Posts Tagged ‘snack attack’

In response to my recent Road Trip! post, several people mentioned snacks – a couple offered specifics; others were more general.

But it made me realize that I am Very Eager to discuss Road Trip! snacks. 

When I was a kid, my dad would buy rolls of Necco Wafers and hand them around. We had to take the wafer we were offered, so there was always the immense danger of getting the licorice flavored one. He was also a big fan of Planters Heat Peanuts. My mom, I seem to remember, perhaps incorrectly, enjoyed things like Chex Mix. 

For me, a Road Trip! is all about the chips. Aside from tortilla chips (which I eat occasionally), I hardly ever buy chips. This is because I LOVE chips and will eat an entire bag in one sitting. So chips are a real treat for me, and that’s my go-to snack for Road Trips. My favorites are Barbecue LaysMiss Vickie’s Jalapeno, and Doritos Salsa Verde, the latter being a variety I don’t see in gas stations that often anymore. 

I have also recently become… well, obsessed isn’t the right word for it. Infatuated with? Yes. I have recently become infatuated with Skinnypop, despite the irritating name. My daughter got me into it; I think parents often buy individual bags of Skinnypop for birthday party snacks, and maybe they offer Skinnypop as one of the snacks at school; I’m not quite sure about anything that goes on in my kid’s life when I’m not around. Anyway, she liked Skinnypop first and asked for it enough that I ended up trying it. Now we buy it by the giant package at Costco. I love it. Don’t get me wrong – I would much prefer a giant bowl of freshly popped popcorn drenched – drenched – in butter, but Skinnypop is really quite delicious. So I might consider adding it to my Road Trip! snack repertoire.

While I am much more interested in salty things than in sweet things, sometimes the best chaser for a bag of spicy chips is a bag of Twizzler Nibs. Or maybe a Milky Way Midnight bar. 

And I rarely ever drink soda these days, but I do love a nice frosty bottle of Diet Mountain Dew. 

I may or may not indulge in my traditional Road Trip! snacks on this particular Road Trip!. They are not, as you might have already intuited, keto friendly. But my husband has already decided that he is NOT sticking to keto while we are on our trip, and that makes it much harder for me to stick to it. 

If I stick to it, though, I will survive by eating copious amounts of Zero Sugar York Peppermint Patties and Zero Sugar Reese’s Miniature Cups which Swistle has been recommending for a long time and I just recently tried. They are SO GOOD and do not taste like keto food; they taste like treats.

(I have yet to find keto chips I like. I tried the Quest Chili Lime chips, which were WONDERFULLY crunchy and had a nice chili lime flavor. But the chili lime flavor, though strong, was not strong enough to disguise the flavor of the chips themselves which I find to be oddly bitter.)

Speaking of my husband: I feel like I should KNOW what kind of Road Trip! snacks are his favorite. But I… have no idea. Maybe he doesn’t have one or two repeat snacks that he always eats? Maybe he goes for a wide variety? Maybe I am so hyperfocused on my own snacking that I become completely oblivious to those around me? I am not sure. Honestly, I don’t even know what I would buy for him if he sent me into the gas station with instructions to pick him out a snack. Some.. Sun Chips? That seems like the wrong answer. 

My daughter LOVES snacks and LOVES treats, so you know she is going to have many, many requests. If I were to choose something for her, I’d probably pick a trifecta of Cheetos or Cheez-Its, something weird (like a plunger shaped lollipop that you dip into a toilet bowl filled with sugar – yes, this is something she purchased with her own money recently), and something sweet. She likes most (all???) sweets, so I’m not even sure what I would choose for her, but I think she would probably like it.

Now, I have been speaking mainly of gas station treats. But Road Trips! are an opportunity to eat fun fast food, too. If you like fast food. I don’t particularly care for it, I have to say. So usually I vote for Arby’s so I can at least order curly fries. When I was a kid, Subway was our fast food stop of choice, and I do enjoy a six inch Spicy Italian sub on whole wheat with no cheese, plenty of spicy mustard. I don’t know if I would enjoy it quite as much now. But I suppose we will have a chance to find out! 

