Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Grandmother Dingman's Bermuda Cheese Wafers

Just got back from 4 days in Bermuda at the Pink Beach Club with my husband Guy and 3 close friends. The last time I was in Bermuda was 20 years ago with an old boyfriend. We stayed at his grandmother's wonderful hilltop home, which she and her husband had built in the 1950's. It overlooked Smith's Parish with sweeping views of the south end of the island.

Grandmother 'Mum' Dingman was a great character — larger than life — and a significant presence in the lives of her family and the island itself. She was the original Bermuda Pink Sand Lady — years ago she approached airlines to donate their used miniature liquor bottles (back when they were made of glass), which she washed and filled with pink sand, and then painted the little bottle caps with pink nail polish! The bottles were sold to tourists as souvenirs and all proceeds went to charity. What a great lady.

Grandmother Dingman would also host wonderful cocktail parties on the terrace of her hilltop home. One evening, while I was staying with her, she made a simple hors d'oeuvre to have with our gin and tonics that night — her famous Cheese Wafers — which she made with rice krispies! To my great surprise, they were outstandingly good. So good in fact that I jotted down the recipe that night so I wouldn't forget it. They were light, crispy, packed with great flavour and a wee bit of heat. Grandmother Dingman has since passed away, but I still have her recipe. Whenever I make them I think of her and how nice she was to me during our short time together.

Grandmother Dingman's Rice Krispie Cheese Wafers

2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup flour
3 cups rice krispies
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp curry powder

Mix the cheese and butter together, then add the flour and spices. Mix well. Add the rice krispies and mix gently. Shape into small balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten each ball with a fork and bake 10 minutes at 375° until puffed and golden. Makes about 15-20 wafers.

Serve with cocktails.