I’m grateful for so much today! First, I woke up alive. Second, my gentleman caller made it safely back home despite a medical emergency. Third, I’m grateful that I had delicious organic eggs from free-range happy chickens to boil, and some leftover vegetables to chop small and add to an egg salad along with a big dollop of Duke’s mayonnaise. I love lunch. And I love something on something for lunch. A big green salad just didn’t sound good today, and I didn’t have bread for an egg salad sandwich. But what I did have is a new (old favorite) pantry staple, Ritz crackers.
I’m grateful that Ritz crackers were always present in the home when I was growing up; grateful to the Colonel for spreading peanut butter and mayonnaise on top of them one evening, which I thought was a disgusting idea until I let him persuade me to try one–years later on a road trip I found myself craving that very combination, and it’s been a ‘guilty pleasure’ ever since. But… for decades I didn’t let myself enjoy many Ritz crackers, instead buying healthy whole-grain, artisanal, expensive, better-for-you crackers. Some of them were and are still delicious. But for a go-to comfort cracker to top with anything at all, nothing compares to a buttery, crispy Ritz. I’m grateful that I let go of that judgment, that self-imposed limitation about ‘healthy’ crackers, and have allowed myself to keep Ritz crackers as a pantry staple. For emergencies, like ‘egg salad and no bread.’ It’s not like I eat them every day, or even every week.
I finished the egg salad and there were two crackers left in the sleeve. Hardly worth putting back in the box. So I fooled the Diet Police (in my head) into thinking I had them with peanut butter, when I actually spread them with Speculoos cookie butter for a small simple dessert. Better than eating five cookies or a bowl of M&Ms! I’ve lost a few pounds since embarking on the weight-loss challenge with my neighbors, and was grateful to have my visitor’s healthy influence of simply eating less of almost anything I wanted. Instead of outlawing anything.
I could have done better for dinner. I should have had that green salad. But there is absolutely no room in my freezer for anything else and I needed to make some space for more jalapeños, so I pulled out a bag of sweet potato gnocchi that I made a few months ago. I boiled it, then scooped it out into a small skillet along with a few spoonfuls of pasta water, and added half a cup of arugula-walnut pesto, simmered until it was hot, and topped with grated parmesan.