485: Cheese and Crackers

Molly 0:00

Guess what, everybody? We have a live show coming up on May 13 at 6pm Pacific.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:06

Yeah, we're doing it in a in a giant closed and closed airtight stadium and you're all in and we're gonna call on you. It's Guess what? It's online.

Molly 0:17

Surprise. Yeah, everything it's gonna be online,

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:20

but it's free and you're you're welcome to come, you can register through the link in the show notes, or find information on the reddit@reddit.com slash are slash everything spelled melk. Or I'm going to make a little quick link that will take you right to where you can register, it'll be bit.li slash bill Belk live 21.

Molly 0:39

And for the show topic, we are going to be doing a lightning round, which means Matthew and I will not know ahead of time, what the topics are, there'll be multiple topics. Abby's going to pull them out of a hat or something like a hat. And we are going to have just a few minutes to do a show about that topic. And so we need your help, please submit topic ideas for our lightning round, send them to topics at spilled milk podcast.com and join us on May 13 at 6pm. Pacific.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:13


Molly 1:14

and I'm Molly. Yeah, this

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:15

is spelled belg this year where we cook something delicious. Eat it all and you can have any

Molly 1:19

today we are talking about cheese and crackers, which is one of the best things to not cook.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:25

exactly what's to show where we not cook something not. you not? you not have any. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 1:33

that's exactly right.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:34

And yeah, cheese and crackers. That's the that's the topic of the episode. Yes,

Molly 1:39

this one. This episode was suggested by host me.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:43

Oh, yeah, that's right. We were like what are we talking about it Molly was like cheese and crackers.

Molly 1:47

Yeah, like I know, I've said it before, but I'm so tired of cooking. And cheese and crackers is always there for me.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:53

Yes. So in fact, I said I would research this episode, which was a pretty smart move because there's very little research that needs to be done about cheese and crackers. I mean, we've already done cheese episodes. We did a cheese plate episode like within the last couple years. I think we did we've done cracker episodes. So this is this is going to be like a clip show.

Molly 2:13

Great. Okay.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:14

But I asked I asked why for this show, Laurie, if if she had anything to contribute about cheese and crackers that she thought we should be sure to talk about and she said quote cheese and crackers is the perfect food. There is no occasion for which cheese and crackers are inappropriate. And then she added What do you say about something that is perfect. It's like trying to talk about air.

Molly 2:33

I love watts all as always. Hello, watts all

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:37

next week. We're gonna be doing an episode about air.

Molly 2:40

My favorite thing to breathe?

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:42

Yeah, it's I would say air is my favorite beverage.

Molly 2:45

Oh, is it a beverage?

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:46

It can something you inhale be a beverage. I'm gonna say no. But I

Molly 2:50

mean, I have inhaled water, but it didn't feel very No.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:53

Oh, that is absolutely the worst. Like, that's, that's the thing, like even more so than like, you know, stubbing my toe. Like that's the worst. I like I broke my toe a couple years ago stubbing my toe and and felt really stupid and in pain, but when I like inhale, water up my nose and it's so painful. That's the thing where I feel like like, couldn't I just rewind like one minute and not do that? Well it also

Molly 3:15

it also reminds you like so do you ever neti pot or use like you know that?

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:21

Too scary. So

Molly 3:24

it reminds you why they have you add like why you have to add salt to the water before you do that. Because like like regular water was not meant to go

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:35

up here. No,

Molly 3:36

no noses or wind pipes? Well, I mean, the pot shouldn't go in your wind pipe anyway.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:43

No, but this is definitely our hot take of the week because this is a really controversial subject. Some people some people will argue that that water was meant to go up your nose and down your wind. But we're we're here to say no, not on our show. It's no, no.

Molly 3:57

Okay, well, now that we've gotten that out of the way, Matthew, let's go down memory lane. I'm gonna go first. Okay. Okay. So I was not much of a cheese and crackers person as a child. I feel like you know, what, what is more of like a kid snack than cheese and crackers, right? I mean, it is a snack for the ages. I mean, all ages of people and all times chronologically, but, um, I think that like my strongest memory of cheese and crackers as a thing is actually so when I was in high school. Oh my god, I don't even know where to begin with this story. It's not even interesting. I just want to put so many things in this story. Oh, sorry. Is

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:37

there gonna be poetry?

Molly 4:38

You've heard me talk about Ed Fretwell. Right. My Yeah, one of my dad's good friends family friend Ed Fretwell. Okay, yes, Ed Fretwell. He had a childhood friend named Bob Larson. Okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:49

that is such like a Midwestern white guy name

Molly 4:52

right Bob Larson. Anyway, he and Bob had grown up together. They remained friends, lifelong friends, and they always went fishing. Together, among other things, anyway, so I grew up knowing a bob Larson because my dad would sometimes go fishing with Ed and Bob. Yeah, right. You got to go fishing with Ed and Bob. Yes. Anyway, um, so it turned out that when I was in high school, Bob Larson's I think his youngest child, Beth, was hired to teach science in my high school, okay, and she's a geologist by training. And she was, I would say, the first really like, I remember, I was 15. And I remember doing the math because she was 27. And I was like, this is crazy that someone who seems so young could be like teaching me Oh,

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:41

that's funny. I think when I was 15, I still would have considered 27, like impossibly old.

