Little Erin Eats (Junk)

May 8, 2008 · 22 comments · Print This Post

in Nostalgia

Sugar, dah nah ne nuh ne nuh... Awe... Honey, Honey

“Little Erin” as CK likes to refer to my pouty, adolescent, pigtailed self had quite a few interesting snacking habits.  When I was a kid I liked to make sneaky things that I wasn’t supposed to be eating.  Especially if I could utilize the microwave in the process.  Some of my more famous concoctions included taking 8 Ritz crackers, folding 2 Kraft Singles into quarters, placing a piece of cheese on each cracker and then topping them with a green olive.  I’d finish this “delectable” snack off with 30 seconds in the microwave.   I proudly referred to this processed cheese invention as an hors d’œuvre.

Another favorite after school “treat” involved placing spoonfuls of peanut butter and Nestle’s Quik into a coffee cup and also microwaving it.  Then I’d stir the two together and pretend I was eating a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.  I assure you, peanut butter and powdered drink mix do not taste anything at all like a candy bar.  My mother and grandmother would get really annoyed at me when they discovered these chocolate encrusted cups in the sink.

I also liked to sit down in front of the TV with my school books and the one and only Mr. Maury Povich (pre paternity test days) while eating Cheerios dipped in Chocolate milk.  Are you beginning to see a pattern here?

Finally, a far less revolting item in my repertoire was the standby Ritz smothered in Marshmallow Fluff.   I vividly remember the first time I ever ate these sticky crackers.  I was watching the movie Lisa.  If you haven’t had the honor, it stars Staci Keenan (Dana from Step by Step) and Cheryl Ladd.  Staci portrays the precocious “Lisa” who has a penchant for making prank phone calls and being a great big, although quite creative, boy stalker …until she starts chatting up an honest to goodness serial killer.   It’s total camp.  You should rent it.  So the other day I picked up a $3 single sleeve of Ritz at the sketchy market on my street, popped open a plastic jar of fluff and had a little nostalgic sugar high for a few minutes.  It felt…good.  In an artificial sweetener kind of way.

Please feel free to share your bizarre childhood junk food memories in the comments.  I can’t possibly be the only weirdo who snuck things like the above and really loved having birthday parties filled with Cheddar Cheese Jax, Shark Attack Fruit Snacks, Mountain Dew (ick…I seriously just gagged a little) and Circus Peanuts.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 anna May 8, 2008 at 7:25 am

I think most of my snacks as a kid somehow involved yellow american cheese. I loved wrapping a slice around a pretzel rod and eating it. I’d fold them in quarters and eat them on saltines. Or make cheese sandwiches with italian dressing on white bread. That one makes me gag to this day. It doesn’t sound repulsive, but after your 875th, it is.

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2 Nix May 8, 2008 at 7:32 am

You know as a child I was rather boring. I think the strangest thing I ate was vanilla ice cream/any sort of cake/fruity pebbles mixed into a frenzy until it became an ice creamy paste. You could probably use that stuff to hold bricks together…

My brother, on the other hand, loved to put Doritos in vanilla ice cream. I’m not even sure how that started.

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3 Hanni May 8, 2008 at 7:53 am

My mom didn’t allow too much “fun food” in the house, so instead of american cheese i got to eat real tilamook cheddar on my microwaved saltines. I also liked to make microwaved smores with marshmallows (no fancy jars of cream), hersheys chocolate bars and graham crackers. my very favorite snack was a microwave quesadilla with shredded tilamook melted on locally-made white flour tortillas. Relatively “healthy”, though if I had children they’d be stuck eating veggies and hummus, mwa ha ha ha.

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4 Sarah May 8, 2008 at 7:56 am

I love this! As a child we never had junk food in the house – my mom shopped exclusively at Bread+Circus and the closest thing to junk we had was something called “Frookies” (awful cookie-esque hockey pucks flavored with fruit juice..ICK). But a girl has just GOT to get her sugar high some how. So when my mom wasn’t looking I would literally mix a bunch of sugar into tap water, throw in some ice and enjoy. I also may or may not have eaten a forkful of butter from time to time.

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5 Elle May 8, 2008 at 8:41 am

Chocolate frosting on saltines or those hard, round and dry milk crackers. Fries dipped in a Wendy’s chocolate Frosty or McD’s chocolate shake (I still get cravings for that!).

