Food

Oma’s Party Crackers

One of the best parts of being a kid is the Holiday’s. Luckily I grew up with a big family. They were fun, had great hearts (I mean that in the kind way. In the healthy way we have terrible hearts) awesome, always down for a good time and they loved to eat.

One of my favorite things was going to my Great Grandparents Oma and Opa’s house. Oma and Opa’s house looked like a Great Grandparents house should look. Like a museum. Nothing was out of place and nothing ever moved. You knew better than to screw around at their house because if you broke anything your ass was grass because the stuff was irreplaceable.  By irreplaceable I mean mom and dad couldn’t afford to replace it. There was China everywhere and marble windowsills, fancy dishes on shelves and vases. During Holiday parties food was always displayed so perfectly with the cut glass dishes. There was always the olive dish that as a kid you think “who the hell’s eating olives?” I used to walk past all the food marveling at how beautifully it was laid out and organized until I saw my favorite. Oma used to make these Saltine crackers with colored icing with a walnut on top.

I think about it now and they weren’t really anything special. It was a Saltine cracker with a glob of colored powdered sugar and a walnut. That’s it! I loved these damn things too. I would stand there and shove these things in my face and have cracker dust all down the front of me. I was a kid I didn’t care. I probably wouldn’t care now. These little tasty morsels were sweet and salty and they were colored. How else do you get a kid to eat than to make it fun? For me though, I was fat so all you had to do was put food in front of me and I ate it. The messed up thing is you have to try everyone of the damn things because you think the blue ones going to taste different than the pink one. Its like you fools that eat you know what colored cake. It’s all in the head. By the way, the pink ones were the best, I don’t know why.

Oma was awesome just as is the rest of my family. Every time you would go visit her she would be dressed perfect as if she was getting ready to go somewhere nice, though she had to know by now that we were always going to Frisch’s Big Boy. She was always ready for company and was the perfect hostess. She was always interested in how things were going for you. She would ask about school and what was your favorite subject. In the local newspaper, The Toledo Blade, there was a little section for testing your knowledge. I thought it was pretty cool when Oma had took the time to cut out all these little test your knowledge things and glue them into a day planner and give it to me as a gift for no particular reason than “just because”. The thoughtfulness and time to do all this is flattering. It makes me miss Oma and the days of growing up when family got together as often as they did. Spending time with family and the memories I have is worth more than anything I own today. One day I do believe I will meet Oma again. This time I will have the courage to ask her if wearing that bracelet was as painful as it looked. She wore this bracelet with little baby shoes on it with all the Grandkid’s names on it. Though it was pretty cool, it dug into her skin and left a hell of a mark on her wrist. It looked like it hurt.

Now that I’m kinda grown up and do less stupid stuff I wanted to do a little up dated version on Oma’s Saltine party crackers. I used Ritz crackers because I like the butteriness of the crackers as opposed to Saltines. It’s either Saltines or Ritz, don’t stray.

For the icing

145g Powdered Sugar
25g Hot water

-mix, it’s not hard people

This is a basic base, maybe Oma had a precise measurement, but this will work and you can thin it out for different looks and to make different variations. Then you can color and decorate how you like. This recipe is pretty thick which is cool because Ritz crackers have those damn holes and the mix will ooze through if your mix is too thin. Don’t fret, I have written Nabisco regarding this problem. In the meantime, I used the thicker icing base and filled in the holes then thinned out the icing to make different looks, like the tie-dyed cracker.
Chocolate party cracker icing
45g Powdered Sugar
3g Cocoa Powder
6g Hot water

-see above for mixing method

The chocolate one is probably my favorite. I wish Oma were still alive so I could pitch this idea to her. Oh, I just had an idea. What if you put a little piece of chewy caramel on the chocolate one? Sweet, salty, chocolatey and caramel. Uh…yes please.

Now go….The world of Party Crackers await you. Get creative and pass these babies around at your next party. Be sure to let your guests know they’re called Oma’s Party Crackers. Don’t steal my Great Grandma’s thunder.

“The family is the essential presence – the thing that never leaves you, even if you find you have to leave it.”
-Bill Buford

Have a fantastic week!

All the best to you and your family,
Gus