)
- 1 stick butter
- 3 oz parmesan
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked sea salt*
- 1 heaping teaspoon of lemon pepper
- With a stand or hand mixer, cream butter for a couple minutes until airy and pale
- Add all remaining ingredients and mix until well blended. Make sure to use a rubber spatula for the bottom part, in case the mixer missed anything (I found the flour to have not mixed with the butter once the parmesan was added by the mixer alone)
- Flour a board or work surface lightly and roll dough out. Form into a ball or rectangle (this will depend on how you want to cut your crackers out. If you want to make round ones, then form into a log about a foot long. If you want to make shaped crackers, form into a rectangle by rolling out with pin into desired thickness. I suggest about a half-to-quarter inch thickness for this recipe). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees while dough is resting and prepare a baking sheet or two by lining it with parchment paper
- When dough is firmed up in the fridge, take out and either cut into thin rounds (if in log form), or use desired cutters for squares/shapes (you can use ravioli cutters, biscuit cutters, cookie cutters–it’s up to you!)
- Place onto prepared baking sheet. Poke a few holes in the crackers to release air and so they don’t puff up and crack too much
- Bake for 22-25 minutes until golden brown and crisp
- Allow to cool (will crisp up more as they rest)
- Enjoy with soup or by themselves!