So now it is your turn! Tell me, in detail, your FAVORITE Road Trip! snacks – sweet, savory, and any other category. 

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Man, I don’t know WHAT it was about yesterday, but I was feeling snacky ALL DAY. I tried to quell my snackishness with the usual recommendations: drink a glass of water, eat a bunch of veggies, eat some protein. I ate a green pepper. I ate carrots. I ate a pickle. I drank water. I drank tea. I ate a protein-packed lunch. 

None of it worked. I just wanted SNACKS. 

(This reminds me that Carla, when she was in the one-ish and two-ish age range, did not say her initial Ses very well. It came out as more of a nasal H sound, made between the nose and the back of the throat. So instead of saying “snacks,” it sounded something like, “Hnacks.” This is still my husband’s and my preferred pronunciation. Man, I wish I had recorded more of those babyisms before they’d vanished from her vocabulary.) 

What’s your go-to snack? 

Mine is always chips. (My husband is the opposite – he’s a sweet snacker. He’d probably go for a big spoonful of peanut butter and a little bowl of chocolate chips, or some cookies.) If I had a magical metabolism, I would eat chips all day every day. Tortilla chips with salsa. Tortilla chips with guacamole. Tortilla chips with queso. Tortilla chips with melted cheese and hot sauce, which is how I staunched my snack attack yesterday. Nachos. Ruffles dipped in Marzetti Southwest RanchSalsa Verde DoritosMiss Vickie’s Jalapeno Potato Chips. The mix of crunch and salt and fat and spice is my idea of heaven. In a pinch, I’d eat cheese and crackers. A nice sharp cheddar or a nutty Manchego or a creamy Brie paired with a delicious Triscuit cracker or a crunchy, buttery Ritz – yum. Have I just talked myself into a second day of snackishness?

Anyway, chips. Food of the gods.

Of course, a person cannot live on chips alone. 

Dinners for the Week of February 2–8

  • Crockpot BBQ Pork Tenderloin with Baked Potato: I haven’t had this in forever and I am CRAVING it.
  • Creamy Shrimp Pasta: Speaking of cravings, this sounds SO yummy.
  • 5 Ingredient Spicy Pork with Roasted Broccoli: Since the pork tenderloins usually come in a two-pack, this pork dish would be a good second-tenderloin option. I haven’t tried it before but it sounds delicious. 
  • Crockpot White Chicken Chili: Ever since I tried and loved chicken tortilla soup, I have been inspired to branch out into more chicken-based soups and stews. I have never in my life eaten a white chicken chili, but this version may persuade me to finally dip my toe in. (Not literally.)

We have ground beef in the freezer, so there’s always the possibility of tacos. And romaine in the fridge and salmon in the freezer, which could easily result in a delicious salad. Lots of options. 

Happy eating this week, Internet! 

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The weather is so perfect right now. I feel sorry for my parents, who are expecting a winter storm. (This also makes me worry about Nicole. Hi Nicole!) Today was hot and sunny with high, placid clouds lolling around in all the endless blue. The humidity was low and it was breezy, which made the heat lovely. And with every flourish of the wind – darting forward with a curtsy; retreating with a bow –: a thin ribbon of cold rippled along its edge; a fleeting portent of fall.

My family and I live in the suburbs, an area I find very pleasant for walking. An elementary school nearby is surrounded by calm, quiet streets, so (when my husband is home to hang out with Carla) I do a four-mile loop through that neighborhood. I love engaging in the house equivalent of people-watching as I walk – checking out who has already swapped out their peonies for gold and mahogany mums, how many houses have autumnal wreaths on their doors already, which homes are proudly – or grimly, who am I to know – proclaiming their political affiliation with yard signs.

There are blessedly few political signs in my area – at least, for now. They seem to crop up in little pockets, often right next door to each other, or across the street. And it seems, often, that if there is one for one candidate, there is one for his opponent nearby – a little call and response, a hoisting of the banners. It’s almost (almost) amusing; the two Trump signs one on side of the street, facing two homes boasting Biden signage directly opposite. I wonder which comes first, the Biden or the Trump? 

