468: Oyster Crackers

Molly:

I'm Molly.


Matthew:

And I'm Matthew.


Molly:

And this is Spilled Milk, the show where we cook something delicious, eat it at all and you can't have any.


Matthew:

And today we're talking about oyster crackers. Wow, you really came out of nowhere with the show intro like we were just talking, gabbing, chatting, shooting the breeze, kicking the can. And then suddenly, "I'm Molly," and I was, "Okay, we're doing this."


Molly:

Yeah, I mean for all the listeners, usually, I'm the one who is like running a couple minutes late to our taping or I'm the one who's having some sort of crisis and need to talk it out with Matthew before we get started.


Matthew:

I saved my crises for after the show.


Molly:

So thoughtful of you. Anyway, today I was running late to start the show, but I made up for it with my extremely swift entry into professionalism. That's what we do here, [crosstalk 00:00:55] professionalism. Yes, I am an expensive sports car.


Matthew:

You are. I've always thought of you that way. You're like a ... The name that came to mind was Peugeot, which I don't think is an expensive sports car. Is it?


Molly:

I think it's probably expensive in the States, right?


Matthew:

If you can even get one. You're ... All I can think of is like the most-


Molly:

What are things that turn on a dime?


Matthew:

Well, like a Roomba does, right? It can rotate in place. Can it?


Molly:

Sure. I mean, I don't own one, but I-


Matthew:

I don't either. I'm afraid of that-


Molly:

... in operation.


Matthew:

I mean I've seen videos of cats riding on them, which brings us to our new segment that everyone loves, cute animals you need to know.


Molly:

Matthew, do you have one this week?


Matthew:

No, but there are definitely videos of cats riding on Roombas. So let's go with that.


Molly:

I just want to remind everybody that I have a really cute guinea pig named Percy.


Matthew:

That's a cute animal you need to know.


Molly:

Recently, I did some research into what breed of guinea pig he is. And he turns out it's something called a Coronet, which I encourage everyone to Google Coronet guinea pig. They're these like long hair, silky haired guinea pigs who have basically a part or a rosette right in the middle of the top of their head.


Molly:

So they've got this perfect middle part and then this extremely long hair. And if you groom them this way, they can kind of look like a sentient toupee.


Matthew:

Yes. You've shown me pictures. That's exactly what they look like.


Molly:

Ours, we keep his hair cut shorter than that. He just looks like-


Matthew:

Do you have to give guinea pig haircuts?


Molly:

Ash does.


Matthew:

Wow.


Molly:

Yeah. Ash is like really into home grooming of our animals. Alice regularly gets haircuts from Ash. They're often a little bit tufty, the haircuts. But Alice looks really good. Ash has gotten, I would say, semi-professional.


Matthew:

Years ago, I had a friend whose nickname was Tufty.


Molly:

Are you serious?


Matthew:

Yeah.


Molly:

Did they have like tufty hair?


Matthew:

Yeah. He is English if that helps explain it.


Molly:

My ex-husband has a tufty beard.


Matthew:

Okay, great.


Molly:

It just kind of grows in patches.


Matthew:

Yeah. I guess I should be thankful that my beard grows pretty evenly.


Molly:

Yeah, it does. Well, there's the end of our cute animals you need to know, including Matthew's facial hair. Matthew's facial hair is a cute animal you should know.


Matthew:

Oh, thanks. So let's talk about oyster crackers.


Molly:

Oh, wait. That's today's episode.


Matthew:

Today's episode. It's not a new segment, let's talk about oyster crackers.


Molly:

So Matthew, let's get right down to it. Memory lane, oyster crackers, go.


Matthew:

I was trying to remember, I definitely did have oyster crackers as a kid. I knew they existed. I knew they were kind of a fun cracker because you would get so many of them at a time. But I don't remember any particular occasions when we would have them.


Molly:

What were other fun crackers?


Matthew:

Goldfish.


Molly:

Oh, you're right. Any other fun ones?


Matthew:

Better Cheddars are pretty fun.


Molly:

They are pretty fun.


