And now we come to my 2008 recipe, after my retrospective of holiday indulgences. Initially I planned something centered around the farm, since this was my first year there, but I kept gravitating toward gifts from my garden, which would not be helpful for people who didn't happen to have oven-dried tomatoes or spiced blueberry sauce in the freezer. So the arrival of Barbara's cheddar made me think of a nibble my Aunt Mary always had for family parties. She called them Cheese Things, but go ahead and call them Cheddar Caraway Nibbles if you want to impress your friends.
Aunt Mary’s Cheese Things
Makes about four dozen
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 teaspoon salt
½ pound sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 2½ cups)
1 cup all purpose flour
Using an electric mixer at low speed, mix the butter with mustard, caraway seeds and salt. Add cheddar and continue to mix. Slowly mix in flour. Transfer to sheet of wax paper and form a log, about 12 inches long and 1½ inches in diameter. Wrap and chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice into ¼-inch slices and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack.
Recipe used with permission from Janine MacLachlan, The Rustic Kitchen, www. RusticKitchen.com. All rights reserved.