Graham crackers! I hadn't thought about graham crackers for years. When I was a kid, I thought them somewhat boring crackers on their own - not cheesy or salty like Cheez-its or Club crackers, and not sweet enough to be classified as cookies. But my mom liked to top them with peanut butter and honey, and that, as a quick snack, was delicious. When I made my first solo batch of chocolate peanut butter squares while in Sydney (or maybe Sheffield), I learned that while graham crackers are not sold outside of North America, digestive cookies are a perfectly satisfactory replacement. And it never occurred to me to miss them again, until that snowy afternoon, when I peered into the cupboard and realised that I missed peanut butter and honey graham crackers SO MUCH.
So, I sat myself down in Dad's easy chair in front of the fire with a peanut butter and honey graham cracker, a cup of tea, and a Louise Penny. And I am so happy to say that it was delicious. There is always some uncertainty when you try a treat from your childhood some years later. Tastes change, recipes change, and sometimes things just don't taste as good as they did.
Fruit Loops, for instance. I LOVED Fruit Loops as a little kid. Then one day I followed them up with the stomach flu and, well, that was the end of that particular relationship. And Twinkies. Up until about 15 years ago, I would have taken a Twinkie over a medium-rare T-bone any day. Then I spent some time overseas and spoiled my taste buds with Swiss chocolate, and when I came back, I truly understood for the first time why artificial flavouring is called artificial: it tastes like plastic.
Back to the trip. The Moncton airport has a little bookshop between check-in and security. Among the books (half English; half French) and luggage tags are an assortment of moose-, bear-, and maple-themed souvenirs, including...
"Icky Stuff!" Mom exclaimed. "Do you remember?"
In fact, I had forgotten to remember Icky Stuff, just as I had forgotten to remember graham crackers. I used to love Icky Stuff - or maple butter, for those of you whose parents didn't try to trick their children out of eating it by telling them that it was "icky grown-up food; you kids wouldn't like it." Sadly for my parentals, that trick didn't work for maple butter any more than it had worked for calamari.
I almost bought the mini-jar of Icky Stuff even though it was $5.00 overpriced, and I then I almost bought one a few hours later in Toronto that was only $3.00 overpriced before I remembered how much space I didn't have left in my suitcase for non-essential foodstuffs.
I'm going to have to start a To Eat list already for my next hop across the pond, because Gushers! Dinty Moore! Chef Boyardee! This post has opened up a can of worms that would horrify nutritionists the world around.