This post, and all posts until I get caught up are made possible by this
My trusty Moleskine notebook. I’ve carried one of these EVERYWHERE for the last 15 years. I know it’s old school, but for me sometimes its easier to just write things down. Yes, I have a smartphone. Yes, I have a netbook. Yes, I have a tablet. But more than that I have a love of well crafted papers, the weight of a pen, and cursive writing. So for as long as there will be Moleskine notebooks, there will be one on my person at all times.
***Now, back to our regularly scheduled programing.***
Two weeks in and I’ve hit my first crisis. No bread for Lil Dude’s lunch. I had made some as usual then my husband, the starch whore, sliced it up and served it with dinner.
Now I know that’s commonplace in most homes, but I was not raised in a “Bread home.” Vietnamese people don’t eat bread with dinner. They have bread. Thanks to the French, they have great bread. And they use it for sandwiches. It’s not served with dinner, especially if there’s already another starch on the table. And, surprise, there usually is. D was raised in a Welsh/French Canadian home so there was always bread at every meal. So for 12 years now we’ve been having the bread argument. If he wants bread for dinner he has to say something in advance and I’ll grab him dinner bread, but stay out of my sandwich bread. It’s for sandwiches. And discovering I’m out of sandwich bread when I go to make a sandwich because he needed toast to go with his pasta (the most mind boggling of combinations in my world, by the way) makes me somewhat homicidal. Apparently not homicial enough because he’s still here and I was still without sandwich bread.
In addition to there being no bread there were no frozen chicken nuggets, corndogs or fish sticks to fall back on. Nor were there any tortillas for quesadillas. And, because you’re never going to have a lunch crisis when you’re actually running ahead of schedule I didn’t have time to make pasta either. At this point I’m staring at a can of black beans and thinking “yeah, he’ll eat those without cheese or tortillas.” When the reality is that black beans are simply a carrier vehicle for shredded cheddar, and only when wrapped in a flour tortilla as far as he’s concerned. At this time it also occurred to me that I spent at least 5 years of my life living on the same bologna sandwiches every day because that’s what mom made for lunch. Chicken Nuggets didn’t even exist when I was Lil Dude’s age. Corn Dogs were carnival food until the Der Weinerschnitzel came to town. Vietnamese moms do not buy fishsticks because they buy real fish, so those were not part of our world. And pasta was the only dinner that never had any leftovers.
All of which lead me to one conclusion-someone in this house was spoiled when it came to lunches.
Open the box, throw it in the toaster oven, set the timer, dump it in the thermos and out the door. Fun stuff he’ll eat with minimal effort on my part. But the reality is, making a lunch from scratch isn’t much harder. And even if my corndogs are organic and vegetarian, it’ s still a corndog. Sweet corn batter deep fried and on a stick made only slightly more healthy with a tofu dog is still junk. It’s still overly processed. It’s still creating a fondness for fast food. And it needs to stop in this house.
But I’m still without a lunch and we’re still late. One deep breath and a look into the cupboard later, we had lunch.
Those organic crackers left over from Disneyland with sun-butter and honey with a CSA apple and dried mango. The Convenience gods saved me this time. And my homicidal ranting must have improved because I haven’t seen one slice of bread hit the dinner table in a week. But now we’re out of crackers. Thanks to Stef at The Cupcake Project, that’s about to change as well.
Home Made “Ritz” Crackers
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp + another 1/2 tsp salt for topping
- 6 tbsp cold unsalted butter + 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup water
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Put the flour, baking powder, sugar, and 1/2 tsp of salt in the food processor.
- Pulse to combine.
- Add cold butter a few small pats at a time, and pulse to combine.
- Add vegetable oil. Pulse to combine.
- Add water a little bit at a time. Pulse to combine after each addition. The dough should start to form a ball.
- Roll dough out as thin as you can. Mine ended up being all different thicknesses. Don’t sweat it. They are homemade! If you are really concerned, Jeffrey had luck using a pasta maker to make the dough all one thickness – great idea!
- Use cookie cutters to cut the dough out. You can make them Ritz-shaped or any shape that you like.
- Poke holes in the dough in the Ritz pattern or any pattern you like (smiley faces would be fun!). Keep in mind that the holes are not just decorative; they help the crackers to bake correctly – so be sure to poke some
- Bake the crackers on a parchment- or Silpat-lined baking sheet for ten minutes or until the crackers just begin to brown.
- While the crackers are baking, melt the remaining butter and mix in the remaining salt (Some people said that my crackers weren’t salty enough. Add more or less salt to your taste.)
- As soon as you remove the crackers from the oven, brush them with the salty butter
- Cool and eat!