Matthew:

They got a great texture, not a lot of cheese flavor we found on the cheesy crackers episode.


Molly:

That's true. White cheddar Cheez-Its are where it's at.


Matthew:

Are where it's at, but those will powder your fingers in a way that Better Cheddars won't.


Molly:

That's a good point. I hadn't thought about that.


Matthew:

I know there's a thing that everyone worries about a lot, which crackers are going to powder your fingers the most.


Molly:

Well, I think that I actually, now that you put it that way, I think that I thought oyster crackers were a fun crackers as well. I seem to remember it-


Matthew:

I think they're indubitably a fun cracker.


Molly:

I remember oyster crackers as something that my dad introduced me to as a part of the pantheon of things that my dad introduced me to.


Matthew:

Sure. I mean to be fair, I think most people like their parents introduced them to a lot of things just because they're around.


Molly:

Fine. Another thing I don't think I've ever mentioned on the show that my dad introduced me to was fish and chips and the idea of putting malt vinegar on your chips.


Matthew:

I think maybe the first time I encountered malt vinegar with fish and chips was at Spud Fish & Chips in West Seattle.


Molly:

Oh, so you were an adult.


Matthew:

I was an adult. Well, not, I mean kind of because this was like the mid '90s, so I was maybe like 20.


Molly:

Okay, but you were already married?


Matthew:

Yeah.


Molly:

I mean you were doing adult things.


Matthew:

Yeah.


Molly:

Anyway, but okay. So yeah, I remember encountering oyster crackers as a child, but I don't remember much more. We certainly ... I mean here's one thing I was thinking about. Does anybody ever buy oyster crackers? It seems like the only people who ever buy oyster crackers are-


Matthew:

I can't wait to hear what kind of people buy oyster crackers.


Molly:

... the people in charge of ordering from vendors at restaurants and things like that.


Matthew:

Oh, you mean corporate goons. That's what you're saying, only fucking corporate goons would buy oyster crackers. Well, let me tell you, we bought oyster crackers within the last four days.


Molly:

But I would be really interested to talk to someone who is a buyer at your local grocery store and see how quickly they go through oyster crackers in comparison to saltines, for instance.


Matthew:

You're right. This does sound like a thrilling conversation that I wish I could have too. If I could have dinner with any three people living or dead, they would be three buyers-


Molly:

For Broadway QFC.


Matthew:

... for the Broadway QFC. And we would only talk about oyster crackers and other fun crackers.


Molly:

I would also love to talk with them about the Murray's Cheese counter.


Matthew:

That is a very puzzling thing, isn't it?


Molly:

It is. I mean, I love that Fred Meyer and QFC here in Seattle both have a little mini Murray's Cheese counter. But I wonder if it actually makes money for anyone.


Matthew:

I don't know. And I think the cheese portioning and packaging could be improved.


Molly:

Oh, big time.


Matthew:

That's the kind of thing I would say.


Molly:

It doesn't compare to Murray's-


Matthew:

... to actual Murray's, no.


Molly:

... in New York, no. But I'm not done here with my oyster cracker musings. But I wonder how many people actually buy oyster crackers to take home ... What am I trying to say?


Matthew:

... as opposed to feed the ducks, which you should not do.


Molly:

No, but just oyster crackers seem to be a thing that you encounter at the soup bar in your local grocery store or wherever you get clam chowder. And they come in those half ounce, little individual baggies. I wonder how many full-size boxes of oyster crackers ever get sold? Do people have them on their home grocery lists?


Matthew:

Well, I mean they're always in the cracker section. So, I don't think they would devote shelf space to them if nobody ever buys them. When I was looking online, I did notice that it's very easy to order a box of 150 individual packs of soup-sized oyster cracker cellophane packets. And I was very tempted.


Molly:

Yeah. Well, I mean, it is interesting, the food products ... This is not interesting.


Matthew:

No, no, no. This is an excerpt from the scintillating conversation you're going to have at your ultimate dinner party with the three Kroger buyers.


Molly:

No, but there are only certain products that we encounter in single serving packages in a restaurant.


Matthew:

That's true. What are some other ones?


