Sunday, August 5, 2012

Oyster Crackers and the Minnesota Tease

August is funny in Minnesota, we woke up this morning to a very cool day. So cool we could open the windows. That's right, Autumn is in the air. It's a definite Minnesota Tease, but the first cool day of the end-of-the-summer means our days are numbered.

Or in this household, it means I had the nesting urge that comes with my last few days of summer break. So I scrubbed, and scrubbed, and pulled off the stove knobs and got the last bits of grime out from behind the butcher block. It was SO rewarding, that I cleaned my self-cleaning windows, and vacuumed Little Frog's room. . . after I took a few minutes to make one of our favorite snacks: oyster crackers.

I make these often throughout the year - they're super for a school snack, or while reading a good book (after the kids are in bed). I make them so often that I generally keep the ingredients on hand so all I have to do is pick up a couple bags of oyster crackers when feeling so inclined.

2 packages oyster crackers*
1/2 C vegetable oil (olive oil tastes the best)
3 Tbsp ranch dressing mix (or 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. lemon powder
1 tsp dill weed

Combine it all in a large bowl. You can attempt to mix it all in a gallon sized ziploc bag, but the crackers will just barely all fit in. It will seem oily at first, let it all sit together and dry out a bit. You'll end up with a snack that completely satisfies that salty craving.

*If you get the Nabisco brand of oyster crackers use 2 bags, there is another brand that I prefer, the crackers are much more of a distinct hexagon, and for those I use 3 bags. Target sells the Nabisco, Cub sells the hexagons.

Lemon powder is hard to find, I keep it on hand solely for this recipe and end up using it a lot more as a result. I have a thing for Penzey's spices, and my tastebuds tell me when I use Penzey's this stuff ends up much tastier. I'd call myself a Penzey's snob, but it's not any more expensive than any other spice, it's just tastier. So I'm not a snob, just healthily biased. Their lemon peel is fantastic! 

Have I mentioned how much I love baking soda? I use so much of it (and it's partner, vinegar) that we get it in huge, economy sized boxes. I wish I had known how easy it is to clean the nasty rings around my stove top burners with baking soda paste. It's completely non-abrasive and so easy I rub the grime off with my fingers.

The burner pans themselves are a different story, and require some tough stuff. Ammonia. Yech. I learned this trick and had to buy Ammonia for the first time to try it out. I scalded my sinuses for a few days, but my burner pans were bright and shiny.

<--Cleaning my burner pans Toss two burner pans into a zipper bag with a half-cup of ammonia. Zip tightly, and put on a cooking sheet in the garage or some other far away place for 24 hours. A quick scrub with hot water will remove any trace of grime from the pans. Hold your breath as much as possible, this stuff is nasty. 

Alright, time to put the kids to bed and curl up with some oyster crackers and my latest installment of the must-read series, The Cat Who Went Underground. . . I finished up the latest Sookie Stackhouse last night, it was fantastic!

So don't forget to clean your burner pans (is that even what they're called? I don't know, but mine are clean!).


No comments:

Post a Comment