Molly 5:48

Well, Beth did seem like impossibly old in like a cool way. Yeah. But also, like, I somehow I think, because we had this shared family history, like we knew that our dads were fishing buddies. We, I think I felt a certain kinship or like friendship with her that I would never have dared to have with another one of my high school teachers, right. Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:11

I understand.

Molly 6:12

Beth was like, Oh, God, she was so cool. I feel like Beth really shaped my idea of what like an adult woman could be like,

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:21

Did she have like some accessory or article of clothing that really crystallized in Whoa, way? She was cool.

Molly 6:27

So okay, so well. So number one, Beth drove one of those small pickup trucks. Yeah, like, like, whatever it is the Toyota we're not a Datsun. But like the little Toyota. That's like a little Toyota. For little Toyota. Anyway, bester have one of those. I think it was red. And she lived in Norman, which was like 30 or 40 minutes away from where the school was. And she would commute every day. She had black hair, and she already had a lot of gray in it. So like the fact that she had allowed her hair to sort of become gray and she had this kind of like wild curly hair. She drove a pickup truck, and she wore a lot of linen clothing. Okay, great.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:07

I got it. I got it now.

Molly 7:09

So like she was like a naturally beautiful, but not like hippie kind of person. She was just so cool. Okay, once my parents hired her to stay with me, while they were out of town, like I didn't need a babysitter, but like, I didn't want to stay alone in our house. So my parents hired Beth to basically just come like, be there. I remember we drove in her pickup truck to Norman and she lived in this house and her bedroom was what used to be like a screened in porch but had been glassed in. And there was a tree frog that lived in her bedroom.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:44

You know, like in an aquarium.

Molly 7:46

Yeah, like there was some IV like in her room and like a bunch of plants. It was the first time I'd ever seen somebody with that many plants in their house. Like a lot of plants. And there was a tree frog in her bedroom. She just like she was the first person I ever met who like cared about like pottery but not in like a precious way like Anna. This mug feels really good to drink my coffee out of kind of way.

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:08

Yeah. Was she the first person you met who had a frog in her bedroom?

Molly 8:11

Big time.

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:12

Like when you're done with this story? I'm gonna I'm gonna tell a story about the the first three people I met who had bedroom frocks.

Molly 8:18

Okay, well, anyway, getting back to cheese and crackers. I remember.

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:24

We were going through this I forgot.

Molly 8:26

Well, I just remember Beth being like so Beth really loved good food. Bob Larson loved good food and Fretwell loved good food. And so Beth like new good food. Okay, but I do I remember her like mentioning occasionally like just being like super wiped when she got home from the drive back to Norman back to her house infested with tree frogs. invested infested wonderfully with tree frogs

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:51

invested in

Molly 8:52

eating triscuits and cheddar for dinner. Yeah. Beth was like, God, She's so cool. Oh, God, I feel like Yeah, she was in a really incredible model of like, an incredible counter to the other models of femininity that I was surrounded by growing up in a

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:13

city I understand.

Molly 9:14

Yeah, so I have always associated cheese and crackers with this sort of like I know from good food and cheese and crackers can be good food and like I can live a good life and sometimes have cheese and crackers for dinner.

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:29

Yeah, absolutely. Do you know what I really like cheese and crackers for dinner in a long time, but I will do it for lunch.

Molly 9:37

Yeah, no, I do it for lunch. Definitely. I don't think I've ever done it for dinner. But I think that if I were single or if I were like living alone or I were just my spouse were gone for a while. I think I would very quickly turn to cheese and crackers for dinner.

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:53

You're very quickly just turn to cheese and crack.

Molly 9:56

Exactly. And then I would just start crumbling all over the floor if it were summertime I'd probably melt a little bit

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:03

yeah and get kind of translucent that's that's like not a good look

Molly 10:10

before he starts to sweat

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:12

it's not yeah no it's got to be either like fully melted or fully solid yeah like that in between state it's a real uncanny cheese Valley

Molly 10:20

I feel the same way about chicken for instance

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:23

yeah fully melted or fully solid Yeah, I'm planning to to cook a doc this this weekend and I'm definitely going to like cook it to to like a fully molten bubbling that's just that's just good. Bob Larson would do it for sure.

Molly 10:47

We Matthew Don't you wish that we could go fishing with Ed and Bob?

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:51

Yes, I wish we could go anywhere or do anything without

Molly 10:56

let's let's start fishing. Let's take a fishing like let's go fishing with Molly and Matthew.

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:01

Okay, I have gone fishing probably five or six times in my life. I have never caught a fish or seen anyone else catch a fish.

Molly 11:12

I went fishing with my dad a few times as a kid I was always terrified. Like I remember stopping at the bait shop for like the styrofoam cup full of dirt and worms. And I would never touch it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:23

No, I've got I've been to like a stocked pond and Yo, buddy. And we just like went and got noodles.

Molly 11:30

Oh god. Okay, well, let's see what kind of I mean, I guess our corporate retreats are like going fishing with it. And Bob

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:37

Yeah, pretty much the same. Yeah,

Molly 11:39

I mean, it's totally the same like we we

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:43

fish on. Fish sometimes.

Molly 11:45

Sometimes we catch some good ideas. Sometimes we got true. What else do we catch on?

