For Your Snack Cracker Consideration

So I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m on the verge of another holiday season, my thoughts inevitably turn to three things: giving thanks, celebrating the birth of Jesus, and finding the very best snack cracker options.

You weren’t really expecting that third thing, were you?

However comma it’s no big secret that I love me a cracker. I especially love a good cracker with some sort of cheese or dip option. Or maybe even a cheesy dip option. And I am tempted to say that I also enjoy a cracker with a dippy cheese option (just for consistency’s sake), but I’m not really sure what a dippy cheese option would be.

I am all for exploring the possibilities, though.

In the past I’ve mentioned some of my very favorite crackers: the Wheat Thins Toasted Chips in Garden Veggie, the Sweet Potato & Sea Salt Triscuits, the Cracked Pepper & Olive Oil Triscuits, any store brand of lavasch crackers (preferably with lots of seeds on top of them), Mary’s Gone Crackers in herb, Sesmark Sesame Rice Thins, and last but not least, the incomparable Cheddar Jack Cheez-Its.

Never, ever underestimate the power of a good Cheez-It, my friends.

A few weeks ago I tried a new flavor of a cracker I actually bought for the first time this past spring, and while I’m trying to manage my expectations and keep a level head about me, I am just crazy about it. In fact, it’s right up there with the Mary’s Gone Crackers (MGC has been my favorite cracker for the last few years), and it is so light and delicious and perfect for a softer cheese.

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Y’all. It is a cracker superstar.

I’d tried the Sea Salt variety of the Crunchmaster Multi Grain Crackers before, but this one – the Rosemary & Olive Oil Multi Seed Crackers – is on a completely different level. The real genius is that they’re not too heavy on the rosemary (a little goes a long way with me), and they’re small, crispy, and strangely fresh-tasting for a product that comes in a resealable pouch.

I’ve been buying these crackers at either Fresh Market or Publix (they’re next to the deli in Publix), so they seem to be pretty easy to find. But if you haven’t seen them around, you can check your ZIP code on the Crunchmaster website and hopefully find a nearby store that carries them.

And by all means, if you’ve been enjoying a favorite cracker as of late, please feel free to share your thoughts and cracker-related observations in the comments.

After all, it’s the holidays. It would be a shame to hide your cracker light in a bushel.

Maybe that can be Nabisco’s new slogan.

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Hard Headed

After he told me my ankle was broken, one of the first questions the doctor asked me was, “So. Are you going to be able to stay off your feet and keep your leg propped up and do all the good things that will help you to heal faster?”

And I said, “Oh, yes sir. For sure.”

And then I said, “Can I still go to the James Taylor concert?”

And “Can I still go to the State / Alabama game?”

And “I’m supposed to go to West Monroe this Sunday; can I still do that?”

He told me that I needed to use my best judgment – and then he gave me some parameters that I needed to follow.

The bottom line, I think, was that the very best thing I could do was to sit my behind at the house. But I’d made a couple of commitments and I really wanted to go to the game and also I am stubborn and sometimes a little stupid and etc.

So Wednesday night, I went to see James Taylor with my friends. It was wonderful. HE was wonderful. Our seats weren’t the greatest, but right after the show started, one of the ushers walked by to make sure we could see okay – and when she realized that there was a big ole camera in the way of most of our seats, she offered to move everybody. It was the sweetest thing. By that point I was a little reluctant to move because I had sort of made friends with the ticket checker assigned to our section (in the middle of “Song For You Far Away,” she looked at me and said, “YOU KNOW, IT’S REALLY COLD IN HERE,” but I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I haven’t been cold indoors since approximately 2007 and then, when Elise and Tracey started moving to their new seats, she said, “WHERE ARE YOUR FRIENDS GOING?” – almost like she was afraid they’d decided that they didn’t like being with me anymore).

