Closet Snacker

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I have always enjoyed rather odd snacks. It started when I was very young. My parents introduced us to unusual things early on, and along the way I have branched out in my snack creations. I can remember my mom making a sandwich of leftover mashed potatoes with onion. Cold. On white bread. She would sometimes add the leftover peas. And my dad was into big sticks of pepperoni, and these dried, salted herring. We always had a supply of pickles, olives, and peppers. I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, so it was the era of Hostess snack cakes, spray cheese, Velveeta, and all manner of “junk” food. Mom focused on the balanced meals most of the time, but dad loved the snackage. It’s amazing I don’t weigh 400 lbs.!

I can remember some of the combinations my brother and I would come up with. On New Year’s Eve, we would sometimes make up our version of hors d’oeuvres, which I fondly refer to as “horse’s ovaries” to this day. We would carefully prepare our paper plates with an array of fine snackery. Cubes of cheese, liverwurst, sweet pickles, olives…sometimes we’d even spear them on toothpicks to make it extra fancy. Sometimes we’d splurge on these snack plates when it wasn’t even a holiday! It was a habit that stuck with us into our high school years, and we’d enjoy plates of snacks while watching SNL.

But the one snacking occasion I remember as the most special was our closet snack session when we were fairly young. I think we had just moved into the townhouse we lived in, because there wasn’t yet much in my closet. Maybe my brother would have a better memory of this, but I’ll do my best. We had these wooden folding camp stools, and we set them up in the closet, creating our private dining area. We prepared our plates of snacks, but we wanted this to be a special affair, so we needed cocktails to go with the snacks. Maybe this was due to watching our parents have the occasional cocktail on a Sunday afternoon. So, we got little paper Dixie cups out of the bathroom dispenser, and filled them with Scope mouthwash for our fancy beverages. I know, I know…eeeuw! Nothing like some cheese, liverwurst, pickles and Scope, eh?

But I promised tales of odd snacks, so let me continue. I can also remember my brother and I creating sandwiches in several variations, consisting of butter and sugar, or sugar and cocoa! Yep. I also latched onto a favorite snack that our local community center pool offered at their snack bar in the summers. A lemon with a peppermint stick stuck in it. You would suck on the peppermint stick, and eventually the lemon juice would create channels up the stick, and you’d get lemonade! It was great! The other variation of that was to use a big dill pickle, which was a whole other taste sensation.

My favorite snack is still a plate of pickles, olives, peppers, and cheese. And if I’m really craving salt, I’ll open a can of black olives, and a can of anchovies, and stuff the anchovies inside of the olives. Oh. My. God. The mashed potato sandwiches never caught on with me, but I sure do love my horses ovaries plate, sans the Scope!

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