Oh, crackers. So devoid of nutrition, and yet so addictive to the under-5 set.
Ritz crackers. Goldfish. Graham crackers. Wheat Thins if we’re feeling fancy. I wish I could tell you how many of these crisp little trans-fat-filled, high-fructose-corn-syrup-laden morsels my children have eaten in their little lives. It’s one of my great shames as a parent, and yet, why wouldn’t I want a food that is a) desirable, b) convenient, and c) affordable to tote along wherever we go? And so, I succumbed to crackers very early on in my kids’ lives. When you spend any amount of time trying to keep small children quiet, you take what you can get.
The Goldfish obsession got to the point of needing an intervention, though, especially with our youngest son. I’ve never met a crack addict, but I can’t imagine it was that different. It got to the point where, one day, he had an apoplectic screaming fit in the car, and I don’t even remember what it was about. I think I had deigned to give him the wrong kind of cracker, or maybe it was in the wrong kind of cup, or maybe it was not quite stale enough, and we were in a war of wills. (Someone since told me that she doesn’t argue with toddlers, because it is never a good idea to argue with a crazy person, and all toddlers are crazy people. I think that kind of logic should be taught in college.) Anyway, I was doing battle with the stubborn toddler in the backseat, and in a stroke of … something, I threatened to throw a Goldfish cracker out the window, onto the highway beneath our speeding tires. “Stop screaming, or the little yellow guy gets it,” I said in my best, calmest, Mommy voice. Believe it or not, that didn’t work, and the child kept screaming. Huh.
After that, we had to have a little detox from Goldfish, and I didn’t buy them for several months. It was just too much.
So… if kids love crackers so much, why shouldn’t grown-ups make a fancy version?
This is why.
It’s the evil shortbread recipe again, this time in savory form (from Back to Basics).
Pass the goldfish.