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:52


Molly 11:54

I was gonna say oh my goodness, we didn't on our last retreat. Right. Right before COVID Okay, go on.

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:59

Okay, so my memory lane like I remember I it wasn't like a common lunch item for me. Like I would never bring like handy snacks or Lunchables in my lunch cuz like, it is part of like my phobia of room temperature food, I think. But I do remember and I've told this story on the show God your phobia, room temperature

Molly 12:18

food is definitely about like it either needs to be cold or molten. You see?

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:23

That's right hooks up. It all hooks up.

Molly 12:26

Okay, go on.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:27

I do remember at at Jones preschool, which was the name of the preschool that I went to in Portland, the one where that kid pushed me down the hill one time and I haven't gotten over it one time. We had cheese and crackers for snack. I thought that it was very delicious. And I had my mom ask Joan, what kind of cheese it was and the answer was mild cheddar.

Molly 12:50

And it was room temperature.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:51

I yeah, I mean, it might have come right out of the fridge. I mean, definitely. That's how I would have preferred it at that age. I think probably it was cold.

Molly 12:58

Yeah. Okay. Okay. Any other cheese and crackers memories?

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:02

No, that's kind of it.

Molly 13:04

Okay. Well, where should we go next?

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:07

Let's let's talk about the history of cheese and crackers, Sally. Oh, good. All right. So there is a Wikipedia page for cheese and crackers. As you might expect, it's mostly links to pages about cheese and pages about crackers and the actual information is pretty sparse. I'm just gonna read a few things that I learned from Wikipedia. Historically, the fare of sailors soldiers and pioneers citation needed. It had become a regular menu item in American restaurants and bars by the 1850s. citation needed. Here's where here's where things really get specific. Okay, okay, quote, cheese and crackers has been consumed by various sailors such as immigrants, whalers and explorers.

Molly 13:48

immigrants are a category of sailors. That's right. So all immigrants arrived by water.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:54

Yes. Well, that those are the three the three kinds of sailors and also the three kinds of people, immigrants, whalers and explorers, everyone. You know, there's three kinds of people. Which one are you? Ah, I guess, whaler.

Molly 14:08

I think I'm an explorer.

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:10

Yeah, exactly. So that was before refrigeration existed using hard tack crackers and cheese. It has also been consumed by various land explorers.

Molly 14:21

Okay, wait, Can you summarize all of this? So,

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:24

summarize. cheese and crackers has been consumed by three kinds of sailors, immigrants, whalers and explorers, but has also been consumed by land explorers.

Molly 14:35

Okay. All right. Great. That was that really sums it up? Yep. Thank you.

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:41

Here's a specific example. Okay. 1915 mountaineer Philip Rogers consumed cheese and hard tack along with raisins and nuts during his exposition around Mount Rainier in Washington State. That's our neck of the woods. good story. Do you think there's probably there may be a plaque somewhere on Mount Rainier saying like, here's where mountain Philip Rogers like put cheese on a cracker.

Molly 15:02

Do you think that anyone else has ever consumed cheese and hard tack raisins and nuts during an expedition around Mount Rainier?

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:10

I think it maybe depends how you define hard tack but I'm gonna say yes. Yeah, I

Molly 15:15

think so I think that probably like 90% of the people who track Mount Rainier have consumed cheese, crackers, raisins and nuts,

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:25

but Philip Rogers was the first no one ever did it before 1915

Molly 15:29

he was a land Explorer.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:30

He was Atlantic's like, like one of your classic land explorers. Okay, I totally unproblematic class of people. Yeah. Before a certain point, like I kept just running into references to hard tack because I think like in western food traditions, like before, like the mid 1800s hard tack was the only cracker. I got.

Molly 15:51

Yeah. Okay. What's hard tech leavened? Ah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:58

I know we talked about this at length at some other episode, but I don't remember. You

Molly 16:02

know, who would probably know this is a friend of the show. Becky sellin gut who used to write a blog that had the heart attack at sea, right? Yes.

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:09

Yeah, I think so. She's probably your heart day, Becky. If you're listening to the show, get in touch. Yeah, she's

Molly 16:14

listening to this and going call me guys.

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:17

Yeah. Did they live in the hard tack? I mean, I it doesn't sound leavened but maybe Yeah, sounds pretty hard. Finally, the final piece of history learned is the term cheese and crackers was used as a minced oath in the United States in the 1920s from Jesus Christ, and as a slang term for testicles in the United Kingdom circa the late 1990s.

Molly 16:39

Wow. Wait a minute. Hold on. I'm confused. Just a second. We'll come back to the UK in the late 90s.

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:46

Are you confused by the term minst oath?

Molly 16:48

I'm concerned I'm confused by concerned okay. I I'm also trying to understand where how this is related to the the phrase Jesus Christ so

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:02

I had to kind of say it out loud a few times too, but they do sort of sound the same thing. So like, Jesus Christ, cheese and crackers.

Molly 17:09

So was it kind of like saying like, shoot instead of shit.

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:12

Like it was like saying shoot instead of shit. Yeah. Okay. Or like, or like, I was gonna say Christ on a crutch, but I think that's more blasphemous. I don't know. I've never heard the term minced oath before have you

Molly 17:24

know what is a minced oath? Is it a swear word? I

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:27

think it's like like a euphemistic a sound like euphemism. Like like shoot instead of shit.

