Grandma Carm’s Ranch Crackers.

Here we have a guilty pleasure plucked straight out of a 1970s living room, where mothers played bridge and sipped iced tea in floral midi skirts —

My grandmother Carm’s “Ranch Crackers.”

Ranch crackers are a deliciously out-of-vogue social gathering snack, one that avails itself of packaged, powdered dressing mix and unfussy presentation. My mother used to mix up a bowl for summer picnics and reunions, and she’d keep them in a large tupperware in the pantry that my sisters and I would pry open and filch from throughout the day, leaving oily fingerprints all over the house.

They are mouth-wateringly salty and tangy. Rife with kitsch, I dare you to just eat one.

I like to keep them in small ramekins by the bar when blessed with guests (who knows when that will be, though I fully intend to mix up a bowl when visiting my cousin later this summer) or next to my happy hour glass of wine when in isolation.

Also a fantastic accompaniment to a feel-good throwback movie — and I’ve listed some of my favorite recently re-watched flicks below.

Cheers to all the things that bring us comfort and small measures of unfiltered joy.

Grandma Carm’s Ranch Crackers

Mix 1 cup vegetable or canola oil with 1 teaspoon dried dill, ยฝ teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix.ย  Stir and mix with two 12-oz boxes of oyster crackers.

Throwback Feel Good Movies Worth Re-Watching*

Uncle Buck

10 Things I Hate About You

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Say Anything

The Great Outdoors

The Breakfast Club

Clueless

What About Bob

Easy A

Mean Girls

*Mr. Magpie and I are having a major love affair watching (mainly) teen flicks from our youth. I mused on why that might be here, concluding that “It has been overwhelming to think about adult problems these days. The concerns in these movies feel pleasantly narrow and manageable by contrast…I have found comfort revisiting the upward swing of adolescence, the indefatigable energy and optimism of being a sixteen-year-old with her driverโ€™s license in hand. These recovered sensations billow powerfully against the mire and morbidity of 2020. They remind me what it feels like to be in transit, heart racing and a little reckless, with nothing but upside.”

I also absolutely loved the more recent To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before — one of the best teen rom-coms I’ve seen in a long time!

P.S. More on my Grandma Carm here.

Post Scripts: On My June Shopping List.

NEW SUMMER PAJAMAS — THIS PAIR AND THIS PAIR FROM RECLINER (JUST RESTOCKED)

NEW NOTEBOOK

NEW PAIR OF WIRELESS EARBUDS (I SOMEHOW KILLED MY LAST PAIR AND I NEED THEM FOR MY RECENTLY-RESTORED RUNNING HOBBY)

EASY TO WEAR, UNFUSSY DAY DRESSES: LOVE THIS EASY MIDI SHIRT-DRESS, THIS $20 FLOATY NUMBER, THIS ROSE PRINT MAXI I’VE ALREADY TALKED YOUR EAR OFF ABOUT, THIS GRANDMILLENNIAL-VIBES FLORAL, AND/OR THIS ON-TREND DOEN-ESQUE STEAL FOR $28

BABY SPERRY FOR HILL

A $24 FLORAL BATHROBE THE ULTRA-CHIC EMILY DISCOVERED!

STROLLER FAN

READ A REALLY CONVINCING REVIEW OF THIS STUFF FOR GETTING SPILLS/STAINS OUT OF UPHOLSTERY…I AM ALMOST ALWAYS DABBING YOGURT OFF OUR COUCH! AHHH

A FRESH SET OF HIGH BALL GLASSES FOR SUMMER TOM COLLINS OR G&TS

THIS ANIMAL ALMANAC TO WORK THROUGH WITH MINI OVER THE SUMMER

TEMPTED TO GIVE THESE PRESS-ON GEL NAILS A TRY…?! WHO HAS TRIED THEM!?

SAUCY RED SANDALS OR THESE REFINED, ON-TREND WHITE ONES (BOTH ON SALE!)

INNIKA CHOO TUBE DRESS

BOW MASK

MINNOW RASHGUARD FOR MINI (JUST RE-STOCKED IN ALL SIZES!) AND THIS RASHGUARD SET FOR MICRO

P.S. More recipes from my family archive here, here, and here.

12 Comments

  1. My Grandmother would make these for our family Christmas gatherings. We too would sneak handfuls from a large Tupperware bowl. They remind me of my childhood. I love the idea of making them in the summer, and enjoying with a glass of white wine.

    1. Totally a throwback to childhood! So funny how many variations there on this recipe. They truly are as delicious now as they were then…cheers!

  2. We make a similar snack, but spicy!!

    It’s 1 cup vegetable or canola oil, 1 t garlic powder, 1 t onion powder, 1 t black pepper, 3 T crushed red pepper flakes, and 2 ranch dressing packets. For crackers, we use 3/4 of a bag of Oyster Crackers, a box of Cheez-Its, and a box of Mini Club Crackers. It makes quite a lot but doesn’t last long ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Oooo — this sounds OUTRAGEOUS. I love the addition of a little heat! You also made me wonder about adding Old Bay seasoning in some way…

      xx

  3. I’ve actually tried ManiMe a couple times since nail salons aren’t open now and it’s AWESOME! The app scans your nails and they deliver them custom-fit, you just need to file them. They stay on pretty well, look SUPER natural and are so fun because of all the different designs! It’s fun to be super adventurous with the designs ๐Ÿ™‚ and they always send a couple extras in case you mess up sticking one on.

    Hope everyone is doing well! xoxo

    P.S. think this may have been in a different post, but I actually really liked the Immortalists ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. a. These look delicious.
    b. Have you seen The Sopranos? It’s our quarantine show. If you ever want something to mix up the nostalgic movies (which I totally support), the world of the Sopranos is very immersive/distracting in the best way. (Warning: definitely violent; I have a knack for averting my eyes at the right time.) A key character is named Carmela Soprano, aka Carm. So I just have to know your grandma’s full name now. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Joyce — I’ve seen the first few seasons of the Sopranos and my sister is watching them all right now! I totally get the appeal, especially right now. I also rewatched Downton Abbey and have been starting Sex and the City over from the start — any of these series that create a whole other world full of rich characters is very appealing to me!

      My grandmother’s full name was Carmella!!!

      xx

  5. Love a good snack recipe โ€” so sweet that this one came from your grandma! Also: I’m with you on the urge to watch lighter movies. I saw a heavier one recently (Arrival) and it DESTROYED me for days. I think it was like an emotional pressure valve for all of the pent-up feelings I’ve had during COVID-19! Ugh.

    Love the red ATP Atelier sandals and the Innika tube dress! That dress could be the perfect birthday option this year, given that I won’t be going out to celebrate my June birthday …

    xx

    1. Yes – lighter movies only right now. I had a similar experience to the one you had attempting to watch Arrival — we started that movie 1917 and it was just too much! I had to leave. Landon said it was one of the best movies he’s seen, but I just need everything light and fluffy right now…

      xxx

  6. Now Iโ€™m only thinking of eating these crackers while sipping iced tea with girlfriends. Sounds dreamy compared to our current reality! Someday, someday soon.

    1. YES — exactly what I want. My best friend and I love doing puzzles while sipping white wine when we go away together in the summer. I’m thinking of these crackers + puzzle + white wine + idle best friend chatter + warm weather + music on the speakers and it’s making me so nostalgic…

      xx

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