Recently, on my way to one of the parades that seem to be the enduring method for celebrating pandemic birthdays (for the elementary set, at least) I drove past an entire (short) block of political signs. One small Biden sign. Then, next door, an ENORMOUS “Trump – no more bullshit” sign, then another Biden sign, then two yards with Trump signs, then another Biden sign. I guess it’s natural, with such a vast divide between the parties, to feel like you have to counteract your opponent with a sign of your own. (As an aside to my aside, one of the many, many things I don’t understand about Trump is this type of messaging: “No more bullshit.” Doesn’t that imply that there is, currently, bullshit – bullshit that only Trump can end by being re-elected? And yet… HE is the current President, so wouldn’t hebe responsible for – if not the cause of – any current bullshit? I don’t get it. If there is all this bullshit now, under his administration, why would extending his presidency be the solution? I suppose it is like arguing with a two-year-old; you are never going to fully grasp the argument and you are never, never going to win, and there will be tears and yelling.)

The neighborhoods I walk through are so lovely. The homes are all similar in size and shape. The lawns are neat and manicured. I love peeking through to the backyard (from the sidewalk, as I walk along – I am not trespassing except with my eyes) to see if I can glimpse a firepit or a pool or a playground. So many homes have a backyard shed, often designed to look like a miniature version of the house, which I find so charming. Few homes have fences, which broadcasts this neighborly feeling of openness and welcome. It’s fun to think about all these people living so near to me, so similar to me yet so different. I wonder what they do all day, how they earn a living, if they are married or have children. I walked past one row of houses that had extra deep backyards. In one of them were several kids, taking turns on a zipline that spanned the length of their yard. A zipline! So fun! Many of the driveways have multiple cars; our neighborhood is full of big families, so I am assuming everyone has four or five college students at home, not that they are hosting wild parties. There are lots of American flags; they don’t seem to correspond to any sort of political candidate, which makes me feel tender and grateful. 

I have taken to ogling garages (still, as I am walking on the sidewalk). I think I mentioned recently that, alongside wishing for an actual mudroom, my biggest regret about our current house is that it has a small garage. Now, I know I shouldn’t be greedy; we have an attached two-car garage that fits both cars at once. But it’s a tight squeeze. If I could buy exactly the house I wanted, I’d get one with a four-car attached garage. Or, better yet, a three-car attached garage and then a separate detached garage that could hold two to three cars. This is because my father rebuilds cars; he rebuilt one for himself that he originally intended to pass down to my brother, but my brother no longer wants it, and he has just recently rebuilt a car specifically for me. (I am not what anyone might call a Car Person, and yet I cannot bear the thought of those cars being sold/given to anyone else. My father has put literal years into rebuilding them, and they have become so intertwined with Him that I could easily see myself, long after he has left this mortal coil [in many decades, still, God willing], talking to the cars as though his spirit exists within them.) Moving on from Possible Therapy Discussion Topics: I imagine at some point Carla will want to drive a car (GULP), so I am not being greedy, I am being practical. (Ha.) 

So I ogle garages when I walk past. I love it when people leave their garage doors open so I can peek inside. Some are neat and tidy, lined with shelving units and cabinets. Some are completely, inexplicably empty. Some are packed so full of furniture and paint cans and odds and ends that cars cannot possibly fit inside. One house I passed had turned their garage into an outdoor living room, full of chairs and end tables. Some look rather like ours, fairly clean but stuff jumbled along the edges. A lot of garages have a refrigerator.

My Dream Garage would definitely have space for a refrigerator. Or, better yet, a deep freeze. My parents had a deep freeze in their mudroom when I was growing up. The mudroom was pretty small (though cavernous compared to ours): just big enough for a tangle of shoes and boots, a few hooks where we could hang our coats, and the deep freeze. Each summer at the county fair, my parents would buy a half a steer from one of the 4-H kids, and so our freezer was permanently stacked with various cuts of beef, all wrapped in clean white paper. It was almost miraculous, how my mother could ask me to go get a package of ground beef from the freezer and there was always a package of ground beef in the freezer. 