Molly 17:33


Matthew Amster-Burton 17:34

are tarnation

Molly 17:35

I'm going to try to bring this back. Let's try to bring it back before the end of the episode. Let's find a way to see cheese and crackers.

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:41

Okay, as a slang term for testicles in it whether using a British accent

Molly 17:46

Bonus points if we manage to use it in both contexts, but that was up I'm not sure what the bonus points get us or who they're awarded to or by.

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:55

Alright, I'm gonna jump around a little bit because I want to know now like you already mentioned that sometimes you eat cheese and crackers for lunch. Is that is that like your main cheese and cracker event? Do you eat them as a snack?

Molly 18:06

So cheese and crackers mostly happen as a snack. But they sometimes also happen for lunch. If I have the right combination of things present and things. Oh, and I'll explain. Please explain because I have no

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:21

idea what you mean.

Molly 18:22

Okay, so my favorite cheese to eat with crackers right now is a cheese that I once bought because it was on sale at PCC. And I tasted it and I really didn't like it. But then for some reason, I tasted it again. And it grew on me. Oh,

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:37

that's such a great experience, isn't it? Because like I feel like when that happens, like whatever the thing is, whether it's a food or a song, like it's with you forever,

Molly 18:45

and now I buy it all the time. It's fairly inexpensive because I think it's like an industrially produced cheese. It's not like a fancy artisanal thing. It's double cream Gouda, so it looks like a wedge of Gouda, but it's it's firm, it's sliceable but it feels like a like a like a cheap mild cheddar in terms of like how it feels between your fingers like it or it has more give to it than an aged Gouda.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:11

Yeah, you're always you're always rubbing cheese between your fingers constantly. Right now.

Molly 19:18

It's also the symbol for for the world's tiniest violin.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:21

Yes, yes. violin or both textured cheese.

Molly 19:26

Anyway, Matthew so I really love this double cream Gouda and I really like it with a very, very bland like straight up bland cracker like shirts.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:40

Do you like it so much? It would make you double cream your jeans?

Molly 19:44

After you I hate people using cream. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:47

know I remember that you hated the

Molly 19:50

only place I like cream as a verb is in Peking. Okay? Yeah. All other uses are prohibited. Okay, yeah. Okay, anyway, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:01

came up with a min. Nope,

Molly 20:03

I really, really like double cream Gouda sliced with motza that I like I take a sheet of motza and break it into maybe like six or eight cracker. Oh, yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:17

Sounds good.

Molly 20:18

And I really, you know, it's funny because Joon recently saw me eating some matzah this way and was like, Can I have one of your crackers mama and I was like, it's pretty bland like you can try it. And she really liked it. And I think this is a fascinating thing with these kinds of very plain crackers whether it's like a table water like a car's table water or water table cracker. What is it table water

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:42

wise? It's a water table cracker. It's a it's made like below the surface of the earth.

Molly 20:49

And water crackers, whatever water crackers. I really like a bland but very crunchy cookie.

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:57


Molly 20:59

with cheese because for me if I'm eating cheese and crackers, it's really about the cheese.

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:05

Yeah, no, I absolutely agree.

Molly 21:07

If I have a really flavorful cracker, even like I know what you're about to say here in a second as your favorite combo recently and a cracker like the one you're gonna say I just want to eat on its own.

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:18

I agree. I will this this is a great teaser by the way because people have no idea what cracker we're talking about and what you need to know. But yes, I will also eat that cracker as a snack although I don't think of it as a very flavorful cracker.

Molly 21:33

Oh my god Okay, Matthew say what the cracker is. Its Wheat Thins its wheat then. So the original wheat then I think is a pretty perfectly engineered food product.

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:42

Love it.

Molly 21:42

We haven't talked about one lately, but it's it's the perfect blend of sweet and salty. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:46

mean, it's quite delicious. Yeah, it's quite ya know, it's a fantastic cracker teenager the show December recently was snacking on some Wheat Thins wealth video chatting with their friend in England where apparently they don't have Wheat Thins and and the friend said that is the status looking cracker I've ever seen. And they are like a super plain looking cracker, but they're so good.

Molly 22:06

They're perfect. They're also the perfect size

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:09

we recently got we actually have in the house right now, because they were out of original Wheat Thins we got the big Wheat Thins which are which are fine, but not as good. They're like 30% bigger

Molly 22:20

I love Wheat Thins like I really love them. But if I have them I want to eat them on their own ditto for triscuits and things like like a Ritz cracker or something. I tend to kind of want to eat it on its own or with peanut butter. I don't want a cracker like that with cheese.

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:36

Yeah triscuits I agree like kind of overpower the cheese for me or like I'll take a bite of triscuit chew it swallow it then take a bite of cheese. But for me like like a perfect my ultimate cheese and cracker combo, which I've been enjoying lately is Trader Joe's unexpected chatter like cut into a slice about the size of a wheat then placed on a wheat then any

Molly 23:01

that is perfect. This makes me want to go to Trader Joe's. I haven't been there in a while. Yeah, in the history of you. Have there been other explorers like cheese and cracker combos that are notable?

