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Being crackers for crackers isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

By June Mathews

I love crackers. And when I say I love crackers, I mean I REALLY LOVE crackers.

June Mathews

Cheese crackers, oyster crackers, butter crackers, graham crackers, Goldfish (I’m particularly fond of the Parmesan flavor, should anybody ever need to know), wafers, saltines, thins, you name it. I love ‘em all.

Give me just about any kind of cracker slathered with peanut butter, and I’m your friend forever. A Club cracker with a dollop of cream cheese or a slice of sharp cheddar will earn an equal amount of devotion. And for a bagful of saltines tossed in canola oil mixed with a savory combination of seasonings, well, I might even mop your kitchen floor.

I said, “might,” okay?

Crackers, you see, are my favorite food group, ranking right up there with chocolate, and alternatively serving as a snack, a quick appetizer or the occasional meal-on-the-go.

Every road trip we take demands either stocking up on cracker snacks beforehand or making pit stops for crackers along the way. And should a friend and I ever get stuck on an elevator or suddenly snowbound in the Swiss Alps (Hey, it happened to Lucy and Ethel, didn’t it?), we can stave off starvation with the crushed 6-pack of sandwich crackers in the bottom of my purse.

Recently, however, my fondness for crackers caused a bit of a problem. You see, Premium Saltines and Ritz Crackers are staples at our house and running out of either is akin to running out of milk or – horror of horrors – coffee. But about a month ago, Jimmie and I had one of those weeks of working long hours and surviving off fast foods and one-item trips to the grocery store, and during that time, we ran out of crackers and kept forgetting to pick up more.

We finally remembered to restock, however, and all was well. The thing is, those two items somehow got stuck on my mental grocery list (I must have been traumatized by our temporary dearth of crackers), so on our next couple of trips to the store, I’d pick up more.

To make matters worse, one of those purchases was a giant economy-size box of crackers with 18 full-size sleeves.

In my defense, though, the asking price was a screaming deal, and I honestly thought I was buying snack-size stacks, perfect for soup suppers or adding to our snack stashes at work. But no, I’d bought 18 packs of 30 crackers each, which according to my calculations equals 540 crackers.

That’s a lot of crackers for only two people and a “Best-By” date just over a month away – especially considering how many other boxes of crackers we’d already purchased. And storing the bounty had become an issue, too. We truly had enough crackers to feed an army.

The solution, though, was simple: I shared. I gave crackers to Mama, to the girls at work, and to the local food bank until the supply dropped to a reasonable level, and I was able to fit our usual two normal-size boxes of crackers into their assigned spots in the pantry.

Then recognizing that my overpowering hunger for crackers had become a problem, I made a vow: No more giant economy-size boxes for me.

Well, at least not until the next screaming deal comes along. I’m a sucker for a screaming deal, you know. And not only that, we’re talking about crackers here, and as far as I’m concerned, there are some cravings that just won’t be denied.

Email June Mathews at jmathews120@charter.net.

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