If you’ve still got the Fluff, here’s a delicious and guilty pleasure:

Make toast. Put pb on the toast. Spread Fluff over the pb. Put these under the broiler until you’ve got the Fluff as dark and crusty/caramelized as you want it–think toasting marshmallows–then EAT. So. Damn. Good.

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6 geeky May 8, 2008 at 10:11 am

Two words: Easy Cheese. That is, cheese in a spray can.

Also, a favorite after school snack growing up was ketchup and cheese (Kraft singles) sandwiches. Gross, right? I don’t know who came up with the idea, but we loved them!

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7 Julia May 8, 2008 at 10:46 am

I was a sugar deprived child. Everything my mom made was from scratch so there were never any good, snacky, readily available treats around. (unless you call an apple a snack, ick…) Even the peanut butter was homemade (peanuts + food processor = peanut butter..who knew!) So MY thing was to make toast with butter, cinnamon and sugar. Or…take a brick of unsweetened baking chocolate and melt it in a double boiler (ahem…microwaves were not invented yet!!!!) then mix with sugar and eat with spoon. Hey desperate times call for desperate measures!

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8 Allen May 8, 2008 at 11:41 am

Mmmm, Fluff on Ritz sounds good, salty and sweet. I am an admitted snacker and have been since an early age. I remember opening my mother’s pantry and swiping a big finger-full of frosting from a jar and rushing it to my awaiting tongue … only realize that it wasn’t frosting, but instead something called Crisco. My innocent excitement turned to sheer horror. Yuck.

My favorite childhood snack is one I still enjoy today. Cottage cheese with crushed potato chips, using a ratio of nearly 1/1. If potato chips are not on hand, I substitute any crunchy cracker (wheat thins, pretzels, etc.).

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9 maya May 8, 2008 at 12:00 pm

I used to eat peanut butter and mayonaise sandwiches. How disgusting is that?!?!

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10 Meghan May 8, 2008 at 12:03 pm

Mmmm fluff! I used to take orange Kraft cheese slices and wrap them around plain doughnuts. And not the doughnuts you get at a bakery, but the kind you buy in a box at the corner store. Gives me chills thinking about it. I was also a fan of taking uncooked pasta, preferably ziti, and dipping it into Skippy peanut butter.

I have issues.

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11 Erin May 8, 2008 at 1:02 pm

Wait, you can buy a single sleeve of Ritz crackers at your corner market? As in, they had a box, but opened it and are selling the sleeves individually? That sounds a little skeevy — good business move, though? That’s 9 bucks for one box! 😉

Aside from the requisite cookie-dough-made-exclusively-to-eat-not-bake, this Little Erin wasn’t quite as adventurous (because consuming dozens of raw eggs isn’t adventurous?) in my after-school snack hors d’œuvre’s. I do remember lots of peanut butter and Cheeto sandwiches (Cheetos layered between the white bread with the PB) and my favorite (don’t even ask how many Chips Ahoy bags I went through when I was pregnant) 2 Chips Ahoy cookies sandwiching a layer of chocolate, from the can, ready made frosting, with just a teensy sprinkle of coarse sea salt. Talk about the ultimate sweet/salty snack!

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12 Jeff D May 8, 2008 at 1:37 pm

They make Fluff in my hometown (Lynn, MA) and when you drive buy the factory you can smell it. Good stuff!

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13 Erin May 8, 2008 at 3:46 pm

Geeky – Snacks with Ketchup really turn my stomach. I’m always surprised how many of you ketchup snackers there are out in the world 😉

Anna – The Italian Dressing… I just can’t picture you eating this ever. Especially now. Ha ha 😛

Nix – I don’t know…a paste of ice cream and cereal sounds pretty freaky to me 😉 your brothers ice cream and Doritos though definitely seems like a must try!

Hänni – Whatever Hänni…now I’m just jealous and want a big hunk of Tilamook Cheddar 😛

Sarah – You win for the sneakiest minimalist snack. Too funny!

Elle – That sounds amazing! Now I’m going to go home and deliberate between a broiled PB and Fluff or the elliptical. Oh decisions… decisions.

Julia – You were so deprived! I have to have you over again for a straight booze and cookie dough slumber party.

Allen – I’m definitely intrigued by this cottage cheese potato chip thing. That actually sounds sort of appealing to me. As for the Crisco…no comment. That’s just seriously unfortunate.

Maya – I just gagged. Just a tiny bit…because seriously who am I to judge? At least you didn’t microwave them!