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:14

That's a good question. I have there been other cheese and cracker combos? Like Yes, yes. There have, um, remember, I don't know if they make them anymore. The duchy originals brand like that was like Prince Charles is Yeah, God biscuit company. Yep. So I would get the Duchy originals Odin biscuits and eat those with some fancy ass chatter. That was very good.

Molly 23:40

Well, again, like I think that a wheat thin is the closest thing that like a mainstream American grocery store has to like an open biscuit type of vibe. Like that sweet and salty vibe.

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:53

Yeah, I guess Nabisco Nabisco company is the closest thing we have to a duchy.

Molly 23:59

You're right. I know that like in in more precious grocery stores. There are brands of like oat biscuits like that. June loves those than I do too. Yeah, but I don't want to eat them with a cracker. I mean, I don't want eat them with cheese. It's like they want to be on their own.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:18

Oh, I disagree. No, I think those are perfect with cheese. But how many does need to be like a pretty strong cheese like I wouldn't. I wouldn't eat it with like a Jones preschool mild chatter

Molly 24:27

you would eat it with like a nice sharp white cheddar or extra. Yeah. Okay.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:31

Yeah. We currently have some some like Tila muck, like two year white chatter. Yeah.

Molly 24:37

I wish we had more that Cabot the cracker guy. No.

Oh my god. The cracker cuts.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:43

Yeah, those are white wheat incised.

Molly 24:45

They are within size. They're perfect.

Okay, Matthew, I'm so glad we did this episode. Do we have more to say Yeah, yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:00

So when you serve yourself some cheese and crackers, like do you like plate it up in some way because I find that what I do, like I don't think anyone would want to see happening because I will kind of cut the cheese up and then throw it into a Pyrex bowl with the crackers and it just kind of all gets jumbled up.

Molly 25:20

This is what my spouse does. They one of their favorite snacks is some slices of Tilak, sharp cheddar, tortilla chips, and salsa. Oh, and they put it all in a bowl. And the cheese is kind of stacked on one side. The tortilla chips and salsa are kind of on the other but then they kind of eat it like making individual bites.

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:41

Is this the thing you described as cold taco salad?

Molly 25:44

No, but my spouse does that too. Okay.

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:49

He said that

Molly 25:49

they put interesting things in bowls that I wouldn't think to do. But oh, anyway, I mean,

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:55

there were a bunch of like bold cookbooks that came out a couple years few years ago like that kind of interesting, like with a sigh berries and Kima

Molly 26:03

Absolutely not. So yesterday, for instance, yesterday was Sunday, so I pretty much never feel like cooking a hot lunch. I will occasionally do it. But yesterday, I realized I had bought like a big clamshell of baby spinach for some recipe I was doing last week and I do really love spinach sauteed with a lot of sliced garlic. Yeah. And so I took like half of this this clamshell like the 10 ounce clamshell like the big one and I sauteed two large cloves of garlic that I had sliced sauteed in olive oil and then added the spinach and so it was very garlicky. So good. And I had a big bowl of that. And then on the side. I had a plate of cheese and crackers. Yes. So I made I don't know how I decided how much cheese relative to cracker, but you probably use the slide rule or calibers. I do slice the cheese like on a cutting board. Like not at the table. Interest asked me to like I don't take the whole wedge of cheese to the table with me. Unless it's like a soft cheese.

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:13

Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah, I soft cheese, I guess. I don't know why cuz I do like it every time I eat it. But like I sort of forget it's in the fridge and it's more perishable than hard

Molly 27:24

is the perishability kind of makes it a bit of a bummer because you can't just part of the joy of cheese and crackers is that it's always there waiting for you.

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:33


Molly 27:34

It takes a long time for hard cheeses to go bad. Yep, a very long time because you can just scrape the mold off the outside for a walk. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:42

mean, especially if you have a cheese cave,

Molly 27:44

especially if you have a cheese cave, which of course Matthew and I do

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:49

there's there's a frog tree frog living in my cheesecake. at bats.

Molly 27:55

Anyway, God, what was I even saying? Oh, yeah, so I cut a few slices off of this wedge of, of double cream Gouda and took I don't know, like most of us sheet of motza and broke it into smaller pieces and took that to the table with my pile of garlicky sauteed spinach and it was is this oh delays is

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:15

how you celebrate Passover because it's the same way I do that. Like suddenly you just find that there's Meazza around the house. You know, I

Molly 28:23

have been delighted over the course of my adulthood to find that mainstream grocery stores, at least in my town and in my neighborhood now have Meazza year round?

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:31

Oh, yeah, for sure. Like I used to only think about it at Passover.

Molly 28:36

No, I think about it. Pretty much anytime we run out of matzah because I like having it around all the time for cheese and crackers.

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:44

Yeah, and I'm not surprised that June loves it. Like I loved Mata as a kid, like I think it's, you know, it's the form factor partly that like, there aren't a lot of other foods like, you know, it's like, it's like Jewish pop items that, you know, you get to like, break off the size of peace you want and like, you don't usually get to like break your food. Right? That's

Molly 29:01

true. That's true. And it's fun. It is. I never really think of that, but it is

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:07

and like, unlike other foods that you get to break it's perforated.

