When did I turn into a chip person?
You know, someone who keeps chips in the house. I never used to do that. I’d eat chips at a party, but I wouldn’t go buy them at the store. They’re junk food, and go against my college-girl-on-a-diet training, which is: pretzels and rice cakes only.
I think the gateway snack was Pretzel Crisps.
You can see how that would happen: they’re pretzels, but they’re also flat chips. They get you (if you’re me), and your mouth, used to the idea that you are a chip eater.
And then, you transition to Stacey’s Pita Chips, which seem healthy because a) they’re “baked, not fried”, and b) for some reason, you think anything made from pita must be healthy, because pita is usually stuffed with falafel. Which, being deep fried, is not at all healthy, but enjoys a health food “halo effect” because it’s often nestled in a bed of alfalfa sprouts, aka nature’s pubes. Why would anyone choose to choke those down if they weren’t healthy?
Vegetarians love them, and love pita, so any pita product must be holistically awesome.
Anyway, from pita chips, it was only a natural step to Chipins, which are triangles of pressed popcorn. Let’s not kid ourselves. They’re true chips. With a meaningless “ins” on the end. I tried some free samples of the cheddar ones at the store, and had to buy a bag.
Now, I’m a full-on chip person.
I don’t just have chips in the house. I have a house full of chips.
I started buying them regularly at Garden of Eden, the only place I’ve found them, and may single-handedly have wiped them out.
When they ran out of cheddar, I started buying the jalapeno ranch out of desperation. Too spicy, but same Chipins texture.
Paying for the last bag of those, I informed the cashier, “you guys are out of Chipins.”
Like she cared.
I asked the stock guy to reorder them, and rationed my remaining supply slowly, but after a couple of weeks, I was out and so was Garden of Eden, still.
Yes. This is where the story gets tense.
I looked Chipins up online, not necessarily to buy them, but to look at pictures of them because I missed them. But then I saw that Amazon had them.
The catch: you have to buy in bulk. Twelve 7-oz bags to an order. Which didn’t seem like so much when I clicked “SUBMIT ORDER.”
A couple of days later, Steven came home and said:
“Take a look at what fifty bags of chips looks like.”
Behind him in the hallway was a giant crate, about 3 feet by 3 feet, which he kicked through the door like a football.
“Yay!” I said. “My Chipins!”
Two things about me that really bug my husband: my tendency for excess, and my constant accumulation of “stuff.” He hates stuff. In fact, that week, he’d just gotten rid of a bunch of stuff.
In a panic to get all that cardboard out of his sight, he ripped open the box right away and started unloading the chips.
“What the hell are you going to do with all these?” he said. “You’re crazy.”
“I’m gonna eat them,” I said.
He’d already torn into a bag and started chowing them aggressively.
“Where are you going to put them? In the basement? You’d better find a place for them. Start giving them away to the doormen.”
“No! We have room for them.”
I opened the front hall closet.
“Where? If you’re going to put them in there you have to clean it out first. There’s no room.”
“Sure there is.”
I pulled out my wheelie suitcase.
“No. No. You are NOT putting chips in a suitcase,” he insisted, cramming more into his mouth like an angry Cookie Monster. Crumbs were flying out.
“Why not? It’s empty space. You’ll never know they’re in there.”
“It’s gross. What if we get in an accident and die, and they have to go through our stuff? They’ll find a suitcase full of chips.”
“Yeah. They’ll think we liked Chipins, and made really good use of space. Both true.”
I stuffed eight bags of chips in the suitcase, and zipped it with no problem. So now I know how many Chipins I can bring on a plane.
The others, I tried to put in the oven, but Steven wouldn’t stand for it. A suitcase is one thing, but only the sickest kind of hoarders keep chips in the oven. I found room in the pots and pans cabinet, which is where I also stash extra rolls of paper towels and boxes of Breath Assure capsules, another item I had to order in bulk. (I have problems digesting garlic.)
As I write this somewhat pointless post, I’m eating my Chipins, with the freedom of someone who will never run out. To me, that’s happiness: being fully stocked.
Do you agree?
Do you fear running out of things you like, and buy them in ridiculous quantities? Are you a chip person? Do you worry about what people will find in your home if you die suddenly?
Tell me in the comments.
Also: If Steven and I are in a plane crash or get eaten by sharks, will someone please preserve my husband’s honor by removing the purple suitcase in our front closet? You can keep the Chipins. They’re really good.
Kimberly Johnson says
So – I don’t subscribe to your blog- you know why? because it makes it that much more exciting when I need a good laugh and I think of you, and go to your FB page and scour to see if there is anything new. And today, my friend, I scored. This is hilarious. The scene of Steven kicking the crate while eating the Chipins and flabbergasted at the suitcase idea is priceless.
THAT’S IT, Laura! F**k the bird, I’m eat Chipins for Thanksgiving.