Molly:

Saltines.


Matthew:

Saltines, yeah. Packs of two, right?


Molly:

Little things of sugar for your coffee.


Matthew:

Okay. Yeah.


Molly:

And that's it.


Matthew:

Can I think of another one? Well, the little naughty seaweed in a little cellophane.


Molly:

Okay. But you don't sit down at a restaurant and find a little two pack of Oreos wrapped up in front of you.


Matthew:

But imagine if you did, wouldn't that be delightful?


Molly:

That would be great. It'd spoil your dinner.


Matthew:

I don't care. I want them cookies.


Molly:

Enough about this. Who cares?


Matthew:

Wait, are we ending the episode?


Molly:

Let's just get on with it and talk about what these are.


Matthew:

Let's go back to talking about guinea pig hairstyles. All right, oyster crackers, they're a little fun cracker.


Molly:

They're a little fun cracker. So you wrote on the agenda, these must be related to hardtack saltines and common crackers, right? I've never even heard of common crackers.


Matthew:

Let's talk about common crackers. So, I think the reason I said this is because they're a cracker that really is just like flour, water, and salt and tastes like they're just flour, water, and salt. Not in a bad way, but they're not highlighting anything else about a cracker other than just the base ingredients like a saltine.


Matthew:

And common crackers are a cracker from Vermont, or at least from New England, made with similar ingredients, meaning flour, water, and salt. And they are a very venerable cracker that is meant to be toasted and served with chowder. And they're-


Molly:

Toasted?


Matthew:

Yeah. So they're a bigger than oyster crackers. They're kind of half dollar sized and you can split them in half in the same way that sometimes you can split an oyster cracker in half.


Molly:

These must have yeast in them.


Matthew:

Do common crackers [crosstalk 00:10:41] have yeast in them?


Molly:

... leavening because, okay, well I did look up the ingredients of at least one brand of oyster crackers. I looked up Westminster brand, which we'll talk about more in a second. But it contains unbleached wheat flour, water, canola oil, sugar, salt, yeast, and baking soda.


Matthew:

So this common cracker recipe I'm looking at has butter and milk but no leavening.


Molly:

Interesting, but you can split it.


Matthew:

Let me see. This recipe looks better, hang on. Oh no, this just ... I thought I was going to a recipe, but it redirected me to a Canadian pharmacy.


Molly:

Oh. But you should buy something while you're there. They'll be cheaper.


Matthew:

I should. I should buy from a skeezy online pharmacy. Come on. Nope, this is just an article about common crackers. Anyway, you can buy them from the Vermont country store. You split them. You butter them. You toast them in the oven. They're great for a snack or with chowder and they're kind of similar to a big oyster cracker, a little denser.


Molly:

Fair enough. So what about hardtack? I feel like hardtack is just the butt of jokes. Do people eat it?


Matthew:

It wasn't invented to be the butt of jokes, but probably it quickly became so. Well, I think hardtack, there was a ship's biscuit. I'm about to start talking about things I really don't know anything about. But a ship's biscuit was like a big, hard loaf that you would chip pieces off of. And so hardtack is like any very hardy plain cracker. Pilot crackers are a form of hardtack, I would say.


Molly:

Do you think that ... So as you may recall earlier during our COVID-


Matthew:

Adventure.


Molly:

... adventure, Ash and I rewatched the Lord of the Rings trilogy.


Matthew:

I do remember that.


Molly:

Do you remember, what is the bread that the elves give Samwise and Frodo?


Matthew:

Oh, shit. I knew it's a seed.


Molly:

Lambish?


Matthew:

I think I'm thinking of seed cake, which is not a cracker.


Molly:

Hold on. I'm going to find this.


Matthew:

Lavash, is it lavash? I think I would rather have dinner with three Kroger buyers than-


Molly:

Lembas bread.


Matthew:

Lembas bread?


Molly:

Lembas bread. I wonder if that's a bit like hardtack.


Matthew:

Okay, Lembas bread.


Molly:

What is Lembas bread made of?


Matthew:

One bite will satisfy a man for a day, like sexually?


