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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cracker Barrel

A couple of weeks ago, as I was making sure I had everything for my daughter's family birthday party, my husband asked, "Do you have something for cracker barrel?"

"No," I replied. "Do I need something for cracker barrel?"

My husbands response was something along the lines of "Well, duh. Of course you need something for cracker barrel" but it was a little more respectful and grown-up sounding.

And if you are wondering, "cracker barrel" is what my husband's family calls sitting around the table late in the evening after dinner and before bedtime. While they are sitting around the table they are talking, discussing politics, local happenings, what they've been up to, etc. while having a snack. This snack is usually cheese, crackers, and a summer sausage.

I'm not sure the origins of cracker barrel but I am assuming that it started after the 4 kids left home and began coming back to visit. This was probably my in-laws way of really having a chance to catch up with their kids.

And it makes sense. Sitting around the table talking and snacking at the end of the day, after all of the work and busyness is done, is a nice way to keep up with your kids when they are home for a visit.

And did I mention? My in-laws don't have cable. So watching Top Chef or The Soup is out of the question. At their house, in the evenings, you are either reading or talking. Hmmm...pretty novel concept...

So the next day, I headed back out to the store for the fourth time. I'm not sure why I can never seem to get everything I need for a family visit on my first trip to the store. But for some reason, I get home and whoops - forgot the milk! Or whoops - forgot the bread! And I have to go back.

That week, it wasn't just the greeter at Wal-Mart (Sue, very nice lady by the way) who was greeting me, it was also the cashiers.

Anyway, I purchased a block of cheese (Cracker Barrel brand actually, because it just seems fitting to have Cracker Barrel cheese at cracker barrel) and a box of Breton Original crackers.

I tried to find a summer sausage but Wal-Mart didn't have any. I even went to a fancy grocery store after I left Wal-Mart and guess what? They had a summer sausage but they wanted $8.99 for it and I swear, it was so small I could have gobbled it up myself in a couple of bites.

On the first night of my father-in-law's visit, we sat around the table for cracker barrel. I got out the cheese and the crackers. I had never had any of these Breton crackers before and let me tell you what, they were good. They were light and crispy. They were made of wheat but they weren't too wheat-y. They were just right.

And that Cracker Barrel brand cheese? It was delicious. I guess it has been a while since I've had name brand cheese. I normally just buy the generic cheese and tell myself that it tastes the same. Well, I'm here to tell you - it doesn't.

After the weekend was over, there was a little cheese and a few crackers left. The kids were hungry for a snack. My kids are always hungry for a snack. So I decided to share my cheese and crackers with them.

My first instinct was to throw them the box of Whales (generic Goldfish to those of you who may not know) and hide in the closet with the Breton crackers.

But, being the good mom that I am, I decided to share the last of the crackers with them even though I really, really wanted some more of those yummy crackers.

I'm all about sacrificing for my kids.

I could tell they enjoyed the non-generic cheese and crackers because, as I left the kitchen, crumbs were flying out of their mouths and they were giggling in delight.

However, when I returned, Sarah said, "I got full so I threw my last cracker away."

What? Did she say she just threw her last deliciously yummy non-generic cracker away?

I stood there hovering over the trash can and thoughts of George Costanza popped into my head. I know he was chastised for eating out of the trash can. But his girlfriend's mother caught him. And I'm only here with my kids. And they don't know they difference.

I wanted that cracker.

I figured it was probably laying on top of the trash. That would be all right? Wouldn't it?

I wanted that cracker.

I figured it couldn't have been in the trash can for more than 1 maybe 2 minutes. That would be all right wouldn't it?

Then this scene from Seinfeld started to play out in my mind:

Jerry: Was the eclair in the trash?

George: Yes.

Jerry: Then it was trash.

George: It wasn't down in; it was sort of on top.

Jerry: But it was in the cylinder.

George: Above the rim.

Jerry: Adjacent to refuse, is refuse.

George: It was on a magazine, and it still had the doily on.

Jerry: Was it eaten?

George: One little bite.

Jerry: Well, that's garbage.

Jerry: You, my friend, have crossed the fine line that divides man and bum. You are now a bum.

I opened the trash can and guess what I saw!

I had taken the trash out earlier and had not gotten around to replacing the bag! The trash can was empty except for the two halves of the uneaten Breton cracker!

Hmmmm....would Jerry have considered George a bum had he eaten the eclair out of an empty trash can?

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jennwa said...

I really do not know what to say about that post. I hate to say it but I have been in that position, should I eat it or not. I always go with not. I am sure there are germs floating around.

What is really gross was when I was waitressing, other waiters would eat off customers plate after clearing the tables. They would stand by the dishwasher and eat the stuff off the plate before putting it in the dish area. YUCK!!!!!

Sally Ferguson said...

Cracker barrel is a great tradition. My teens wouldn't go for it now, but it sounds like an awesome way to connect... when they hit that stage where they begin to act human again!

Anonymous said...

You are too funny!

This is why I wait until my kids are sleeping to bring out the good snacks. It is getting tougher now that only one naps though.

Cynthia said...

Too funny, I so remember that episode!

Momisodes said...

LOL! That is hilarious. I totally remember that Seinfeld episode :)

I love cracker barrel cheese.

Anonymous said...

Funny story I enjoyed reading that!

emily freeman said...

soo? Did you eat it? We're dying here!
And thanks for stopping by my blog...So nice to meet you. And I'm in NC too!

Jaina said... didn't finish!!! Did you eat it?????

Tina said...

HAHAHA! That is one of the funniest scenes!

You're not telling, are you!?!?!


Mari said...

You are so funny. My guess is that you ate the cracker. That's a nice family tradition.

Texasholly said...


I love that episode because the whole time I am saying don't do it, don't do it, don't do it and of course, he does it.

I love the cracker barrel cheese at the cracker barrel event.

Now you have spoiled your kids with a taste of non-generic...there is no going back!

Suburban Correspondent said...

You have my trash can.

I really like the spicy Monterey Jack cheese with good crackers. Yum.

Anonymous said...

You are fabulous. Thanks for visiting my blog. I see now I have a kindred spirit. I can't wait to have a family so that I can institute cracker barrel, you mentioned Top Chef which is an event in my house, and you summoned the memory of George's trashcan eclaire. Beautiful. I'm excited to read more. Thanks again for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

HAHAHA!!! I loooved this post...And then I got to the Seinfeld scene and I lost it. It's just too much. I'm loving the idea of Cracker Barrel too! I might have to adopt it.

We spend at least $15 on salami each week. I could eat the entire thing in one sitting but I do try to spread it out. Yum. I'm craving some Genoa...

BookMamma said...

I say boost that immune system baby! What doesn't kill us makes us stronger... or just slightly ill.
I love the sound of that tradition. Happy POW!

McMommy said...

Cracker barrel cheese and quoting a Seinfeld episode??? That is my idea of a PERFECT Friday night!!!

p.s. I love the "cracker barrel" term....we do the same thing but never had a name for it. Thanks!!

Laural Out Loud said...

First, can cracker barrel be a verb? If so, I want to cracker barrel, too!

My garbange can is always wet on the bottom. Yours looks so nice and clean! And, yes, I've been know to rescue things out of the trash before. But it's my dirty little secret.