“I’m nibbly.” I’ve announced this many evenings and it always gets my husband attention, because nibbles, like pie crusts, are about as easily made for two as for one. He raises and eyebrow and asks casually, “What kind of nibbly are you?” Now, I know that women have the reputation of craving chocolate and sweets, but in my personal, very casual, research, the snacks to have are salty, and crunchy. This disappoints my husband. One friend and I rhapsodize over salt and vinegar potato chips with another friend it is sauerkraut, by our tone of conversation, you’d swear we were discussing something else entirely.
Gardinera, sauerkraut, pickles and kimchi of all kinds all qualify in the salty crunchy category, and all have their particular moments. My husband knows when I get a certain look in my eye in the late fall that trouble is afoot. He knows that one day soon he is going to walk into the house and smack his nose against the wall of fresh, five days fermented in the hall closet, kimchi vapors. He doesn’t get it, but that’s okay, then I don’t have to feel guilty for not sharing.
He often shakes his head as he walks into the bedroom late in the evening to find me reading with a pretty tray on the bed next to me displaying a bowl of kimchi, a fork, and a glass of goat milk. Gardinera, sauerkraut, and even hot banana pepper pickle rings all serve the same purpose and get their chance on the tray, but those usually indicate that I have not had the chance to stop by the Asian grocery lately, or that the bai tsai cabbage and mu radish are out of season in my garden.
It may be a hereditary thing, because my mom has always been a popcorn woman, I sure have that gene and I passed it to my daughter. We buy popcorn in bags of straight popcorn, none of that overpowering palm oil-"butter" flavored stuff, nope just the popcorn. We have special poppers for the microwave and then season it on our own. Back in the days when it had its own appliance and was bathed in oil my Mom popped many fields worth of corn, the smell of it brings me back to my childhood lying in bed sniffing the air for my mom’s popcorn. Some nights she would flavor it with garlic or what we called green cheese from a shaker and it made it very difficult to stay in bed, but since my mother was a stern disciplinarian, I did stay in bed. I know that I am not a stern disciplinarian, because if I pop corn before my daughter is asleep I know I will hear the quiet creeping noise of a child sneaking out of bed and soon see oversize eyes like those of the kitschy cat pictures peering around a corner, beseeching me for just a little taste. My flavoring of the moment is two shakes of garlic-herb seasoning, two shakes of smoked paprika, two shakes of cayenne pepper, a bit of salt, and more margarine than I feel comfortable talking about.
Mom is a salty-crunchy female, so are my daughter and many of my friends, we appreciate chocolate, but for the visceral snack needs, cravings and obsessions, it is salty-crunchy all the way.