It’s official. We all have colds.

I’m not sure where it started – it could have been me bringing it home from work or Nonna could have been Typhoid Mary picking it up from her great-grandchildren the other day. But assessing blame for a cold is rather pointless. It’s a cold. It sucks. Life generally goes on.

Yes, there are times when you lay there and pray for death as you become a living snot factory and there’s a jack-hammer going off in your head, but that’s only setting the stage for when the coughing starts and your lungs turn inside out. It all makes you wish for a simple sneeze that merely makes your head explode while seeing stars.

The common cold is a multi-billion dollar spending frenzy on mostly-worthless OTC medications, so don’t plan on seeing a cure any time soon.

But while there may not be a cure and most OTC medications don’t do much better than placebos, there are a couple of things you can do to lessen the pain – flushing the nasal passages with a simple saline solution, a hot, steamy bath or shower, and chicken soup.

Yes, the old adage about chicken soup – Jewish Penicillin – is really true.

It seems that besides the obvious nutrition in all of the vegetables and helping to keep us hydrated, research is showing chicken soup can slow the movement of common white blood cells called neutrophils – which then minimizes inflammation. Medical magic that tastes good!

I have a pot simmering on the stove right now.

I usually think of a crusty loaf of bread to go with soup, but today I thought I might try something different – crackers. Crackers are not something I have made very often but I figured I had the time, so what the hell.

The photo-storage cloud that is my mind pictured the Nabisco tin my grandmother kept her Premium Saltine Crackers in.

I had that tin for years – no idea what ever happened to it.

But I digress… Saltines were what I wanted.

I did a quick Google search and found a recipe that looked promising at Restless Chipotle. As I was reading the recipe I flashed on the fact that my grandparents always called saltines “soda crackers” and the recipe was calling for baking powder. But the pictures looked promising, so I went for it.

Besides… I had all the ingredients.

First thing to note is it is a very dry dough. I made it by hand and probably should have used the mixer.

I kneaded the hell out of it but it never really formed that cohesive ball I was looking for.

I started rolling them out right away but the dough was really tough and hard to work. I decided to let it rest for about 30 minutes.

It rolled out easier after resting, but it still was a workout.

I cut them into little squares, brushed them with egg yolk and water, placed them on a pan, and sprinkled them with salt.

I used Maldon Sea Salt for some and San Francisco Bay salt for others, because… well… I have 15 different salts in the cupboard. But I’m not pretentious or anything. Really.

Into the oven they went and in a mere 20 minutes they were done!

They came out really good for being so basic! Nice crunch with just the right amount of salt.

I think I would probably like them just a tad thinner, but I’m not complaining. Next batch will be made in the mixer to see if I can get things blended better. And I may switch to simple baking soda. We shall see.

In the meantime, we have crackers for our soup – and that’s the important part.

Saltine Crackers

adapted from Restless Chipotle

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cup whole milk
  • salt for sprinkling
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water for egg wash.

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Mix together the flour and baking powder.

Cut butter into flour mixture until it forms coarse crumbs. Add the milk and knead to form a ball.

Divide into 4 parts and roll out paper thin on a floured surface. The thinner they are the crisper they will be.

Cut the dough into squares, place on an ungreased cookie sheet and prick all over with a fork.

Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with salt – use a coarse salt, if possible – not table salt.

Bake about 15-20 minutes or until nicely browned. Thinner cookies take less time.