I continue to be haunted by my predilection for hand held yummies.
Freud surely did miss the banana-lysis boat when it comes to an explanation of me and my secret yearnings. A few months of Wu-induced introspection has caused me to realize I really do get an emotional kick out of finger foods.
My recent craving for a cookie(s) all began in a chaste-enough way–with my morning rendezvous with the Quaker Oatmeal Man. His cylindrical column, and the not very wild oats within, has continued to call forth not-so subliminal childhood memories of my mom’s fantabulous oatmeal cookies.
Mother pretty much followed the eternal recipe on the box of oatmeal.
During my creative kid-years, that fascinatingly-shaped box transmogrified into a thousand and one mutations, from pow wow drum to desk accessory. I am pretty sure my mother actually still uses the pencil holder I finger-painted into green marbleized splendor as a gift for her in kindergarten!
Once, when I was about eight or nine, and considering myself quite clever, I secreted my big sister’s Christmas gift of Shalimar perfume into the oddly shaped box with a bunch of tissues and wrapped it–happily imagining –and correctly so–that she’d NEVER guess my parents had fulfilled her wish list. Oh boy, was that ever a mistake. I’ll never forget how aggravated my teenaged sister was with me when she discovered that she had spent an entire week moping (in the grand manner of a teenage girl) over the absence of an appropriately shaped Shalimar package under the Christmas tree.
I was admiring my new Barbie when, with a lap full of Kleenex and a discarded oatmeal box, she demanded angrily, “What made you do this?”
I told her, “I wanted you to be surprised.”
I learned something about surprises that Christmas Day. But back to a merrier reverie.
In our cozy kitchen with the yellow walls and knotty pine cabinets, the cookies baking in the oven of the monolithic white stove created an other-worldly aroma of home and mom and all things right.
After the cookies cooled on soft tea towels, mother placed them in an azure blue souvenir cookie tin that featured clouds of pink cherry trees in bloom in Washington, D.C. I have no idea how we came to be in possession of that tin, for we never went anywhere during my childhood years except to Panama City, Florida, but this was the hallowed tin that was used for Christmas fudge, divinity, and chocolate chip cookies, too. I thought that tin was a work of art. Still do.
Well, that is quite a prologue, written only to explain my craving for a cookie. Or a cracker. But mainly a cookie.
So this afternoon, I imagined up a pseudo-cookie that would be of cornmeal, and not oats; and of ripe, black olives, and not of raisins. Rather than sugar, I added Parmesan cheese.And rather than cinnamon, I added freshly ground black pepper. Instead of nutmeg, I sprinkled in a bit of garlic blend.
The end result was just like an oatmeal cookie, except it was…well…okay, it was way different EXCEPT!! I could hold it and munch on it JUST like it was a cookie–and it had a bit of crunch like a cracker.
It would be quite exceptional with some smoked salmon and a bit of cream cheese if you wanted to parti-fy it. It had a great cornbread flavor, and the saltiness and chewiness of the ripe olives were reminscent of cracklings.