We also always had popsicles in the freezer. Twin-pops – the ones that had two popsicles joined together. I could never cut them in half properly – they’d break in a jagged line so that one half would be too heavy for its wee stick to hold, and the other would be a curve of flavored ice gripping tightly to the wooden stick you could see peering out of one side – so I’d just eat two at a time. Let’s blame my frugal father for always buying the variety pack. Cherry, grape, orange, and banana. I could eat cherry and grape all day. Orange, in a pinch. But banana? Yuck. At the end of the summer, you had to be really desperate for a popsicle because only the banana ones were left. 

We also usually had a big bag of Dilly Bars snugged away in the deep freeze. My dad and I would go to the Dairy Queen early in summer and get a king’s ransom of them – 16 or 24 or some other obscene amount. When I got old enough to order them myself, the (teenage) cashier would always goggle at the number I requested. “I don’t know if we have that many… I’ll have to check with my manager.” (What? We lived in a Very Small town.) (The Dairy Queen was the only ice cream shop in town, and it ONLY sold ice cream. It was a single room with enough space for maybe three people to stand in line behind one another, and then a counter where you could order, and then the space for the staff to work.) (Once I spilled an entire blue raspberry freeze on the floor of that Dairy Queen.) Our Dilly Bar bag would usually contain a selection of chocolate, cherry, and butterscotch Dillies. I think my dad was the only one who enjoyed the butterscotch. Although, I can taste it, just thinking of it, so I must have tried one out of desperation a time or two. Once in a great while, we’d get Dilly bars with chocolate ice cream and chocolate coating, but those were rare. 

There’s almost nothing better in the summer than a Dilly bar: cracking through the shell with your teeth, hurrying to lap up the ice cream before it slumped down the stick and over your hand. And, when it was all gone, scraping the last bit of chocolate or cherry coating off of the stick with your teeth. I used to try to remove big chunks of the shell and save them in a bowl, to eat them last. 

(Do you remember the freezers of your childhood? The summer treats? The refrigerators in your friends’ garages, so novel because you had a freezer in the mudroom, and they had six-packs of Koolaid Burst and chocolate pudding in their garage fridges, just for snacks, while your parents’ idea of “snacks” was a half-empty box of Nilla Wafers and a case of Shasta?) (I only got Koolaid Burst and chocolate pudding when we went on a school field trip and had to bring a lunch.) (To be fair to my parents, we did usually have variety packs of chips, from which the Doritos and Ruffles would disappear quickly, leaving only dejected packs of Fritos. We also often had Zingers — a cousin of the Twinkie that came in chocolate with chocolate frosting or yellow with lemon frosting. No matter what flavor, I think, they each had a glut of white frosting in the center.) (And pickles. I remember that being the Snack of Choice for me and at least a couple of friends.)

September has barely begun and I am already nostalgic for summer. This summer; summers past.  This has been, perhaps, the longest summer of my life. It’s been, in many ways – if you are practicing the well-worn art of denial – the most relaxing. No trips to plan for or execute, no camp or summer sport schedules to keep, no dinner parties or visiting family to host. I think back on it and I think of all the popsicles we’ve eaten (the good kind, not the twin pops), all the hours we’ve spent melting pleasantly in the sun, all the catch we’ve played and bubbles we’ve seen blow into the sky, all the books we’ve read and walks we’ve taken and meals we’ve grilled in the backyard. It’s a dangerous, giddy sensation – that back-to-school, summer-slipping-away, not-quite-fall feeling that makes everything seem almost… normal. 

It’s not, of course; nothing is normal. But if you close your eyes and take a deep breath – fresh cut grass mixed with the smoke of someone’s backyard wood fire, sunsoaked pavement and the damp-rock scent of newly watered lawns – you can almost imagine, for a moment, that this is any old summer, meandering serenely toward fall. And for this one, beatific afternoon (you have to grab tight to them when they appear), I am holding onto it.

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