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Pat's Spicey Saltine CrackersIn the sweltering summer of 2016, Lea and I drove from our home in Central Texas to our childhood hometown to attend her family’s annual reunion at the “Homeplace” in rural northeast Missouri. The Homeplace is a 3-acre plot of land deep in the woods, miles from town, purchased by her great-grandfather, George Austin Tate, in 1891. Her grandfather was born in the cabin there, as was her own father. The property now belongs to her and her siblings.

Each summer we gather from all parts of the country for the weekend gathering, which is centered around catching up with each other’s activities, our children and their families, and of course, food. In fact, food is one of the primary topics of discussion, as many members in the family are cooks, and some grow big gardens and can the produce they grow. Everyone brings a dish or two for the main pitch-in lunch, and it is always a challenge to get everything crowded onto your plate.

This year we had quite a discussion around one of the snack treats Pat had made, spicy (some heat) saltine crackers. Spicy Oyster CrackersKathy, however, said she preferred to make them with Oyster crackers. And, the debate was on! Pat likes the saltines because you can hold them between your finger and thumb without getting messy spice all over your palm. Kat, on the other hand, (pun intended), likes the oyster crackers because you get more of the flavoring with each bite, which tends to hide the pasty flavor of the cracker.

Dill Oyster CrackersIf you’re interested in a version of the oyster crackers without any heat, check out Deb’s Dill Oyster Crackers. We served these when we ran a Bed and Breakfast, and they made an excellent snack for our guests. We served them both ways, baked and unbaked, and guests loved them both.
So, which do you like? Have you tried these, or a variation that you like? Send us your favorite recipes with comments, and we’ll post it here on the site.

Do you often wonder which spice goes with what, or how to choose those that combine well? Check out our spice page, which is helping cooks of all ages learn some of the basics.


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