Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What Crackers Did You Eat When You Were A Kid?

Vermont Common Crackers
What to Know:
1) These are the world's plainest crackers. If you have to snack on them, you can pretend you're a sailor and you're marooned on a desert island eating sweet, life-sustaining hardtack. "Thank goodness I have this floury, pasty, bland goodness to keep up my strength!" you cry. This little fantasy helps add flavor to the cracker.
2) Vermont Common Crackers are made in Vermont.
3) I do not believe that there are any other crackers named for states.
4) Vermont Common Crackers are fun to smash with a hammer.
5) I ate these because my grandmother was from Vermont. She called them "cross crackers"; they're also known as Montpelier crackers.
6) She liked to eat the crackers straight from the bag, but she also toasted them in the oven with butter or cheese--never both.
Ritz Crackers
What to Know:
1) According to Wikipedia, "Ritz crackers are a type of cracker designed to be eaten on their own, or with a topping." Wikipedia entries are a little obvious sometimes.
2) Ritz crackers were my sister's favorite as a kid, while I favored Saltines. I chose Saltines on my own. However, my sister occasionally assigned me stuff to like. For example, she selected John Lennon and George Harrison as her favorite Beatles and strongly suggested that I choose Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Eventually, she assigned my mother to like George and my grandmother to like Ringo. In fact, my grandmother genuinely began to like Ringo Starr and to request that we buy her his music for birthdays and such. The "No-No Song" worried her: "I hope he's all right," she'd say, peering at his most recent photograph through her bifocals.
3) My grandmother sliced marshmallows in half, put the marshmallow half on a Ritz cracker, pressed a walnut half on top of that, and broiled it. We ate these when we played Whist.
4) Whist is a card game.
5) My sister once dared me to eat an earwig on a Ritz cracker. I don't think I did. My memory is dim.
Graham Crackers
What to Know:

1) Sure, s'mores. But, I always think of graham cracker "sandwiches" filled with Skippy chunky peanut butter, next to a small dish of applesauce, and accompanied by a cup of cold milk.
2) While babysitting, I probably saw more graham cracker mud smeared on children's faces than any other food.
3) I believe that graham cracker crusts are the single-most popular foundation for Quick and Easy desserts involving pudding, cool whip, cream cheese, ice cream, jello, or any combination of the above.
4) Would it be revolting to eat cream cheese and olive spread on a graham cracker? Someone once recommended I eat cream cheese and olive spread on a cinnamon/raisin bagel. It didn't suck.
5) Graham Chapman invented the graham cracker.
6) So did Martha Graham.
Melba Toast
What to Know:

1) A box of this could last in the cupboard for five years.
2) It is neither melba nor the kind of toast you want to invite to breakfast.
3) This was the core ingredient of diets back in the day. Some of my cookbooks from the 1950s have sample diets. They go like this: Breakfast: 1/2 cup cereal, 1/2 cup milk, black coffee. Lunch: Two slices melba toast, 1 wedge iceberg lettuce, 1 hard-boiled egg, black coffee. Dinner: 1 lean veal chop, 1 tomato with mineral oil dressing, black coffee.
4) I think that "Melba Toast" is the name of a country western singer, a band, and at least one drag queen.
5) I ate one once when we were out of all the good crackers.
Chicken in a Biskit
What to Know:

1) I think I only ate these once, on a road trip to visit our crud-boy cousins. I'd never seen them before, and they were very exotic to me. I was fascinated by the dark magic of a chicken being inside a box of crackers. I didn't like the taste of the crackers that much--although there was a bit of an addictive kick probably from MSG. I really liked the color of the box. Plus, the chicken looked so shocked about being crammed into a biskit. It wasn't all smiley like most creatures on food packages. Clearly, it was crying out, "Dang! I'm in these biskits!"
2) After the road trip, I often requested that we buy Chicken in a Biskit crackers. Unfortunately, I didn't have a really good answer to the question, "Why? You don't really like those, do you?" I think that instead of eating a Chicken in a Biskit "flavored cracker," I really wanted us to go on a road trip.
3) From my brief Web search, it appears that Chicken in a Biskit is now wildly popular for young people who have "the munchies." I would have thought the chicken would be scary under these circumstances?
4) Is that CAVIAR on one of the crackers on the cover of the box or is it potting soil?
5) Wonder why they never tried Brisket in a Biskit. Seems like a natural to me.