July 22, 2004

Firecrackers

Wendy and I like to snack. Sometimes when a full blown meal either seems like too much work or too much food, we snack instead. We don't always select our snacks based on nutritive value, rather snacks that satisfy the craving one or the other or both of us is experiencing. Women crave often. At least these women do. 

One of our favorite snacks are these hors d'oeuvre thingies called Firecrackers. We can only purchase them at Safeway as they are a store brand. Their name could be derived from their shape but probably more from their ingredients: they are fiery crisy spicy hot rolls of goodness! I think the shape came after the taste.  They primarily consist of shredded beef, jalapenos and cheese wrapped in a plain brown wrapper.

While we could eat those Firecrackers plain, we'd rather dip them in something. Wendy's sauce of preference is picante sauce.  Pace Picante Sauce.  Medium. Not that chunky crap. Mine is... I'll give you one guess... sweet & sour! I adore slathering my Firecrackers with LaChoy's Sweet & Sour Sauce.  But while we use picante sauce for many other reasons, LaChoy's is only used for Firecrackers.

Grocery shopping has been more than a little weird for me since The Boy left for college last fall.  A great deal of maternal satisfaction was derived from stocking our pantry with food he enjoyed as well as preparing that food for our family meals.  All of a sudden I had to adjust to shopping and cooking for just the two of us.  Who knew it would be so difficult to adapt?  I must have missed that memo.  For months I could not even pull into Safeway's parking lot without feeling a heavy weight bearing down and my eyes getting teary.  How bizarre.  Especially for me.  Walking into the store was an even greater challenge.  To actually face meal planning and product selection?  The strain was enormous.  Elephantine.  It's gotten easier of late.  I actually again can whistle on my way into the store these days.  Progress has been made.  In some ways, it's even good.  Like now I buy corn on the cob because Wendy and I both like it while The Boy never did. 
 
During those months of adjustment, I'd find myself pushing my cart up and down the grocery store aisles mindlessly.  I'd try to focus on picking up items I knew Wendy liked as well as things I liked and things we should eat while trying not to burst into tears. It sounds so dramatic but it's really how it was! I kept us well supplied with Firecrackers and fudgesicles and Utz corn chips. Oh, and of course Pace Picante Sauce and my beloved LaChoy's. I continued to prepare regular meals, maybe three times a week instead of every day. While picking up necessary items for a full meal, I'd also pick up those favorite snack items. Because the cart seemed so barren and empty. Food for two doesn't take up much space at all.

One result of my shopping "issue" is that we now have a year or more supply of LaChoy's Sweet & Sour Sauce.  When I was putting away groceries last month, I noticed three other bottles already on the shelf.  Yeesh.  Now there's four.
 
There are, by design, eight Firecrackers in a box.  This makes a great snack for two.  Not too much, not too little.  Once when I opened the box and spread them out on the baking sheet, there were nine in one box! Score! And here is an example of how simple (pathetic? no, simple!) my life really is. I was so excited by that extra Firecracker, I ran to share the news with Wendy. When they were finished baking, I carefully split the oddball in half to share the unexpected bounty.

I've thought of how horrible it would be if there were only, say, seven in the box. Ever since that first time, I secretly hope to again find nine. And that's one reason I'm writing about Firecrackers today.

Wendy and I snacked on some last Saturday.  As we munched, I asked her if she recalled the time I found nine in a box.  She said yes.  Then I told her of my secret yearning to again find nine. Wendy said "I have!" I said "Huh?" She blushed.

See I'm not always in charge of baking the Firecrackers.  We take turns.  And I guess sharing sometimes takes a back seat to hunger.... hmmm.

1 comment:

Mel said...

This whole thing just made me smile. Thank you.