Tag Archives: Snacks

Fruit Filling

It’s easy enough to stick a piece of fruit in a lunch bag or briefcase.  But it’s also easy enough to ignore it, or to decide it’s too hard to eat at work. After all, if you take a bite out of an apple or pear or peach, you’re committed to eating the whole thing at once or making a juicy mess of your desk. Berries aren’t really meant for eating-out-of-hand. Slicing a banana before it’s been peeled is fun, but hard to eat without a fork or spoon. Clementines are easy to peel, but oranges are even messier than August peaches.

I quartered and cored an apple one day and put it in a plastic bag, thinking it might make things easier: not exactly one-bite snacks, but close. Even sprinkled with lemon juice, it browned. I needed a way to keep the segments together.

Peanut butter.

It’s one of her favorite foods. It has a little extra protein, and the ingredient list on the brand we usually buy is blissfully short: peanuts and salt.

The peanut butter wasn’t quite adhesive enough to hold the quarters in place, but a rubber band around it was. Tuck the whole thing in a plastic bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, and you’re off. It was, from dinnertime reports, among the best afternoon snacks in the history of food.

We’re reasonably healthy eaters, holding strictly to a policy of “All things in moderation, including moderation.” But it is a bit of a challenge to get fruit and vegetables into our diet–even including “stealth vegetables” like the zucchini in a quick bread. Besides, if you include chocolate chips in the zucchini bread it’s pretty hard to make the claim of healthfulness. But an apple a day–even one that takes a multi-step process to prepare–is a good thing.

Bring home the plastic bag and rubber band to wash and reuse another day, of course.

Sure, it's a little fussy.  But even before coffee, I can usually get one of these assembled in a minute-thirty.

Sure, it’s a little fussy.
But even before coffee, I can usually get one of these assembled in a minute-thirty.

DIY, Kind-of

Home cooking is pretty much the definition of “do it yourself,” and we do that nearly all the time. Usually our cooking is done one meal at a time–though often in larger batches so as to have leftovers for lunches. 

Our DIY-ness isn’t confined to the kitchen, though. I’m used to her knitting (or “making clothes from string,” as one of our friends called it, awed at her skill as if it were alchemy). She came home the other day and was delighted by the jewelry keeper I’d fashioned from some screw-in hooks and an antique wooden coat hanger.

This weekend, we were back in the Country House kitchen to make batches of non-meal DIY projects–saving a shekel or two over store-bought, relishing the satisfaction of doing something not everybody else can or would do, and knowing that we are well-stocked for the future.

She’s been enjoying Kind Bars as an afternoon office snack.  I’ll admit they’re tasty, and not full of chemical nastiness, but a little “spendy.” She picked up a box at the market the other day, thinking economies of scale would help matters, and, after doing math in her head decided the bars were still an extravagance. Sure, we can afford a snack, but we’d rather go to Paris. (And eat really well when we get there.)

“I bet we could reverse-engineer those,” I said.  And realized it might be even easier than that.  A quick search proved that another home-cook/blogger had already done the work.  We had most of the ingredients on hand; the few we didn’t were items we usually stock–except for flaxseed meal, which she assures me we will be able to use in many other recipes. As for the extra puffed-rice cereal, as I’m concerned it’s nothing more than an excuse to make marshmallows.

Toast some nuts, add cereal, heat some syrup, spread in baking pan, salt, cut into bars, drizzle with melted chocolate, cool, wrap. It could hardly be easier. Further refinement come with future attempts, but for now we’ve got “Kind-of” bars to last a few weeks.

Her story of the well-traveled salsa will wait for another post.

Dipping Kind-of bars in spicy tomato salsa is not recommended

Dipping Kind-of bars in spicy tomato salsa is not recommended