I happened to hear a conversation my daughter was having with one of her friends. The girl who was visiting us said to Maddy, “You guys don’t have any snacks?” They were looking for something to eat in the cabinet. My cabinet is filled with foods to make snacks but nothing prepared. Sure, we sometimes have chips or pretzels but not all of the snack foods most people have in their houses.
This statement made me laugh because I remember when I was about 14 and my friend Jenifer was over to visit. We stood in our huge dry storage area of the converted farmhouse my family lived in.
This was my mother’s domain. For those of you who do not know my mother she is a formidable force of nature. We grew up on a 5 acre subsistence farm. We grew or raised most of what we ate. My mom did most of the work.!
Jenifer was saying, “your family does not have any snacks.”
Our dry storage contained big huge bags of flour, big bags of beans and beautiful canning jars full of produce from our garden. I remember loving to see how the light played off of the different colors in the jars. Red tomatoes, dark green beans, yellow summer squash and purple beets all lined the shelves. There were no Doritos.
When I would go to Jenifer’s house I would feel as if I stepped into the Plaza Hotel. They had individual slices of cheese in plastic, single yogurts and chips and crackers. How very fancy it seemed to me. Don’t get me wrong, Jenifer’s mom fed her great food but it just seemed so fancy to me to have snacks. My family could not afford these things for all 5 of us kids. Sliced deli meat was a luxury that only came once or twice a year. Grapes from the grocery store were descended on like a fallen gazelle by a pack of lions when my mom dared to bring them home from the store.
My need to make snacks from scratch also arises from not wanting to pay the grocery store prices for snacks but also that I want my family to eat well.
Making chips from scratch is a breeze if you have a mandolin. This is the one that I have but there are much cheaper ones that work great as well. French Mandolin. I use my constantly. It makes things much easier. If you hand cut chips or fries it takes too long! At least for me as a chef I cannot stand tasks that are too laborious or slow. I am usually moving in high-speed. I will slice the potatoes and let rest in extra cold water for about an hour.
Then you do not need to pat the potatoes down with a bunch of paper towels and all of the water evaporates off.
I pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
Oil a pan with coconut oil. Do not use too much oil. Coconut oil is great because you do not need to use much. I only oil the bottom of a cookie sheet and do not toss the chips to coat. When they are half way done I just flip the chips to crisp the top when the bottom is crisp.
This will take about 15 minutes. When chips are hot out of the oven add garlic, shredded parmesan and salt or any other creative flavors you can think of but add when hot so it sticks.
Let cool on a rack and enjoy.