Molly 29:10

Oh, Mine isn't perforated.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:12

It's not No,

Molly 29:14

I buy a camera what brand I've been buying. Actually, I think I just have Manischewitz right now but yeah, no, it's just a sheet. It's not perforated

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:21

Isn't it like doc though? I'm not actually talking about like, perforate

Molly 29:26

docked but it doesn't necessarily break along the lines,

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:29

doesn't it but but it looks cool. I'm really glad like Alright, so um, other things I think we need to talk about we still got about like packaged cheese and crackers, like handy snacks, Lunchables.

Molly 29:42

I've never felt good about this.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:44

I've never felt great about them. There was a time when like the I think it might have been even like before they were keibler branded, the ones that were like just cheese flavored crackers that could that would have like cheese spread or peanut butter in between them. Yeah, we're Sue popular snack at school?

Molly 30:01

Absolutely they were a they seemed like a very prevalent thing when I was growing up the same way that like all the hostess like end cap products. Oh yeah, we're a big deal these

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:13

would be two end caps.

Molly 30:16

No, but like, you know, right by the hostess end cap would be the display of all the crackers that were like pre buttered or pre peanut buttered. Oh, right.

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:25

I know. There's hostess snowballs. Is there a product called hostess snow caps? Or am I conflating today? Oh, I think it's snowballs. Alright, yeah, there so there's that kind that where they would like pre packaged like as like little sandwiches and then there were like the handy snacks where they came with a little red stick so you could like spread the cheese spread onto the crackers. And I learned recently that they discontinued the stick years ago.

Molly 30:49

So how do you spread it now?

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:51

I think now you're supposed to like dip the crackers

Molly 30:53

did they might in good shape like a chicken nugget? Because we know that

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:58

Yeah, the thing that I noticed when I when I was looking at these like I looked I looked to see if I could like throw them into my KFC order and it was like mail order only so I'm like no, I'm not mail ordering cheese and crackers. But one of the varieties of handy snacks has Ritz crackers, but they're rectangular. Isn't that shocking seems

Molly 31:17

Well that makes it more like timber Waverly crackers or club crackers oh yeah it's like the same richness as a Ritz but rich has cheese in it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:26

No rich has like I mean as food dye in it to make bright yellow is

Molly 31:31

different from like a Waverly or a club cracker.

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:35

Wow, that's a good question. We would have to show them side by side. Yeah, it's like more a little more crumbly, difficult the townhouse crackers i think that i think that is a good cheese cracker but like pretty similar to like a white Ritz.

Molly 31:48

I want to be like on the committee for naming crackers like a town hacker Waverly Ritz club like we don't we sins Where did these things come from

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:59

chicken in a biscuit. like okay, is that is that like the only fun cracker because none of the other ones all scream like the opposite of fun, right?

Molly 32:08

Oh, really? I mean, what about like the the package like the tiny Ritz with peanut butter that screams fun.

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:15

But but I mean the name

Molly 32:17

Oh, chicken into biscuit.

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:18

Oh, yeah. Ritz bits is a fun name like that is a that is really fun.

Molly 32:25

Do you think that after cheese and crackers sort of passed from utility as a slang term for testicles? That then they started using red spits

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:36

got ups out? Like I really feel it in my reds bits. common expression

Molly 32:44

I got kneed in the red spit.

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:46

Oh. Like the peanut butter. Who's? Okay. God,

Molly 32:58

okay. Okay, Matthew, wait here. I have an important question. Yeah. So when you're eating cheese and crackers, let's say that you've got you know, your perfect wheat thin sized piece of cheese and then you've got your wheat thin. Do you eat it with the cheese on top or do you flip it over so that the cheese is down on your tongue?

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:18

That's a great question. Dan Pashman.

Molly 33:20

I Hi, Dan Pashman. It sounded like I just said, Hi, the end of the lecture, man. I really said Hi, Dan Pashman.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:28

It is the sort of thing he would ask. And I I wrote this question to be fair, I will kind of not alternate, like mostly I want the cracker on the bottom, but then after like, maybe three of those, I'll like switch it up, flip it over and like get the cheese on the tongue. How about you?

Molly 33:43

I think mostly I do the cracker on the bottom. But even as I'm doing it, I think to myself, it would be better the other way. Like, yeah, cheesier the other way. Like, how if you're eating like Nick Geary or something, we put the fish side down on your time word. Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:01

well, do I always do it that way? I don't always want to feel feel the rice kind of come apart against my tongue.

Molly 34:08

Well, and sometimes too, if you flip it over, the fish starts to detach from the rice and then you kind of have this like floppy like tongue a fish hanging down that you're trying to get into your mouth with the rice. I'm so fun to eat sushi with.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:23

Yeah, so Okay, I guess we answered that question. Okay. Okay, this This episode was your idea, right?

Molly 34:30

I think it was. Yeah, I said it was I'm changing my story now. Anything else?

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:37

Yeah, you can like I'm wondering like if I'm ever gonna fly on a plane again. And like if I do I'm gonna get the cheese and cracker box like unless everything's changed.

Molly 34:46

That was on Alaska Airlines or American I think yes. Yeah. It was on like Alaska affiliates or American

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:54

oil like on Alaska. You could get like tillamook cheese, I think right?