They are WAY tastier than turkey.
I bet they’d also make good stuffing.
Pat Robeck says
I collect jars of jam. They look so tasty. I hardly ever even eat bread, but, I have 12 varieties of jam. Just in case, you know, they could stop making it. That would be a (un)sticky situation.
Well, you also never know when you’ll be invited over for brunch and need to bring a gift. Voila: jam!
ps – I bought a jar of jam recently and the cashier asked, “you want a spoon with that?” So apparently, bread is not required.
Thanks for a really good laugh just before a really long car ride. Just what I needed – I was chuckling out loud, much to my cats’ chagrin.
Tell your cats to mind their own beeswax.
Amanda Mayberry says
I’ve lived with hoarders, so I feel your pain. I’d have to say, though, that my favorite part of this post had to do with alfalfa sprouts being nature’s pubes. I will never look at them the same again. BRILLIANT!
How could you ever look at alfalfa sprouts as anything BUT pubes? Leprechaun pubes.
Dad B says
I’m busy blowing up balloons for the Thanksgiving Day parade – wow it’s wet out here – so I was unable to read 100% of your blog. Did you mention that your father was a chip off the block?
PS You’re “getting a niece.” Congrats!
Dad, if only I’d thought of that pun. Unfortunately, my free-association switch was in the “off” position.
I remember when I’d mention a college friend named Frank, and every time, you’d say “tell him to be frank with you.”
From Mercola’s website, specifically regarding potato chips, but probably applies to Chipins:
If you think you can avoid the health risks of potato chips by choosing baked varieties, which are typically advertised as being “healthier,” think again. Remember that acrylamide is formed not only when foods are fried or broiled, but also when they are baked. And according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data on acrylamide levels in foods, baked chips may contain more than three times the level of acrylamide as regular chips!
Interestingly, the same trend holds true for other foods, too, which suggests that baking processed potatoes at high temperature may be one of the worst ways to cook them. For instance, according to the FDA’s data, Ore Ida Golden Fries contained 107 ppb of acrylamide in the regular fried version and 1,098 when baked. So remember, ALL potato chips contain acrylamide, regardless of whether they are natural or not; baked or fried. Likewise, they will ALL influence your insulin levels in a very negative way.
Acrylamide is not the only dangerous genotoxic compound formed when food is heated to high temperatures.
A three-year long EU project, known as Heat-Generated Food Toxicants (HEATOX), whose findings were published at the end of 2007, found there are more than 800 heat-induced compounds, of which 52 are potential carcinogens. In addition to their finding that acrylamide does pose a public health threat, the HEATOX scientists also discovered that you’re far less likely to ingest dangerous levels of the toxin when you eat home-cooked foods compared to industrially or restaurant-prepared foods.
Bruce, how long have you known me? Have I ever mentioned a fear of toxins? To me, “healthy” is code for “won’t make you fat.” Not “won’t make you dead.”
True confessions time…I have in my possession a dozen cases of Santa Cruz organic bottled lemonade, purchased at a ridiculously low price! OK, they are different flavors (strawberry lemonade, mango lemonade, etc.), so it doesn’t count, right?
And here’s my herbal tip of the day: Eating a fresh sprig of parsley during or after a meal containing garlic can help prevent garlic breath. It’s not just useful as a pretty green garnish.
When you see something cheap, you have to go for it. We once went to the Fairway in Red Hook, and I found hearts of palm for under two dollars a can! I wanted to load up, but Steven didn’t approve of my plan to store them in the linen closet.
Why aren’t you fat?
p.s. my name is Laura too
I could be. I could be a house if I put my mind to it. But I only eat about 1/10th of what I’m capable.
Holy Sh*t Belgray, I haven’t laughed THAT hard in YEARS. No joke. YEARS. YOU are one hysterical woman. Holy mother, I needed that. Thank you so much Laura. Hi-f’in-larious!
Wow, thanks, Kristen. It’s always the posts that I write thinking, “why am I writing this” that seem to have that effect.
I know that the “pizza incident” has been burned (no pun intended) in our collective brains but I still use the oven for storage. It is the price of living in NYC.
Frisee is nature’s pubes from the ’70s
Congratulations Marian! Xo
marian belgray says
We discovered the cheapest way to get firemen at a bachelorette party. Too bad they didn’t have those velcro tear-away pants.
You know the greatest waste of space in our house? The dishwasher. Steven “doesn’t believe” in dishwashers, so we wash everything by hand. I don’t know why I haven’t stored all my shoes in the dishwasher yet.
I just wanted to let you know that another person was laughing out loud because of your post.
You’re so right about perceived value. The entire TV industry wouldn’t have survived this long without creating entertainment, so that must be worth something.
Thanks for entertaining me.
And I find stashes of candy from my wife all the time.