Meghan – That is totally bizarre! Do you have cravings for this now since you’re pregnant? I hope not! Ha ha

Erin – No no no 😛

They sell single sleeves of Ritz in a box. It’s a legit thing even if the local I bought them from isn’t exactly: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4116X322KBL._SL500_SL150_.jpg

The chips-a-hoy frosting sandwiches sound like a good idea!

Jeff – Lucky you! When I lived in Portland, Maine you could smell the B&M Baked Beans factory as you drove over the bridge. It smelled pretty good, but not as good as marshmallow fluff I’m sure.

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14 kat May 8, 2008 at 5:58 pm

this post is hilarious erin!

um..let’s see.

– pickles dipped in ranch dressing.
– mayo sandwiches on white bread. that’s it. JUST mayo.
– kraft slices wrapped around pepperoni. maybe not that weird.

there has to be others but that’s off the top of my head!

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15 NIKI May 8, 2008 at 9:01 pm

Oh wow! Some of those combinations for food are really gross, but the cookies with the frosting sounds really good lol. The only thing i can think of that may not sound appealing is i ate bolgna and ketchup sandwhiches. Whenever i ate them people thought it was really gross, but they are really good!

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16 Patti May 8, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Erin, when I was a kid, my mom’s version of your ritz/cheese/olive snack. It was served as an appetizer. Triscuit cracker, a dill pickle slice, a slice of cheddar cheese. Make a mess of them and put them on a baking sheet and heat them in the oven until the cheese melts. Seriously delicious. It has to be a dill pickle. It was pre-microwave when she made them, but I’m sure they’d work in the microwave.

When no one was looking, I’d make saltines with fluff topped with a dab of jam, usually strawberry. Makes my teeth ache just thinking about it. Or saltines spread with butter. Or I’d put some chocolate syrup in a dixie cup and dip a banana in it.

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17 Traci @ Soup of The Day May 9, 2008 at 2:32 am

I ate tons of peanut butter and honey on toasted bread. I’d come home and eat like 2 or 3 of those sandwiches.

Oh, and also I liked to drink pickle juice from the jar. After a while the pickles would be totally dry in the jar- no juice. 😉

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18 wummy May 9, 2008 at 7:36 am

I remember the cup in the sink!! My snack was popcorn with margerine melted and shaker cheese!! Now I still make and use real butter and shaker cheese!!

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19 Lys May 9, 2008 at 10:39 am

After school snack (besides sneaking my mom’s Baileys in the fridge?) Mustard sandwiches or mustard on crackers. Don’t ask. Thinking back I have to laugh at it though.

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20 Francie May 9, 2008 at 9:33 pm

Were you a latchkey kid? Me too. Only I was watching “a very special episode on the After School Special” where I learned about “very special topics.”

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21 Erin May 11, 2008 at 8:14 am

Kat – I did the mayo on white bread too, but instead of mayo I used Miracle Whip. But pickles in Ranch Dressing definitely gets a big “ewwww” from me 😉

Niki – I definitely remember you eating those sandwiches! I think you lived on fried bologna sandwiches when you were little. It was the ONLY thing you’d eat. I thought you were going to turn into an Oscar Meyer Weiner 😉

Patti – I love that your mom actually did serve her Triscuit snack. I think her version has a little more mass appeal since it’s baked. Microwaving really just makes the crackers soggy and the cheese funky — but I still ate those cracker by the truckload. Go figure… As for your chocolate syrup and banana dipping, I wish I’d thought of that!

Traci – I had a friend who drank pickle juice straight from the jar too. It horrified me then and it horrifies me now. I bet that seriously annoyed your mom too, right? That’s a tough “secret snack” to get away with 😉

“Wummy” aka My Mom – You know everyone laughs at me when I refer to the Kraft Parmesan Cheese in the plastic container as “Shaker Cheese.” I blame you 😉 Seriously though, that popcorn is way too tasty to be a creepy snack food. Try again!

Lys – Mustard sandwiches! Now that’s one I haven’t heard before. Now did it matter which kind of mustard i.e. French’s or were you into a more “gourmet” mustard?

Francie – Now that I think about it, yeah I was a “latchkey kid.” I would get off the bus at my grandmother’s, let myself in, and snack till I dropped until she got home from work an hour later. There was tons of time for kitchen mischief in that hour. I loved it! Ha ha

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22 Beth May 11, 2008 at 8:30 am

When I was in 3rd grade it was all the rage to put something like Nestle Quik powder or orange tang powder in a plastic bag (sometimes ziploc if you had that) and suck it with a straw or lick and dip. Ma didn’t think it was a good idea, I could choke.

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