Molly 34:57

Yes. And they have like Seattle like some Sort of Seattle brand of chocolate tear or at least had the word Seattle in it. I always would buy the cheese and cracker thing the cheese and fruit or whatever it was called on on airplanes. because number one, it was the only thing that was like affordable and and like guarantee doubly tasty.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:18

Yeah. Oh for sure. And like, you know, because because like, you know, flying on a plane is sort of like the equivalent of being a high seas explorer of our day like it. It's really like a throwback to that time.

Molly 35:32

So if you're on a plane, what kind of sailor are you? Are you an immigrant, a whaler or an explorer?

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:40

Like, what would it what would like an airborne whaler be? Like? I don't know. I mean,

Molly 35:47

I guess maybe you're just flying to Alaska to meet up with the boat.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:50

Maybe you're just flying up to Alaska to meet up with the boat and just do some whaling, again, like, like high seas exploration and conquest. whaling like these are these are just uncomplicated things that we're all into.

Molly 36:03

We're so into them. Yeah. This show is basically just one big love song to whaling to whale song. It's a big whale song to whaling.

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:13

Speaking of which, when I was when I was looking at the cute animal of the of the Week. This week, I came across a video of like, 75 orcas eating a blue whale. That's not the cute animal the week but it was pretty impressive.

Molly 36:25

I gotta say, well, you send it to me because I'm sure I'm very interested. Hold on. I need to pull up the cute animal the week so I can see it. Okay, here we go.

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:40

All right. So this is the Baluchistan pig Meijer Boa and it is tied for the world's smallest rodent. Do you remember what it's tied with? No, but it's like a mouse that that sort of just like a head on legs with a long tail like God. It doesn't seem real, but it is real. god it's so cute. And it is the only species in the genus scalping. Gotcha, Lois.

Molly 37:05

Where does it live? beside me. Is Dan Where's palooka? Stan?

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:10

I'm gonna say it's in Pakistan.

Molly 37:14

Oh god it just fell off the platform it was on Oh,

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:17


Molly 37:19

Oh, it's cleaning its tail or possibly cannibalizing itself oh god I really can't tell it's brushing its teeth with this tail

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:25

this little right yes, this little rodent species has been recorded from Pakistan and may occur in Afghanistan it frequent sand dunes, gravel flats and planes in hot deserts. A frequency Wow, isn't that something like the thing is we're never going to run out of animals we've never heard of that our queue Isn't that great? Oh my kind of

Molly 37:46

it is so cute. I wonder if we have any listeners from Pakistan who or Afghanistan who have seen one in person? Yeah, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:55

think I think they're also kept as pets in other places, but I'm not sure like I mean of course the downside is like like we learned that like a majority of these cute animals are endangered this one I'm not sure.

Molly 38:04

Oh my god. It's so cute. It weighs 3.2 grams.

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:08

Yes, yes. Isn't that amazing? 3.2 grams, like that on my scale? I don't even know if that would register

Molly 38:14

it would register on my coffee scale.

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:16

Yeah, like I do have a little like jeweler scale that I use for measuring like fancy tea and stuff.

Molly 38:20

Oh god it's so cute. It's about to fall off the scale again. I'm gonna watch it again. Thank you I'm sorry the show ends here and I oh god it just fell off the scale Did you see that? Is there in your sidebar a little video recommendation for a video called owl a funny owls and cute owls compilation?

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:42

No, but it sounds good.

Molly 38:44

On it's from mZ mashup zone. Oh god it's got a lot of really cute holes Matthew.

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:50

There's also a video of the A jerboa at night like hunting.

Molly 38:55

Wait, you mean they're they're predators. Oh, what do they eat?

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:00

I'm gonna say bugs. Probably bugs.

Molly 39:03

Oh my god. The Baluchistan pig major Boa i think is my favorite yet.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:09

Oh, I'm so glad

Molly 39:10

I cannot wait to share this with my my rodon loving spouse. All right.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:14

Wait, just wait till next week when you see 75 oranges eating a blue whale. Okay, ready? All right. It's time for spilled mail.

Molly 39:23

Yes, here we go.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:32

This is from listener Mary, who writes as we know Molly's father is an end dive man. He's also the inventor of altoids Thank you for listening so close.

Molly 39:39

Thank you.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:40

Matthew. What Are You the man of and what foods Did you invent? I for one, this is still miss listener. Mary talking would like you to know that I'm a vinegar man. My favorite breakfast lately is a big old sour bowl of cold noodles mixed with shichimi bensi and rice vinegar topped with a soft boiled egg. Definitely not doing my stomach lining any favors, but that's the sacrifice. I got to Make as a vinegar man.

Molly 40:01

Oh listener marry. Oh my god, I love this listener mail. Yeah, I do too. And Nice to meet you vinegar, man.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:09

I think my answer is gonna be kind of boring and obvious. But yeah, I'm a noodle man. If I don't know what to make for dinner, like I'm gonna make some kind of noodles. You know, within the next couple of days, I'm gonna be making Dandan noodles and also Yaki soba. And probably there's going to be some leftover noodles for something else. And what food did I invent? As a middle aged white guy? I have not invented any foods, but I will appropriate other people's foods and claim that I invented them.

Molly 40:35

Ah, that sounds right. Let's see here. God, I'm having a hard time figuring out what kind of man I am.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:41


Molly 40:43

you know, I think that there was a time when you know, when I was blogging, I would have been a banana bread man.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:49

I was gonna say that. Yeah,

Molly 40:50

yeah. Because I posted so many banana bread recipes. I think I've also been a granola man in my lifetime

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:55

for sure.

