I don’t care how many writers shed tears for the good old days, before we were so connected, before life sped before our tapping fingers:
Web, thee do save me.
My sister and I may not have grown up rife with traditions (when Jill and I hung our socks on Christmas eve, the flat unfilled sight of them the next morning reminded us that Santa didn’t stop for little Jewish girls) but darn it, we had THE STUFFING handed down from Grandma Millie. If we were on death row, our last meal would be THE STUFFING.
You could tweak it (Jill uses garlic, I don’t) but you never messed with the main ingredients: Uneeda Biscuits and stale rolls. The stale rolls might change from year to year—we’re flexible. Recently I’ve discovered that Bertucci’s rolls are perfect and we make sure to stop by the restaurant where our take out order is, um, a bag of rolls.
But don’t mess with the Uneeda biscuits.
However, the last few years became scary. Each year it became more difficult to find the trademark cardboard boxes with the little boy in the raincoat. Year round, the entire family went on the lookout for these increasingly rare crackers. What was going on with Nabisco?
One year I was able to order them from Amazon. Then not. Finally, I discovered DeLuca’s Market on Beacon Hill stocked them (I think for the frail ladies in their nineties who shopped there and crumbled them in their Campbell soup.) For years, I’d drive down and clean them out, sometimes, when only 4 or 5 boxes remained, I’d shudder, knowing how close I’d come to an Uneeda-less year.
A week ago, when we were already dangerously close to Thanksgiving, my older daughter swore she’d seen them in a Market Basket. My husband and I raced over. We scoured the aisles. I called my daughter—oh, had she forgotten to mention the sighting had been months before?
We drove to DeLuca’s, thinking it an auger of success when we found a parking spot in front (a Beacon Hill miracle.)
The wonderful clerk went to the order form.
Nauseous with fear, I went home to, of course, Google Uneeda Biscuits. Where I learned, on Chowhound (my new best friend) that it was over. They were gone. Discontinued. Kaput.
But, oh Lordy, it turned out that Grandma Millie’s secret ingredient was known by others. OMG! We were not the only family in America using Uneeda Biscuits for stuffing. We were not the only family in America for whom Uneeda Biscuits were the cure for stomach aches.
We were not alone.
But wait; there’s more. The miracle of Thanksgiving unfolded on my screen. Others, secret byte-sized friends, had already attacked the problem: Goya Snack Crackers. They weren’t a clone or a complete match, but as my savior, Bicycle Chick wrote: they are quite similar in flavor.
She was correct.
Jill, we’re going to be all right.
Because when it comes to keeping tradition alive, sometimes you have to go online, where you have a Word Friend.
Happy Thanksgiving to friends of all dimensions.
About Randy Susan
Causes Randy Susan Meyers Supports
Women for Women
New England Home for Little Wanderers