Molly:

Lembas is sweet. Often described as a cake, it is made with the fruit of the Mallorn tree, a round nut with a silver shale. And it is cream-colored on the inside and has a light brown crust. Oh, a related search, what do orcs drink?


Matthew:

You tell me first what orcs drink, and then I'll tell you the thing I found.


Molly:

Are orcs born or made? Oh, bred from the heats and slimes of the earth, through the sorcery of Morgoth.


Matthew:

That doesn't answer the question of what orcs drink.


Molly:

Here's another question. Why are orcs so bad at fighting?


Matthew:

Oh, that is a good question. Yeah, I agree. I fought a bunch of orcs and they are terrible. I did one week of YouTube karate before I gave up and I was still able to fight off 18 orcs.


Molly:

Anyway. You were probably fueled by Lembas bread.


Matthew:

I was fueled by Lembas bread. When I searched for a Lembas bread recipe, the first thing that came up was a blog called vomitingchicken.com, [crosstalk 00:14:10] whose slogan is weird name, great blog.


Molly:

Oh, my God. Anyway, Matthew, so it seems like that's the same thing as hardtack. But just go with me here [crosstalk 00:14:21] even if you disagree.


Matthew:

Yeah.


Molly:

Okay, great.


Matthew:

Orcs drink it. Orcs drink hardtack. And that's why they're bad at fighting because they're always choking on crackers that they were trying to drink.


Molly:

Let's talk about where we encounter oyster crackers today. So you mentioned taking the train. Go, Matthew.


Matthew:

Yes. Definitely not something we've done any time recently, but on the Amtrak cascades, you can get Ivar's clam chowder in the bistro car. And it comes with usually two of the little bags of oyster crackers, or if you're really lucky, according to wife of the show Laurie who always gets this, you get three of the little bags of oyster crackers.


Molly:

Wow. I was talking with Ash about this, this morning because ... So Ivar's has the same relationship it seems with the train as it does with the fairy ... What am I trying to say?


Matthew:

No, no, it's a restaurant that loves to partner with transport, right? It's very like a polyamorous ... It's Catholic in its tastes when it comes to modes of transportation.


Molly:

Anyway, if you ride on the Washington State ferry system, you may have encountered in the concessions area that you can get Ivar's clam chowder. There's also some brand of chili on there which I've eaten before. But anyway, you can get Ivar's clam chowder, and Ash particularly loves to get it whenever we take a ferry, which actually we've taken a ferry maybe twice during our COVID adventure and both times we stayed in the car.


Molly:

So there hasn't been any clam chowder on the open seas lately for us. But anyway, I asked Ash if they give the free little packages of oyster crackers on the ferry as well, and Ash says yes.


Matthew:

Okay, it seems like they would to.


Molly:

But they never take them anymore. Ash used to really like oyster crackers and now doesn't.


Matthew:

How does that happen?


Molly:

I don't understand. So they-


Matthew:

I can only think of one food that I used to like, and don't like anymore, and it's because it was like the last thing I ate before I got super sick.


Molly:

And what was that?


Matthew:

It was kamaboko, which is a particular type of fish cake.


Molly:

Gosh, I'm hard pressed to think of anything.


Matthew:

I guess when I was a kid, I liked Pixy Stix.


Molly:

Yeah. I'd probably still does though.


Matthew:

But that doesn't count.


Molly:

I'd still eat those. What I was going to say is that, so Ash feels like eating dry saltines or oyster crackers is actually pretty revolting to them at this point in life because it just is so dry.


Matthew:

But the soup is so wet.


Molly:

Yeah. So I said to them, "When you were younger, did you use to put oyster crackers in the soup or did you eat them next to the soup?" And they were like, "Oh my God, no, you can never eat anything like an oyster cracker without putting it in something wet," number one.


Matthew:

Okay, but I just ate a bowl of oyster crackers. But to be fair, I did put them into something wet, my mouth.


Molly:

My spouse has some challenges around certain foods, oyster crackers apparently being one of them.


Matthew:

No. I mean, that seems totally reasonable. And I think everybody does, like as you know I'm afraid of most condiments.


