Saturday, January 18, 2014

To Make a Short Story Long

Last night we had Cincinnati Chili for supper. Over spaghetti; with onions. And beans; don't forget the beans.

Typically we also shredded cheese and oyster crackers too; a true Cincinnati style 5-way. Apparently while she was out shopping my wife picked up the chili spice mix, the beans and the spaghetti, but missed the crackers and the cheese.

Not a problem in this day of instant communication. She calls me and lets me know we are having Chili for supper; bring home some Cheese and Crackers. Kroger's is on the way home, I have money in my pocket; why is this a long story?

Here's why this is a long story.

When I was young Friday was Shopping Day; just like Monday was Wash Day and Tuesday was Ironing Day and Wednesday was..., well, you get the picture.

Mom and Dad would go shopping on Friday after supper, and when they got home, after the car was unloaded and everything stored away, it was time for a snack. Snack on Friday nights was Cheese and Crackers. Usually a Sharp Cheddar and Ritz Crackers. The cheese came in a foil wrapped block, and had to be sliced first. ANTICIPATION!!

I don't know why Cheese and Crackers is a favorite snack of mine still. Maybe its the cheese; loads of fat and protein. And loads of taste, because of the loads of fat. Or maybe even then this was a sign that the week had ended, and the freedom of Saturday was fast approaching. Or maybe it was because we could eat our Cheese and Crackers in front of the TV, in the living room. Everybody gathered around the plate of carefully sliced cheese and half empty roll of golden brown crackers, set up on Dad's footstool.

Anyway, on Friday I get a call to bring home Cheese and Crackers. For Chili. Simple, right? Well, part two of the story: There is also a chili, cheese and crackers connection. My Grandma made chili that was sweet- my sister has the recipe and does a great batch as well- and Dad would always eat his chili with Ritz crackers and cheese.

So there I am in the store, on a Friday, picking up Cheese and Crackers for Chili. So I pick up a box of Ritz and- SCORE!- a pound of Sharp Cheddar is on sale for five bucks!


The Chili is ready when I walk in the door. The family has been eagerly awaiting my arrival so we can eat the Chili that has been simmering all day, filling the house with the wonderful smells of cooking spices and meat.

And they were expecting shredded cheese and oyster crackers. D'oh!

I'm blaming the wife. She said "Cheese and Crackers", not "crackers and cheese".

More proof that words have meaning, and should be carefully chosen.

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