When I was in first grade, the school decided to create a cookbook compiled of family favorites to be sold as a fundraiser. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it once it was printed. I needed the valuable intel that a favorite family recipe would provide. For example, if I knew that both Allison and Kimberley’s favorite dishes relied on Worcestershire sauce as a secret ingredient, then I could clearly make the connection that their extra poofy bangs were likely a result of consuming that in particular, right?
The day the cookbooks came out I was hit with a double whammy. One – my mom submitted a joke recipe and two – a lot of the others were disappointing. I shudder to recount her submission but I think it went along the lines of “One elephant cut into bite sized pieces (this should take a few months), carrots, celery, onions, potatoes and salt & pepper to taste, etc.” and added a little something about how long it would take to cook, then for the kicker “if additional servings are required, two rabbits may be added, but use cation as some people prefer not to have hare in their soup”. Mom. Oh, Mom. Upon recounting this tale I couldn’t even be sure that my mom submitted it, but I called her and alas, she did. Another gem found in this non-New York Times Best Seller was “Personal Pizzas” (not submitted by my mom) That suggested splitting and English muffin, spreading tomato paste on top of it and a slice of cheese then microwaving it. Is anyone else getting hungry?!?
What I didn’t realize then of course was that the joke recipe made other home cooks laugh and the pizza one might have been a time saving hit in that family which leads me to one of my own (ish)most popular snack food recipes of all time. The –ish is added because this was actually handed down to me by my mother-in-law who wrote it down and said with a smile that I should trust her – then she leaned in conspiratorially and continued “it is so easy and it makes him happy”. (Time out: please note that my mother in law wants nothing more than to feed everyone and have everyone be happy, I am not trying to stereotype but she’s Italian – food and happy go hand in hand!).
Without further ado I give you “Peanut Butter Crackers”. Ingredients: Peanut butter and crackers (I use Jiff creamy Peanut butter and Ritz crackers). Recipe: Using a knife (I use a butter knife) spread a thick, uniform coating on the inside (unsalted part) of a Ritz cracker. Place another Ritz cracker on top (so that the unsalted sides are touching the peanut butter and the salted sides are showing). Run the knife along the edge smoothing it out all the way around the cracker and place in a glass or Tupperware container. Repeat until you run out of crackers or peanut butter. Place the glass/ Tupperware container in the fridge overnight. Eat until they are gone (usually an hour or so). Chef hint: do this with love, I swear you can taste the difference. Nutritional information: Serving Size/ Well, how hungry are you? Okay, about that many then. Calories/ Umm, thousands? Allergy information: THIS ITEM CONATINS PEANUTS (had to say it). That, my friends, is a recipe you will actually need. Something budget friendly, something simple and something that (no joke) will cause people who try it to ask you to tell them exactly how you made it.