Thursday, February 2, 2012

Recipe for Disaster

While perusing the Internet over my morning coffee, I spied this invitation to financial freedom and marveled anew at the opportunities capitalism offers the citizens of our great nation: "Declare your favorite Ritz Cracker topping for a chance to win $50,000!" I'll do it, I thought--but then I was stumped. I had no idea what answer could possibly win. So many combinations flooded my mind, each one tastier than the last, but certainly none that could be considered either original or groundbreaking.

There's the classic--peanut butter--which I enjoyed immensely as a toddler and kindled my lifelong addiction to Skippy. When I entered grade school I added a dollop of grape jelly and found a little bit of Heaven on Earth. Soon enough my confidence grew and there was no stopping me. Starting in high school and lasting well into my college years, egg salad, tuna salad, Cheez Whiz, lox and capers, chopped liver, blue cheese, herring, cream cheese and olives, Lipton's Onion Soup dip, gefilte fish and caviar all took their rightful place atop a Ritz. Still, it was no big deal---surely nothing there to warrant $50,000. Then I remembered Lenny's recipe. (Spoiler alert: Grossness ahead.)

Once in my twenties, having graduated from college and working for a living, I began hanging with a group that heartily embraced cannabis and the occasional mushroom. One night after a rock concert, an impromptu party sprang up with guests flooding our Washington, D. C. apartment. Led Zeppelin wailed in the background. Suddenly--big surprise--we were out of food. There was not even one thing left to put on a Ritz. So Lenny--no last names but if I told you who he turned out to be you'd be amazed--went into the kitchen and returned minutes later with a platter of hors d'oeuvres: Ritz Crackers topped with a mystery spread. (Writing this I worry that it is too disturbing to continue, but I've gone this far and anyway it was like 40 years ago and besides I didn't do it, I was just an innocent bystander.) To put it as delicately as possible, let me just say that the only ingredients Chef Lenny used were the aforementioned  crackers and his own saliva to make his notorious "cracker pate." The happy revelers gobbled up the mystery treats, a few asking, "Gee, this is great, what is it?"

Oh God, it's a wonder we didn't all die. Anyway, USDA standards aside, maybe that could win the prize for originality.


  1. Ugh. I didn't need this reminder...

  2. See that folks---living proof that this was not just a bad dream! (My son thinks I make up all my stories....)