Women are like squirrels with their candy. And, with half-eaten muffins. I used to have a drawer at work for half muffins.
Mom Belgray says
Your blog was so funny! It made me want to run out and buy something, but I didn’t have to go that far. There’s a secret place that no one knows about, even though it’s very accessible. You think I’m going to divulge its location? Ha! I have it easy. I can leave goodies in plain sight, like chocolate chips, where they can burn a hole through my brain. I never forget they’re there, but Dad can look right at them and not see them. I’ve taken shameless advantage of that very convenient trait.
Your oven possibility brought back the pizza box episode for me, too. I think I’ll go have a pretzel rod. They’re healthy, right? But I won’t tell you where they are.
Is it a new secret place, or the tablecloth drawer that was always the secret place? Never mind, don’t tell me.
I can leave most of my little treats in plain sight, too, because Steven doesn’t forage for snacks. The only danger is that he’ll find my stuff, decide it’s old, and throw it out.
By pretzel rod, do you mean honey wheat pretzel rod? Don’t ask if those are healthy unless you really want to know.
I know how you feel about “lol” but dammit, Laura, I am actually laughing out loud! That scene between you and Steven may just be the start of a hilarious screenplay… So funny!
I don’t actually hoard anything – if it’s a food I love, I will eat it way too quickly to have it sitting around being hoarded – so better not to buy it at all ; ). Happy Thanksgiving – and congrats on your niece!!!
You know I’ll take an lol when it’s literal and in response to me. Although, the sign of a longtime, loyal reader is apologizing for lol, so I like that, too. That post was from way back.
Ice cream is the one food I could never hoard successfully. I will eat it till it’s gone, without pause.
Happy Thanksgiving to you, and thanks for the wishes!
Karen Swanson says
Oh, you can hoard ice cream. Yes you can. Often fabulous BEFORE the salty snack – so hoarding both is great.
Though to be clear, I had to give up my Phish Food obsession b/c of cholesterol issues…so now I’m stuck hoarding Stonyfield Farms ‘Minty Chocolate Chip’ frozen yogurt. It’s not good enough on its own, so I also now hoard giant bags of M&Ms. And, since all local food stores have disco’d Minty Choc Chip except Whole Foods, I now buy a CASE of frozen yogurt from Freezer-Manager-Fred (no joke). I love Fred – if they’re out when I swing by b/c I’m down to 1-2 pints, he actually orders it for me and labels it ‘Karen’ in the back-store freezer. All that and a 10% case discount. Love getting rewarded – and great service – for hoarding.
BTW – came across your blog b/c I’m a writer: a web developer who hires me to write copy sent me your ‘5 secrets to non-sucky copy’… which I loved… great piece. So of course I hit your site right away, and have not done a shred of work in an hour. Actually cried I was laughing so hard at Mr T ‘n’ Tony (the jordache reference did me in) – and as the Pres of TV Land is a friend, I emailed him about it… and he notalgia-ized (yes, get it’s not a word but it felt right) about that piece. Thanks for making a gloomy afternoon fun.
Heather Pierce says
Oh how I love when a new Belgray blog post appears in my inbox – it’s like Christmas!
Have you ever had the “Food Should Taste Good” brand of chips? I love the multigrain but the buffalo flavor is pretty awesome too.
Peter and I always get nervous that we’re going to run out of avocados. Amazing snack I invented last year: toast an english muffin (gluten free of course), spread with a pat of good butter, then smash 1/2 of an avocado, and top with sauerkraut. Yes, really.
I may need to quote you on that Christmas thing, HPG.
I have had those chips! I think the brand name is a bit cumbersome, but the chips are delicious.
Your snack sounds…adventurous. I’m not sure about sauerkraut. But avocado and butter are good on anything, so they should be awesome on each other.
Liz A says
ok, ok. i confess. i couldn’t find my favorite floss in the store, panicked, and bought -er- 24 little packets of the stuff on amazon. they’re in a big container in the linen closet and I’m going through them ever so slowly. I don’t share, either.
They make so many kinds of floss, yet not nearly enough of the right kind (Total Care, unwaxed).
You’re right… I had to click thru. Glad I did.
Nature’s pubes. omglol
Nathalie Lussier says
You had me giggling and trying not to spill water through my nose reading this!
Things I hoard: toothpaste and floss. I have a favorite kind of each and you can’t buy them everywhere, so I order them online in bulk and keep my stash under the sink in the bathroom. I have no idea if this obsession with dental stuff has resulted in better dentist visits, but I just went last week and got an A+ (aka no cavities). 🙂
I’ve also been known to buy raw cookies or products whenever I find them or if I’m traveling somewhere that has them… the thing is that these disappear pretty fast, so I don’t think it’s REALLY hoarding. Right?