Molly:

That's true. Anyway, Ash says, however, that if you are going to eat oyster crackers with your soup, that you need to put them in the soup and leave them there long enough that they lose their crunchiness.


Matthew:

I don't think so.


Molly:

Ash says they should get to the point at which you can't tell if what you have is a mouthful of cracker or some sort of just thickened soup.


Matthew:

I'm going to go out on a limb and say, this is maybe not a mainstream opinion, but I bet a lot of people do like to soften crackers in their soup though. It seems like a very old school way of enjoying soup and crackers because I don't know what I'm thinking of. Is there like a thing where ... Milk toast, I'm thinking of milk toast where you're like soften toast in milk and eat it like a porridge.


Molly:

Or I'm remembering that ... So when I was a kid, there was an older woman who would occasionally come babysit for me. Her name was Julia Beal, Mrs. Beal. And I remember watching her, I would often eat like Campbell's Chicken & Stars soup when my parents were out. And I remember watching Mrs. Beal sit at the table with me, with her bowl of chicken and stars and crumble saltines into it, straight up like crumble. I mean, she was making some sort of paste in retrospect.


Matthew:

Was she an English governess? It seems like the sort of thing an English governess might do.


Molly:

No.


Matthew:

Did she arrive via umbrella?


Molly:

This episode is off the rails. I hope that they have Ivar's clam chowder in the bistro car.


Matthew:

When we go off the rails? No. I think you have to be on the rails for that.


Molly:

Anyway, Matthew, let's talk about what oyster crackers actually are and where the idea comes from and what the heck it refers to, none of which we have real solid answers for. But we'll try.


Matthew:

I don't think history really has solid answers for this.


Molly:

So, well, anyway, oyster crackers, I think of them as tiny hexagonal crackers but they just as often show up as rounds.


Matthew:

Yeah. Wife of the show Laurie bought the oyster crackers that I was just eating before we started recording. And they are the premium brand, the saltine people and they are rounds that are a little bigger than the hexagonal ones.


Molly:

The rounds are generally, according to Wikipedia, slightly larger than the hexagonal ones. So, that seems right. They're frequently served with oyster stew and other soups, especially in the Northeastern US. I think if this as like a real Baltimore thing. That's where my home is from.


Matthew:

Is Baltimore like an oyster stew kind of city?


Molly:

Well, so I mean my mom's family, they were an oyster stew kind of family. They are the one family I have known well in the Baltimore area. But when I was a kid, they used to get misty-eyed thinking about oyster stews past. And once, I think the last Christmas we ever spent at my grandparents' house before my grandmother moved into a retirement community, we, or at least the grownups made oyster stew.


Matthew:

(singing)


Molly:

I did not touch it. But anyway, so that's the Northeastern US. In Cincinnati, however, oyster crackers are frequently served with the famous local chili.


Matthew:

Yeah. I've never had Cincinnati chili. Have you? I'm so curious about it.


Molly:

That's what, Skyline Diner or something like that? I've been to Cincinnati and I have driven by some locations. I think there are multiple of the Skyline Diner.


Matthew:

Okay, I'm going to say that doesn't count as having tried it.


Molly:

It doesn't count. Anyway, but so you wrote in the agenda, are oyster crackers known outside of North America? I could not answer that question.


Matthew:

Well, here's the research that I did. I searched for them on amazon.co.uk and found one that seemed to be expensive and imported. So I'm thinking maybe they're not, but I'm not sure.


Molly:

Here's the history according to Wikipedia. So, there's one particular company that claims to be the originator of the oyster cracker and that's the Westminster Cracker Company of Rutland, Vermont. They've been making oyster crackers since 1828. And they have like a very ... The design of their boxes feels very, just a-


Matthew:

Classic?


Molly:

Classic, yeah. Not flashy, feels very authoritative.


Matthew:

No, whereas other brands of oyster crackers are sold in very flashy packaging with lots of bikini girls and stuff.


Molly:

Anyway, so most people claim or many people claim that Westminster is the original and the best. Their oyster crackers are roughly square interestingly enough, although with rounded off corners.