Molly 40:57

I think I'm still kind of a granola man. But or maybe I'm just the inventor of granola. I mean, obviously you are Yeah, no one thought about it before I did.

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:06

Know You were you're exploring Mount Rainier. And you put into your satchel? I was an unproblematic

Molly 41:11

land Explorer.

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:13

Your Yep. A UPL. Nope. That's

Unknown Speaker 41:19

what is that?

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:21

I don't know. It's not It's not the initials of unproblematic land Explorer. I don't know why it came to mind. Oh, wait. Wait, you lie.

Unknown Speaker 41:33

I was a you'll.

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:34

You're a you're a log or you will log.

Molly 41:40

That's the kind of land Explorer. I like one. Log with chocolate frosting.

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:46

Yep, you will log was was a common euphemism in England in the early 2000s. cheese and crackers, Matthew eating crackers. All right. Okay. Finally, now it's

Molly 42:02

time for now. But Wow. Which is the segment where we talk about something we're going to this week. You know, I know that lately. I've been talking a lot about library books that aren't necessarily new books, but they're new to me because it took so long to get them through the library. Okay. Anyway, I picked up a library book last Friday and plowed through it this weekend. It is good talk by Mary Jacob came out I think in 2019, maybe early 2020. God, I'm not sure. But anyway, it is a it's a graphic memoir written in conversations. So yeah, pretty much you know, the whole thing is, is dialogue which makes sense because it's it's graphic, right? So it's it's done with illustrations. And it is, gosh, it deals broadly with like American identity interracial black families. It's so funny. It is extremely funny. I had no idea how funny it was going to be Anyway, good talk by Mira Jacob.

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:07

All right, as usual. I'm gonna I'm gonna put a hold on it right now. I started reading minor feelings just came in at the library, which you recommended a few weeks ago. It's so good.

Molly 43:17

It's so good, right? Yeah. By Kathy Park Hong.

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:20

Yep. I am going to recommend cooking classes from friend of the show Sunoco Sekai, who is a teacher and cookbook author and she has been doing online cooking classes on a variety of topics. She wrote a wonderful book about Japanese home cooking. But why for the show, Lori and teenager the show December. By the time you hear this will have just taken a class that she's teaching on homemade cream puffs, featuring guy her sister who Yuko and you can sign up for classes at Sunoco. sekai.com. That's s o n. o k o Sekai sa k.com slash workshops.

Molly 43:55

Cool. Thanks,

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:55

Matthew. All right, so here

Molly 43:58

we are. We've reached the end of another show. And Matthew, you know, it's gonna be lunchtime soon. Are you going to have cheese and crackers?

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:05

I think I need to check how many big wheat things are left in the big Wheat Thins box. We're picking up a grocery order today after lunch, which might have more crackers in it. Should I go into more detail on kind of kind of the like, what's what's flowing in and out? Like grocery order wise,

Molly 44:23

please? I've got all day.

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:26

Yeah, if this wasn't a rhetorical question, right. You wanted you wanted like all the deets. So? Yeah, maybe. Oh,

Molly 44:33

so anyway, I might although I have some leftover Yaki soba. Speaking of noodle man, I have some leftover Yaki soba from last

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:41

night. Oh, that reheats really well.

Molly 44:44

I'm so excited. Anyway, you can tell us what kind of man you are. Or you can

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:50

also tell us we mean this as a totally non gendered, right? We

Molly 44:54

do. We do. Yeah. You can tell us what kind of person you are. Yeah. And you can Also tell us what your current preferred cheese and cracker combo is at our Reddit and

Matthew Amster-Burton 45:06

tell him what the address is Matthew reddit.com slash are slash everything spelled mt if you want to send us listener mail you can do that at contact at spilled milk podcast.com.

Molly 45:17

As always, our producer is the long suffering Abby circuit tele

Matthew Amster-Burton 45:20

anything else.

Molly 45:22

And we've got a live show coming up live online on zoom on Thursday, May 13. At 6pm Pacific.

Matthew Amster-Burton 45:31

Yep, you can get tickets by going to our website spilled milk podcast calm, I'll pop a link up at the top there. And there's gonna be a lightning round show where we do very quick episodes one after another based on topics that you send in. And if you have an idea for a topic for that lightning round show, send it to topics at spilled milk podcast.com and producer Abby will put the topics into a hat and pull them out during the show.

Molly 45:56

It's gonna be terrifying and fun.

Matthew Amster-Burton 45:59

Yes, my cheese and crackers are shaking at the thought.

Molly 46:03

Oh, good. Okay, thank you for listening to spilled milk. The show that's mincing oats. I mean oaths left and right.

Matthew Amster-Burton 46:14

Whoever they're missing oats left and right because we're making up our edge. I'm Matthew Amster-Burton.

Molly 46:20

I'm Molly weissenberg.

Matthew Amster-Burton 46:34

I'm Matthew No, terrible. Oh, did a weird voice. I'm Matthew I jigs dries out dad's gonna come out to any ridiculous no matter how I do it.

Molly 46:52


Matthew Amster-Burton 46:52

I'm Matthew.

Molly 46:57

This is gonna be a good outtake. Okay.