There are so many titles for today's blog -- Try! Try! Try Again! -- Sometimes the Oldest One Wins! -- The Third Time is the Charm -- Are You Truly a Southerner? Any of those would have worked but I decided to go with "The Right Tool for the Job!" My mother-in-law and her mother before her were known for making cheese straws. My mother-in-law has made thousands upon thousands of cheese straws. This is where the title "Are You Truly a Southerner?" comes in -- if you aren't, you might not know of what I speak!! A few years ago, we found a local baker at a church kitchen who was also known for his cheese straw baking skills. He would sell a GIANT bag of cheese straws for $25-30 (price went up over the years). One of our part-time staff members would take orders at least twice a year and I would buy several bags to put in our freezer because you NEVER know when you might need to serve cheese straws. Cheese straws are served at bridal teas and showers; receptions of all kinds; birthday parties - you name it and cheese straws can be served. I've given baggies of cheese straws as Christmas gifts to neighbors. I've given cheese straws as thank you gifts!! I also always bought a bag to take to the beach for our family vacation. So what happened? The cheese straw man retired. What? We all cried -- what? He can't retire. Yes, I know -- it sounds like we are all selfish . . .and we are . . .sort of! I decided since he was retiring, I would learn to make cheese straws. I had a cookie press from Pampered Chef so I tried it. To make cheese straws, you need a tiny star. Well, this press didn't have a tiny star so I tried the tip circled below.
Monday, September 6, 2021
The Right Tool for the Job!
That tip made giant ugly cheese straws. I ordered a second press from another manufacturer. Once again, there was not a small tip amongst all of the tips.
The cheese straws tasted ok - I was using my mother-in-law's mother's recipe given to me by my sister-in-law. The problem is . . .you can't serve ugly giant cheese straws at a fancy function.
So I tried again and when I made this batch, as soon as the cheese straws came out of the oven, I sliced them in half and cut them into pieces.
I took the above two containers to the beach. They tasted ok but they DID NOT in any way, shape, form or fashion look like my mother-in-law's dainty cheese straws.
I'm off for a few days and decided to try again. This would be my third try. What is the difference you might ask. I asked my mother-in-law if I could borrow her cookie press. I mixed up the ingredients (lots of butter, lots of cheese, some flour, some red pepper) and stuffed the mixture into the press.
Look at this press. It is a true antique. It belonged to my mother-in-law's mother. My mother-in-law is 96 y'all . . .this cookies press is old. This press is operated by a hand crank plus IT HAS A TINY STAR TIP.
The minute the dough started extruding from the press, I knew that I had hit the jackpot! I actually got a little emotional thinking about the press. For a few moments, I felt like a part of history -- I am the third generation of women (though I'm in the family by marriage) to use this press.
I've been baking for several hours and my kitchen is a TOTAL DISASTER. Seriously! There is flour everywhere and the food processor is caked with cheese dough and the press will have to be scrubbed with a toothbrush.
The important thing is I had the right tool and it worked. I had the right tool for the job - an antique cookie press with a tiny star tip. It worked! I'm making these as thank you gifts for some folks who helped me a whole lot last week. Mark loves cheese straws, too, so at some point, I will need to make another recipe for him. In order to make these, you need a block of 3 hours or so. I had pre-grated my cheese early yesterday and bagged it and wrote the ounces on the outside of the baggie. That helped a lot! I'm not sure that store bought pre-grated cheese would work -- I don't think it is "wet" enough. Cheese straws are worth the labor, time, and expense. If you've never had cheese straws, I wish you lived nearby so I could share with you! They are yummy!!
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Oh, cheese straws are soooo good, but that sounds far too labor intensive to interest me. Love the sentiment behind using that vintage cookie press. Wouldn't she have been delighted?ReplyDelete
Mark's grandmother (original owner of press) was still alive when he and I married so I was able to be around her some. She was so cute! I hope she would be proud!Delete
I do love cheese straws but have never even tried to make them. I usually just buy a tin of them at a local shop and they are really good. Yes, the right tool for the job is always a good thing. So, glad you stuck with it and finally hit a "home run."ReplyDelete
Cheese straws are so yummy!!Delete
I have had cheese straws. I made some cheese straws but I did not have a press so just made them like little cookies. They tasted fine but were not as nice as the ones made with the star press, that's for sure!ReplyDelete
I have an old recipe and the name of the recipe is cheese wafers. You made them with rice krispies which made them "crunchy." I think the tiny star tip makes the cheese straws have just the right texture!Delete
Yum! I've never made my own, but I've eaten quite a few ; )ReplyDelete
I feel like our family may have eaten our weight in cheese straws over the years.Delete
Oh I love cheese straws! But I've never made them, I may have to give this a try!ReplyDelete
Have never had a cheese straw or, for that matter, a cheese curd. But I love me some cheese. I think my mom and/or grandmother had a similar cookie press. Looks awfully familiar. I appreciate your perseverance. It was well rewarded.ReplyDelete