Matthew:

That's what I was going to ask. I was going to say, is it like MS Paint where you can have like the rectangle with the pointy corners or the rounded corners?


Molly:

Yes, like that. Anyway, however, there's a counter claim and that is that Adam Exton, a Baker in Trenton, New Jersey is said to have invented oyster crackers in the 1840s. He was an immigrant from England. He arrived in the States in 1842 and opened a cake and cracker bakery a few years later.


Matthew:

Is there still a cake and cracker bakery? I love the idea.


Molly:

I love the idea of that too. I like the specificity of it. He apparently invented a machine that rolled and docked pastry, which was a big deal at that time because it "solved" the sanitary problems of hand-rolling crackers.


Matthew:

Now I saw this and it made me wonder like, "Okay, are there really sanitary problems of hand-rolling crackers because they're going to get baked. So like, it's going to kill any bacteria you got on the cracker."


Molly:

What if you got hair in the crackers?


Matthew:

That's what I was thinking. We were talking like hair and chunks and like slime.


Molly:

Those are sanitary problems, extreme, yes. Well, anyway, so Adam Exton had a nephew also named Adam Exton. I don't know if he was like the originator of the idea that Adam Exton is the inventor. Wow, this has gone off the rails along with this whole episode. What I'm trying to say is that-


Matthew:

It sounded like ancestry.com exploded. What are you talking about?


Molly:

It almost seemed from the way this Wikipedia entry was written that Adam Exton, the inventor of oyster crackers supposedly, had a nephew named Adam Exton who maybe was the one who first said, "Hey, my uncle invented oyster crackers."


Matthew:

I see what you're saying.


Molly:

I think. Apparently, the nephew gave his history of the oyster cracker in the Trenton Evening Times on May 31st, 1917, in which he claimed that his uncle invented them.


Matthew:

Doesn't it seem like May 31st, 1917, like World War I was still underway, right? It seems like [crosstalk 00:25:05] there would the bigger news than, let's settle this once and for all who invented oyster crackers.


Molly:

Yeah. So nobody really knows whether they're called oyster crackers because they were served with oyster stew or served with oysters or maybe because they look like oysters. But whoever says they looked like oysters, I don't think has ever seen an oyster.


Matthew:

Well, I mean like I said, you could split one in half and there's a pearl inside.


Molly:

You wrote a little tangent here on the agenda about oyster stew. Do you want to take that tangent?


Matthew:

Yeah, because I realized like I knew it was kind of more of a soup than a stew. And I think I have had it maybe once, but I wasn't totally sure what it was.


Molly:

It's thinner than you would think.


Matthew:

Yeah. Based on the name Stu.


Molly:

Because most people named Stu are thick.


Matthew:

Yeah, like daddy thick. Oyster stew, it's a super simple dish. It's oysters, dairy and onion basically, so kind of a streamlined chowder. It's often served on Christmas Eve in the south, I learned, and any time in the Northeast. But it seems like it's a dish that's really on the wane, don't you think?


Molly:

I certainly think so. I mean, like I said earlier, my mother's family did have a tradition of making it, I believe on Christmas Eve, because that was when they made it the one time in which I've encountered it. But oyster stew absolutely does not sound like something that a lot of, I don't know, mainstream Americans-


Matthew:

I mean we're going to hear from the oyster stew people, right?


Molly:

Yeah. I mean, can you imagine finding a recipe for oyster stew in Parade magazine or something? That's not going to happen these days.


Matthew:

That's an interesting question, yeah.


Molly:

I mean, I think about Parade as sort of the barometer for mainstream America.


Matthew:

Yeah. I mean, I would expect to find Marilyn vos Savant answering a question about oyster stew.


Molly:

Oh, my God, I forgot about her.


Matthew:

I loved Ask Marilyn so much. I don't read it-


Molly:

I loved Parade magazine as a teenager.


Matthew:

When we would get the Sunday paper, I would get grab the TV click, the Parade magazine and the comics and try and get to those before the rest of the family.


