Answers From A Librarian | Cheese Crackers

No problem was ever solved in the same consciousness that was used to create it. Albert Einstein

A man whom I once interviewed – call him Mr. Diaz – told me that while he enjoyed a cup of coffee at Burger King with his fellow retirees, he longed for richer conversations. “I like to talk about big ideas; my friends are stuck on death and sickness,” he said.

This strikes me not so much a commentary on human nature, but a missive on seeking well-informed company.

I work for the Buffalo River Regional Library in Columbia, a department of the state, which provides a myriad of services to those public libraries in Tennessee who elect to participate. The regional library director of this ten county area is Marion Bryant.

She interviewed me for an assistant director position two years ago and I accepted her subsequent job offer. You could say it was a preordained arrangement. I was the only one who applied.

Librarians are a dreamy, but ambitious lot. They sign up for a world where curious people relish the idea of opening new doors by reading. Their intention is to provide those people with the keys.

I have found Marion to be a great soul. At this point in her career, she has served as a director of libraries in Oklahoma and Louisiana and now, for the past 20 years, as regional director in her home state of Tennessee.

She has led the proverbially quiet librarian’s life: devoted to her job, church, family members and three dogs. She often spends time in study and contemplation and as a result, she has scads to offer the thinking world.

Her interest in religion and human behavior is endless. She is a polymath who could whip Mr. Diaz’s coffee group into a spirited society.

One day she sauntered over to my desk to deliver a new concept in the realm of self improvement that she discovered while reading. “Something for the grandchildren to learn,” she said.

The concept of an apology was fully fleshed out, a process that she respects. She handed it over for consideration and I have not looked back:

I’m sorry for…..
This was wrong because…..
In the future I will……
Will you forgive me……

We agreed that on this point, practice will make perfect.

Recent ideology has it that forgiveness is purely personal. It is, in fact, by submission of noted spiritual gurus, a way to let the offender go.

My attempts with this exercise puts me in a dither. But now I know to be effective, action is needed. The four step preamble can open the door to a more enlightened ring around the rosie.

As usual, I am grateful for the lesson and the confirmation that some librarians hold the key. And how delightful, their guidance has already been paid for.

Cheese Crackers

In honor of Marion, I submit a recipe for a perfect appetizer. Marion favors cheese straws and such. A bite like this will compliment wine, coffee and a good conversation.
2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, packed
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbs hot sauce
2 cups crispy rice cereal
Preheat the oven to 350.
Prepare 2 cookies sheets by spraying with nonstick spray (no need to respray between batches).
In a large bowl, combine the butter with the grated cheese.
Get in there with your hands; it’s the only way to do this.
After they are completely combined, add the flour and salt, a little bit at a time.
Continue to knead with your hands until combined.
Add the hot sauce and crispy rice cereal and knead until everything comes together.
Take a heaping half teaspoon of dough (yes, they are best small) and roll it into a ball.

Place it on the cookie sheet and smash a little bit.
Continue until the sheet is full.
Cook at 350 for 10 minutes until just starting to get a color.
You don’t want them to brown, if you are planning on freezing them.
While one sheet is cooking, form the dough balls for the other sheet.
The cookies crisp up as they cool.
If you are not going to eat them all immediately, these freeze great.
Cool them and place them in an airtight container.
To reheat, place frozen cookies on a cookie sheet and bake for 350 for 7 minutes.


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