Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Necessity is the Mother if Invention

Growing up, our household was devoid of typical snack food. Well, at least the snacks I craved: potato chips, cookies etc. This meant that I had to be creative and create highly fatty and sweet snacks from the ingredients available to me. Favorites included small wheat thin sandwiches topped with ranch salad dressing and sprinkled with seasoned salt. I also fried cheerios in butter in the microwave. This talent for creative snacking I inherited from my mother. She taught me how to make cinnamon and sugar coated graham crackers: spread butter on the cracker, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and warm in the microwave. Very tasty. I also remember her making candied pecans for a late night snack to accompany a good book. So, you see, although the lack of pre-made snack food in the house was meant to prevent us from snacking, it failed in that effect. It just taught us to be creative.

Usually I keep a stash of cookies in the freezer to satisfy the after dinner sugar cravings. However due to my vacation and the extensive cooking for dinner and lunch for the week, I have been left with little time to bake and replenish the cookie stock. The cravings though were strong tonight, especially for something chocolaty. I didn’t have the energy to make actual cookies, so the fix had to be quick. The solution: a couple of handful of chocolate chips and a couple cups of cheerios. I melted the chocolate in the microwave, tossed in the cheerios, and stuck the clumps into the freezer to set--instant bunches of chocolaty, crunchy goodness. The result was so satisfying that I wondered why I hadn’t done it before. Perhaps cheerios should become a regular pantry item just for such situations (I bought them specifically to feed the wee bairns while they were visiting). Maybe I will indulge my inner child and fry some up in butter tomorrow for an after-school snack.

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