Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Pershilla Cookbook - Nanny's Cheese Straws

Today is Pershilla's moving day. Stephen is down in Watchet and has just phoned to tell me that the Lyndon from Davlyn Marine was there bright and early and that Pershilla has now been loaded onto the lorry and is about to set off on the journey to the Kennet & Avon Marina, her temporary home.

So, boat on lorry & heart in mouth, hoping she fits under all the motorway bridges.

Therefore I need some distractions. Shall I take all the boxes of books to the loft, or shall I make a batch of cheese straws? Cheese Straws it is.

These are known in my family as Nanny's Cheese Straws, as she is the expert at making them. She's just moved into a new residential home, so isn't doing her own cooking any more, so I am baking these on her behalf.

This photo is about a year old now, but I think it's a great one of Nanny, Emma & I.

The ingredients are all kitchen basics and the equipment you need is pretty minimal. I know this, as I decided to make them having spent yesterday packing up my kitchen. So, where I would normally have used a mixing bowl, I used a casserole dish and a highball tumbler substituted very well for a rolling pin.

225g self raising flour
100g lard                             )  the exact proportions & type of fats aren't important
50g marg/butter                    ) just make sure you use 150g in total
125g strong cheese, grated
1 egg
Large pinch of: salt, pepper, paprika, mustard powder
Optional: Poppy Seeds

Thrifty tip: Use a bit less cheese and a bit more mustard powder - mustard powder always brings out the cheese flavour

  1. Weigh fats and flour and place into bowl. Rub in the fat until it looks like breadcrumbs
  2. Add the salt, pepper, paprika, mustard powder and (if using) poppy seeds
  3. Stir in the cheese
  4. Mix egg and add milk a little at a time until it is stiff enough to roll out
  5. Cut into strips or use cutters, as you prefer
  6. If you want to, you can brush the top with egg or milk and sprinkle with more grated cheese
  7. Bake at about 200c for about 13-15 mins

This is what it will look like after step 4, with some additional cheese sprinkled on top.

And this is the finish product!

Hope you enjoy making & eating them; I'm off to shift some boxes into the loft!


  1. These look good - I love a cheese straw (or 7)

  2. Oh what an adventure! - look forward to hearing how it goes. I love the idea of taking a year out.
    Nanny's cheese straws sound very tasty btw, and I like your thrifty tip.

    1. Thank you! Yesm we are very excited! They are very tasty & the mustard powder tip works with anything you put cheese in