Tuesday, March 13, 2012

For All You Cracker Connoisseurs...

When my middle son, son #3, was a little boy, he was such a picky eater that whenever he asked me what was for dinner, I would hesitate and then mumble, "Um, I don't want to talk about it."

My middle child only liked a handful of food items: Kraft macaroni and cheese, Macdonald's burgers and fries, Spaghettios, Cheerios, and peanut butter sandwiches. (Just peanut butter, hold the jelly--because jelly, you see, is utterly disgusting. It's derived from fruit, after all.)

Wait a minute, he did like chicken; I'll give him that. If we were having chicken for dinner, I was in the clear--as long as it wasn't going to be in a casserole and come into contact with other yucky things, like sauces or gravies or vegetables.

But thank goodness my boy didn't have a peanut allergy, because he pretty much lived on peanut butter growing up. And he really liked it on crackers. Actually, he liked crackers all by their lonesome, too, and became a bit of a cracker connoisseur--and after having his horizons broadened in the kitchens of his many friends, he eventually informed me that Townhouse crackers were infinitely better than Ritz. I'd always bought Ritz, and Ritz only, because I thought that when it came to crackers, that brand was the gold standard, the king of the hill. When I was growing up, we usually only had dry, boring Saltines in the pantry, and buttery-tasting Ritz crackers were saved for special occasions. I thought I was actually spoiling my kids by giving them only Ritz; but if my boy--who liked almost nothing--liked Townhouse crackers better, then by golly, he was going to get Townhouse crackers.

Last fall, when I was visiting my daughter-in-law and the twins at her parents' house out in the Midwest (where she was staying while my oldest son was on deployment), I tasted a brand of cracker that knocked the crown right off my beloved Ritz. My daughter-in-law's mom set out a platter of crackers and cheese, and there was this type of cracker on there that was utterly heavenly-tasting: nice and salty, with a hint of chicken broth baked right into it. Yum! "These are incredible," I said to her. "What are they?" Surprised I'd never had them before, she showed me the box. They were called "Chicken in a Biskit." Right away, I thought of how much my middle son--a fan of both chicken and crackers--would love them. I decided right then and there that the next time he was home, I would have a supply of them on hand.

Well, he was home at Christmas. He noticed the unfamiliar blue box sitting on the Lazy Susan almost immediately, and he gave "Chicken in a Biskit" crackers a try with some Muenster cheese on top. "These are so good!" he said. My husband was there in the kitchen with him and replied, "Yeah, I used to love those when I was a kid." Hold the phone! My son looked at his father as if he'd been purposely cheated out of a lifetime of joy and said, "Are you telling me that they had these when you were a kid, and I've never tasted them before this?"

I started dating my husband when he was a teenage boy, and I thought I knew everything there was to know about him. But I didn't know he'd ever had those amazing crackers, either. Apparently, he's been keeping secrets from all of us.

Oh well, better late than never, I always say. My middle son is not such a picky eater anymore, and he has a fairly wide variety of items on the list of foods he'll eat. He no longer relies on crackers for survival. But when he craves a good cracker, at least now he's no longer in the dark about "Chicken in a Biskit." And his mommy will always add them to her shopping list when she knows he's coming back home!


  1. I still can't believe dad had been holding out on us this whole time...
    Those crackers are delicious.