Molly:

Yes, oh my God. Wow, memory lane. Marilyn vos Savant, I've forgotten.


Matthew:

Yeah, Ask Marilyn. What else would it be in Parade magazine? Well, I mean, the inside cover would be like the guy, he does like the celebrity news.


Molly:

I don't remember really anything about it except holding a brand new issue of Parade in my hand, I felt so wealthy.


Matthew:

Yeah. I know what you mean. It seemed really special.


Molly:

Yeah, didn't it? Okay, all right. Let's go on.


Matthew:

I think maybe when Hungry Monkey came out, it was mentioned in Parade magazine.


Molly:

Really?


Matthew:

I think so. It might've been a different insert magazine.


Molly:

If it was Parade, I'm pretty upset that you didn't like save it and frame it and hang it on your wall.


Matthew:

Yeah, I just don't remember.


Molly:

Matthew, hold on. So you had a question that you wrote here on the agenda.


Matthew:

Yeah. My question is, are Goldfish oyster crackers? And in particular, I'm thinking about the plain Goldfish that like no kid wants, but it kind of seems like they are.


Molly:

It does kind of seem like they are. I think they're a little bit the wrong texture though.


Matthew:

Yeah, a little bit.


Molly:

An oyster cracker really has a saltine texture with flakes in it, but even a little more tender.


Matthew:

Yeah, I know what you mean. But at the same time, if you were blindfolded and I took away your oyster crackers and replace them with plain Goldfish, would that do it for you?


Molly:

Matthew, I can't wait until our COVID adventure is over so that we can actually do this.


Matthew:

We actually do this important experiment where it's going to be you, me and three buyers from Kroger. We're all going to be blindfolded and just reaching into bowls of various crackers and stuffing them into other people's mouth.


Molly:

Can we start a shared Google doc where we write down all the things that we're going to do together when our COVID adventure is over?


Matthew:

You know that really is a good idea. Yeah, we should do that.


Molly:

I mean, we're definitely due for another trip to the nude beach.


Matthew:

Oh God, I would love to go to the beach. We should do that. You're going to teach me to drive.


Molly:

I'm going to teach you to drive.


Matthew:

We promised the people we would do that. We're going to blindfold each other and do some crackers substitutions. And those are probably the main things.


Molly:

Probably. I hope you will make Detroit style pizza for me.


Matthew:

Yes. I used to make Detroit style pizza for me. Thanks for reminding me.


Molly:

Maybe we can get high out by the dumpster again.


Matthew:

I think that could probably be done.


Molly:

All right. Oh, my God, I'm so excited.


Matthew:

That's a good list. Can you start that document?


Molly:

I'm too busy. Hold on. Matthew, wait, do you have a preferred brand of oyster cracker? Had you ever bought them before we started planning this episode?


Matthew:

Yeah, I think we've bought them before. I think this is a cracker like saltines where the store brand is fine, but currently like I said, we have premium and they're good. They're little good round friends.


Molly:

Okay. I like whatever brand is available in the single serving packets that come for free with whatever else I'm buying. I saw online that there are seasoned oyster crackers. I've never encountered them.


Matthew:

No, I never have either. It sounds like that is veering even more into Goldfish territory.


Molly:

It makes me think of like pizza flavored Goldfish.


Matthew:

Yeah, flavor blasted?


Molly:

Yes. I did see some recipes online for oyster crackers and one of them recommended putting Old Bay Seasoning in the dough. And I love the idea of that.


Matthew:

I do like that idea.


Molly:

Right? I really like that.


Matthew:

I wonder if you could, I don't think this would actually work because I think they would get soggy. But if you could toss a bowl of oyster crackers with a little melted butter and then some Old Bay like you were seasoning popcorn.


Molly:

That's an interesting thought.


Matthew:

Isn't it?


Molly:

I mean a little bit interesting.


Matthew:

Now, it's pretty interesting. It's pretty disruptive.


Molly:

I think that you should try it.


Matthew:

Yeah. I might do that like right after this podcast, which will make it too late to feature on the oyster cracker episode. But we've mostly run out of ideas, so we'll probably be doing oyster crackers two in a couple of weeks.


