One minute you’re at home organizing girls’ wine night and the next you’re eating powdered eggs in a hospital room in South Georgia, the land that time forgot, trying to help make your grandfather as comfortable as possible by figuring out which channel “The Price is Right” is on. Is that depressing? Sorry. Life happens, I guess.
Anyway, that’s where I’ve been.
It’s always funny going home, especially once you’re a full-fledged adult. Have you seen that movie June Bug? If you grew up anywhere southern, particularly if you moved away from your family, you should.
It’s not too appetizing here so I haven’t been thinking all that much about delicious noms but I keep finding myself painfully full thanks to all the overly-indulgent food they eat at every meal down here. My grandma used to cook all the time – the wake-up-at-6am-to-start-something-for-dinner kind of cooking. She loves cheese straws. Apparently she also loves carrot cake and toaster strudels but I didn’t know those things until yesterday.
Turns out extended family is a moving target. Visit more.
SOUTHERN LIVING’S BACON PAPRIKA CHEESE STRAWS
makes about 25-40 cheese straws
original recipe courtesy of Southern Living magazine
1 1/2 cups butter, softened (room temp for 2+ hours)
16 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (don’t buy pre-shredded)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground red pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment blend the butter, cheese, salt, red pepper, and paprika until well combined, 1-2 minutes. Drop in the crumbled bacon and blend just until combined. Gradually add the flour until a workable dough forms. If it’s too wet, add more flour, too soft, a touch of water.
2. Dump the dough on a lightly-floured countertop and roll (or pat with your hand) about 1/2 inch thick. Using a knife, cut the dough into rectangles about 3″ long and 3/4 inch wide – they won’t grow much in the oven. If you prefer you can use a fork to make ridges in the straws or a knife to make other designs. Some people prefer to use a cookie press but you can just leave them flat, too. Using a spatula move the cheese straws onto the baking sheets and place about 1/2 inch apart.
3. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Move them once they’re cool enough to touch to a wire rack covered in paper towels.