I ended up moving with Leah and Heather to some seats on the floor. The last few rows on one side were mostly empty, and I was able to prop up my foot / boot for the duration of the concert, which was ever so delightful. James Taylor is totally inspiring, and I love how he just STAYS WITH IT. He could have gotten jaded about singing “Fire and Rain” three nights a week and turned super cynical about having to sing “You’ve Got a Friend” ONE MORE TIME, but there appears to be some deep-down contentment in that man.

In my opinion, of course.

Please keep in mind that I do not know him even a little bit.

So I’m pretty much basing all of my assumptions on a lot of my personal feelings.

ANYWAY, my ankle was in fine shape on Friday morning, and I felt good about traveling to Tuscaloosa the next day. I might not have been quite so FULL-O-HOPE if I’d known how the first half of the game was going to go, but Sister, Alex, and I were excited about seeing the ‘Dogs play at Bryant-Denny. I ended up walking a little (LOT) more than I’d planned, and towards the end of a significant trek across campus – just as we were about to cross over to a side street for Dawg Walk – I officially hit my limit with crowds and tree roots and the F bomb (SERIOUSLY, COLLEGE STUDENTS OF AMERICA – LET’S PICK ANOTHER WORD) and the smell of bourbon and Coke. I promise I’m not being judge-y – heaven knows I’ve been to more than my share of SEC football games, so I am all caught up on the social culture. I’m just saying that the addition of the boot to my game day experience did not really do anything to increase my patience.

It did not help that my left hip was very angry from all the lopsided walking.

I even told Sister that I was tempted to pull some Icy Hot out of my purse and slather it on right there next to the stadium.

Thankfully, though, our experience inside the stadium was better. Our seats were on the end of a row (thank you, Lord) and next to the entrance for our section. We were right in the middle of the State fans, and some really sweet guys sat in front of us and high-fived Alex whenever anything remotely positive happened for the Bulldogs. There was a halftime incident where someone who had overserved himself caused a commotion with a couple of State fans and was removed from the game by a policeman, so Alex got his first up-close and personal lesson in Here Are Some Ways That Whiskey Will Betray You. I’m not sure that it’s a lesson I would’ve chosen, but every once in a while you just have to seize a teachable moment, I reckon.

The game didn’t end like we hoped, but we were proud that there’s no quit in our ‘Dogs. In fact, when we scored our final touchdown with just a few seconds on the clock, I gave Alex an impromptu pep talk about character and loyalty and perseverance that would have made Matt Foley look like a timid wallflower. Sister chimed in, too, and while I don’t know if A. actually remembers a word we said, I feel like we made some valid points. So if nothing else, I reckon, we left the stadium on an upbeat note.

Unfortunately, that upbeat note became a sad trombone when we walked the sixteen miles back to our car.

It was way later than I expected when we finally got home Saturday night, and Sunday morning I left fairly early for West Monroe, where Melanie and I were speaking. I decided on the way there that I was as tired as I’d ever been (ALL. MY. FAULT., by the way), but as soon as I saw Melanie and met the women in the church, I pepped up. We had such a good time and laughed a whole bunch and talked about a whole host of topics, so that made for a pretty awesome way to spend a Sunday evening.

So. Now I’m home. And I am determined – DETERMINED, I TELL YOU – to really rest this week and take good care of my ankle and not go to any concerts and maybe (?) stay out of football stadiums and keep my leg propped up at work and basically do all those things that will help me heal a little faster. I pushed way too hard last week, and while I’m mighty glad that I was able to do the stuff I’d planned to do, the theme of my life for the next two weeks is going to be STAY AT HOME, EUNICE. David has already offered to cook everything for Thanksgiving if I’ll sit nearby and offer advice / instruction, and while the part of me that LOVES to plan and prepare all that food hates to miss out of making the big list and going to the store and figuring out when to cook what, I think that even my inner control freak realizes that three days of standing up in the kitchen probably wouldn’t be the smartest move.

This feels like a very level-headed decision that is full of grown-upness and also maturity.

In other words: NOT MY NORM.

Hope y’all are having a great week!

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