Molly:

Yeah, along with holiday cookies 14.


Matthew:

Yeah, exactly.


Molly:

Okay, wait. But Matthew, I think this is the most important question in the whole episode, which is if you're eating them with soup, what do you do with them? Do you put them in the soup? Do you let them get soggy if you put them in the soup? Do you eat them alongside the soup? What do you do?


Matthew:

I'm a big fan of putting crunchy things into soup, whether that'd be like a Fritos in a Frito pie or like a tortilla strips in a tortilla soup. Sometimes I'll crumble tortilla chips into a chili like if I'm having a can of chili for lunch. Or like tempura into a tempura udon. I like the crunchy thing to get just a teeny tiny bit soggy before I eat it. I don't want it to be as if I had just like thrown a couple of chips or crackers into my mouth at the same time, so I do want them to mingle a little bit, but just a little bit. How about you?


Molly:

Okay, I get this. So I have to say that I have tended to eat them on the side, honestly, but-


Matthew:

With a fork?


Molly:

... with a fork, yep. And I scoot them onto the back of the fork-


Matthew:

That's right. I remembered this.


Molly:

... in the continental style.


Matthew:

Can you add that to the list of things we're going to do, is we're going to make fun of each other's silverware habits?


Molly:

Perfect. But recently, I can't remember where I was. I was somewhere with June. We had driven to the East side of Lake Washington and we needed a snack. We were killing time. We were having a mini-outdoor COVID adventure. We needed a snack and we were near the Redmond PCC or something. And so we went in and June, this is so classic June, she really loves soup. Bless her soul. I love having a child who loves soup. So what she picked out was the chicken and rice soup at the PCC, like hot soup bar.


Molly:

It was quite undersalted and we sat in the car eating, and I suggested that she take the bag of oyster crackers that she was very curious about and wanted to pick up. I suggested that she go ahead and dump it into the soup for the salt that was on the crackers. And that was pretty, pretty awesome, like it saved a quite mediocre soup.


Matthew:

Yeah, I get that.


Molly:

Yeah. So that was actually, I kind of think that it was that that made me, did I suggest that we do this oyster crackers episode?


Matthew:

I think maybe I did, but I'm not sure.


Molly:

Anyway, that was my most recent encounter with oyster crackers and it changed my thinking. I really like plain crackers, like saltines and oyster crackers.


Matthew:

Yeah, I do too.


Molly:

And so I've never felt like I needed to put them in something or have a reason to eat them other than just they're tasty. But that soup was like, "Oh, okay. These can serve many purposes, these crackers."


Matthew:

Yeah. I feel like, whenever if I'm sick and need like a plain snack, that's when I will reach for saltines. But then when I do, I'm like, "Oh, hey, saltines are good, like I feel better now."


Molly:

Yes. That's why you have them because-


Matthew:

That's why I get prescription saltines.


Molly:

... they taste so good that they make you feel better.


Matthew:

Yeah.


Molly:

Okay, Matthew. Well, I think this episode was over a long time ago, but we're finally drawing into a close.


Matthew:

Yeah, I think so too. We've arrived. Our train has arrived at its destination, destination flavor. Okay, great. You can find us at spilledmilkpodcast.com. You can send us an email, [email protected] Chat with other listeners about the show on Reddit, reddit.com/r/EverythingSpilledMilk. Our producer is Abby Cerquitella. What else? You want to drag this out further?


Molly:

No, no, I don't really want to.


Matthew:

I mean, this train just made it very brief stop.


Molly:

We'll see you in the bistro car at the end of the COVID adventure.


Matthew:

It's at the end of the train and the adventure. See you in the bistro car.


Molly:

I'm Molly Wizenberg.


Matthew:

And I'm Matthew Amster-Burton.


Molly:

I remember when you could buy a toy for 25 cents.


Matthew:

That's right. And it would last ... It was made of iron and it would last a hundred years. It's not fun.


Molly:

I've actually passed it down to my grandchildren's grandchildren and they're playing with it.


Matthew:

And they hate it.