I went shopping just this morning for dental floss, and thought “I should just order a bunch from Amazon.” Pricewise only had the little spools, not the big square-shaped ones I like. Dental floss runs out so fast. And then, as it gets to the end, I regret how liberal I was with it at the start of the spool. “I should have used shorter pieces.”
Nathalie Lussier says
It totally does! “I should have used shorter pieces” – so classic… My boyfriend thinks I’m obsessive about not running out of floss, but you can’t always tell how many days you’ve got left based on the amount in the spool!
LaVonne Ellis says
You’ve seen “Hoarding: Buried Alive,” haven’t you? It’s a slippery slope.
*heads to Amazon to order Chipins*
That is exactly how I want to be buried! Under a pile of chips. Or…I could have my ashes mixed into a 7-oz bag, resealed, and sold at Garden of Eden.
LaVonne Ellis says
I would so buy that bag. And hoard it in the closet.
Marci Diehl says
You know what I love about reading your blog, Laura? You write about chips. And crazy moves. I keep reading about how a blog should “help your reader” “lists of tips add value” — or whatever. The only blogs I consistently read are the ones that just share the semi-insanity of every day life, and if they can, they try to “add value” with some links — but really, it’s just one person talking to another.
And then I’m encouraged to not box myself in with a specific topic (like marketing or writing or … *wheeze, cough*… business). Just to write and hope it connects with that other person.
So writing about chips has great value, you see. Thanks. And Happy Thanksgiving.
Thank you, Marci. You have no idea how crazy they drive me, all those samey blogs about blogs carping on about “delivering value” and “being useful” and “providing actionable tips.” None of them ever mention entertainment value. They forget that not all blogs are instructional. That’s why I stopped reading most of them. How much value do they deliver, anyway, all saying the same shit?
Happy Thanksgiving to you.
Michelle Vargas says
Sometimes I buy chocolate in ridiculous quantities… though at the same time, I hardly think there IS any ridiculous quantity of a dark chocolate Lindt bars with sea salt. I mean, those things are RARE and SEXY… you just have to grab them when you can. I hide my shame in a little drawer and pretend I just bought one each time I have to crack open a new one. This is less for self-preservation and more for the preservation of my stock. I can’t have people thinking they can help themselves to my stash…
Yes! You can’t let people think you have unlimited quantities. They will pilfer from your stash, while judging you for being gluttonous. Hypocrites!
Chocolate with sea salt is not a thing to pass on. I support your Carpe Chocolate worldview.
Oh god that’s just like my husband. He buys in bulk but usually nearly expired stuff and then hides it around the house and I end up throwing it away, months later when I find them. Sometimes he buys stuff for gifts and then puts them away and we can find them when they are needed too.
Give your Steven my sympathy!!!
I try to only buy in bulk when it’s unlimited shelf life. Though I do stock up on apples, 80% of which turn mealy before I can eat them. I can’t help it, they’re so pretty at the farmer’s market.
I think having gifts in the house is a very good idea, but they’re supposed to go in the Gift Closet or Gift Drawer so you know where they are. I have a Wrapping Paper Drawer – the poor man’s version of Candy Spelling’s Wrapping Room.
Dave Doolin says
Shelf life being the difference between food and “food products.” Food has a shelf life. Food products are immortal.
marian belgray says
Oh, I just got the “closet” pun. Good one.
marian belgray says
Oh, lord. I read this while trying to keep quiet (people napping), but I could barely contain the laughter. It came out my eyes so I’m crying. Too funny.
I can’t believe you even considered storing something in the oven after what happened at your bachelorette/shower.
If alfalfas are natures pubes, what is friseé?
You know what? The memory of that burning pizza box was what made me relent and find a different hoarding hole. Though the firemen were awfully cute.
Friseé is nature’s pube-fro. Way harder to comb.
Liz A says
btw, I loved the image of the angry cookie monster.
“Me want chipins. Om yom yom yom yom.”
Liz A says
I’ve already done my part for humanity. When my best friend died, his sister and I were going through a few remaining things in his bedroom. When I saw first the piercing jewelry and then the quizzical look on his sister’s face, I palmed it and said “I’ll take care of that.” When I saw the second piece of piercing jewelry (and no, I’m not talking ears or nipples here), I just quietly took it. They’re in my bedroom and when someone goes through my things after I’m gone, they’ll probably wonder a little about me. (From the grave, I’ll be shouting “They’re not mine! They’re from a friend – really!”
Wow, I didn’t know your best friend died, cuz. Sorry to hear, however long ago it probably was. Anyway, I’ll take on the responsibility of making sure your tombstone doesn’t say “That piercing jewelry was hers.”
Liz A says
thanks, Laura. Mark was my first close friend to die – in 1995. I think you met him at a Thanksgiving in 1990, but you may not remember meeting him. There was and is much sadness around his death but also a lot of wonderful stories. Thanks for looking out for me wrt the piercing jewelry. I can now rest more easily.