Pickled onions, lucky diced cubes of hard cheese, chunky slices of cabanossi, dollops of dip (corn relish, of course) and Jatz Original crackers.
Yes, this is my new dream snack platter, inspired from decades gone by, that is responsible for me no longer fitting into my jeans. I no longer fit my shorts, either, but I cannot seem to quit my ’90s-style food obsession.
Not much in life makes me happier than this tray of tasties I am now in the habit of eating daily while having a glass of wine and thinking about mustering the energy to cook dinner. This time of year – between Christmas and when we all become adults and go back to work – is hard to keep track of the days and even harder to follow adult rules when it comes to our diets.
Snacking every hour is not being kind to my thighs but my tastebuds are having a rage. I blame my friend Melisa, a true foodie, for my newfound focus on this honest food I had forgotten. Melisa is married to a chef who does the best prawn rolls you will ever taste. Ever. So usually, their food is on the fancy side.
But Melisa told me a few weeks ago she had all the ingredients to whip up a platter for her mum that would make many of us feel nostalgic at the thought of how nibbles used to be served. I was immediately invested. These snacks were considered just fabulous back in the day when we played with Smurfs, Cabbage Patch Kids and Care Bears in our terry towelling short shorts and Hypercolor T-shirts.
Somewhere along the line, charcuterie boards took over happy hour nibbles, along with beetroot twice-roasted hummus dips and organic multigrain brown rice crackers to have with our tiny bowls of avocado and green bean quinoa salad. Oh, save me.
If it is okay for Melisa the foodie to eat pickled onions (green is always correct), it is okay for me to follow suit with old-school snacks. I only feel bad I turned my back on such delicacies for so many decades.
Next week, I plan to start eating Chiko Rolls again. It has been at least 20 years since I allowed myself this indulgence. I may even go all out and have my Chiko Roll with a can of sarsaparilla or a carton of lime-flavoured milk.
Now that is the definition of bringing in the new year with pure joy.