Crackers

Crackers: (n) thin, crisp biscuits

 I think I was forty years old before I discovered crackers.

I was well aware they existed—as a boy we would buy a box, and I’d see my parents nibbling on the little pieces of crunch-crunch. I remember trying one and nearly spitting it out because of its lack of…Well, its lack of everything—flavor, texture, color, will…

The only time I ever ate crackers before the age of forty was when I had an upset stomach and people said to me, “You should try eating some soda crackers. They’ll settle your stomach.”funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

So I did exactly that. I tried eating soda crackers.

The queasy stomach passed before I was able to eat more than two. Crackers have a great similarity to carbon dioxide—they are colorless, odorless and tasteless. Matter of fact, we once kept a box in our cupboard for so long without eating them that they turned green with mold—which is difficult to achieve since they have no yeast to promote such a misadventure.

Then one day, shortly after my fortieth birthday, someone brought over a delicious dip. It was in that era when everyone was trying to outdo each other with the number of layers in their concoction. They started out with five, and then there were nine. On this particular night, I think it was an eleven-layer dip.

There were no potato chips available and the bringer of the multi-layer phenomenon had only provided crackers. I thought I might be considered a little bit gauche if I sunk only my fingers in the dip to gain the flavor.

So I tried the crackers.

It was astounding how well they worked and how good they tasted under the circumstances of being completely mounted and controlled by the dip.

I learned a lot that night.

I guess I could sum it up best by saying that even “crackers” seem to have value when you have enough “dips” hanging around them.


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Condiment

Condiment: (n) a substance such as salt or ketchup that is used to add flavor to food.

I eat imitation crabmeat.

Real crab refuses to come to my neck of the woods–rents are too low, streets are not cared for enough and my yearly financial intake is unimpressive.

So I am stuck–or blessed–with the imitation (depending on what mood I’m in).

Unlike real crab, imitation crab is a substance with texture and very little flavor. That’s because it’s mostly egg whites, which could easily be classified as tasteless.

So when I sit down to eat my imitation crab, I need some sort of sauce, condiment or dip to give it gumption. A case could be made that I would lessen my calorie intake just by spooning the dip into my mouth. But there is enough texture, “fishiness” and girth to make the use of the imitation crab of some meaning.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

My favorite condiment is cocktail sauce. It has that little bit of horseradish in it that tickles my tongue (and my fancy, by the way.)

Yet the other night I found myself with imitation crab and no cocktail sauce. For some inexplicable reason I could not wrap my mind around using catsup or barbecue sauce.

In the corner of my refrigerator, standing tall but unused, was a container of honey mustard. Desperate to put my imitation crab to digestive conclusions, I squeezed some honey mustard on my plate–and dipped. It had just enough of a zing to give me my horseradish, and I had enough imagination to pretend that the mustard was really “the good red stuff.”

I was overjoyed.

I was so thankful that I lifted up my honey mustard container and complimented my condiment.

 

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Chaff

Chaff: (n) worthless things; trash.

The Good Book might be really interesting if we actually understood it. Or maybe the problem lies in the fact that it has been so misunderstood that sometimes it doesn’t always appear to be a “good book.”

But when Jesus described the process of separating the wheat from the chaff, to the average reader of twenty-first century America, the
concept is alien, if not totally obscure. I suppose because we are no longer an agrarian society, the disposition of wheat does not necessarily tingle our brains.

Wheat that is used for making flour is often surrounded by a protective casing called “chaff.” For generations they removed it and cast it aside so the “pure wheat” could be extracted and put to use.

Have I ever told you the purpose for advancement? The real value of education and allowing knowledge into our lives is the discovery of an obvious, practical application. Therefore, today we know that the chaff that used to be thrown away is really quite good for us. It may be a little coarse and sometimes tasteless, but it enters our bodies like a dietary roto-rooter and cleanses us from all internal nastiness.

It is no longer thrown away. It is turned into cereals, granola and even used in supplements.

Gradually the human race moves forward and understands that the Creator of the Universe made sure that all the answers to our problems are available in a nearby field, a clump of rocks, a splash from the ocean or a stroll through the forest.

 

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