154. Down Comforters

Not MY down comforter, but A down comforter.

Not MY down comforter, but A down comforter.

I can’t sleep without a blanket on top of me. I need that weight to feel safe and secure and relaxed. Ideally, that weight is made up of a down comforter – which is cool in the summer and cozy-warm in the winter. I love me a good down comforter. I don’t like sheets – too much work, and they get too tangled. So I tend to just sleep under my comforter, and feel happy and secure.

Buckley loves a good down comforter, too. He likes the soft, cushy feeling underneath his curled up, sleepy body. But, lately, he’s gotten into the unfortunate habit of chewing on it.

Yes. Buckley, the shittiest-yet-loviest-dog-in-the-world, has destroyed two down comforters of mine. The most significant side effect of a ruined down comforter, other than the cold, is a room. full. of. feathers.

Seriously. So many feathers. I would go out with friends and they’d inevitably remark upon the feathers in my hair or on my clothes. So. Many. Feathers.

Now, I tried to sew these comforters up. So many times. But, eventually, the holes and tears got un-fixable. The first time, I took a comforter from my parents’ house. But this time – the most recent, second time, I had to buy a $170 comforter off Amazon. Until it arrived, I borrowed an ugly, striped duvet from my loving parents. It helped to curb the feathers, but didn’t fix the problem. Now, I’m a Jew. A serious Jew. And spending that kind of money on a quilt hurts, even if I had the cash to spare. Which I don’t.

So, now I have a new (much thinner) fancy down comforter. And Buckley spends the first, dicey half of the night in his crate. I don’t like it, and neither does he. We would both prefer to be cuddling. But, hey. A cozy bed full of down is important, and, sorry Buckley, but we have to get our priorities straight. I love you, but I love my cozy, insulated bed more. Instead, I’ll dream about a warm, furry, red body curled up against mine, since I don’t have any sort of puppy-dog-replacement. Until then, we’ll have to compromise – to keep the peace and the comforter intact.

March 8, 2013. Animals, Rectangles, Truth. Leave a comment.

153. Graham Crackers

Graham crackers, classic rectangular snack, have a fascinating history. We’re going to turn to our good friend Wikipedia to learn about it.

Stack o' grahams.

Stack o’ grahams.

The graham cracker was invented in 1829 by a Presbyterian minister named, predictably, Sylvester Graham. Originally, they were made with graham flour – a course and bland flour. Graham invented these crackers as part of his “Graham Diet,” intended to curb “unhealthy carnal urges, the source of many maladies.” I assume he made them rectangular because the rectangle is the most sensible of the shapes. He was fairly obsessed with masturbation, and convinced that a bland diet could suppress the sexual appetite. Praise Jesus.

Popular modern grahams.

Popular modern grahams.

Fortunately for our sex lives, graham crackers are now made mostly from white flour, Graham’s great enemy, and sweetened with refined sugar, another great evil. They are often fed to children in daycare or preschool, although why that is, I’m not sure. Probably because they are bland, enjoyed by everyone, and easy on the stomach. Also, they dissolve in your mouth, so no choking hazard (by the way, that dissolving factor was always my favorite part of the Graham cracker experience. I liked to hold the cracker between my tongue and the roof of my mouth until it dissolved. Yum!).

Polly's delish grahams.

Polly’s delish grahams.

The best graham crackers I’ve ever had are sold at Modern Times Coffeehouse, underneath Politics and Prose bookstore in DC. They are made by Pollystyle, a local bakery owned by a lovely woman named Polly. They’re perfectly slightly crunchy, only slightly sweet, and unbelievably delicious. I miss them dearly. They used to taste great with a cup of coffee (something else I’ve given up – it makes my nose and gums itchy). So, so yum.

Plain/original grahams - the best to use for a graham cracker crust.

Plain/original grahams – the best to use for a graham cracker crust.

One great use of the graham cracker is a graham cracker crust. Although a pie is (rarely) rectangular, it is still a delicious, if inferior, treat. The graham cracker crust is a classic crust on a cheesecake. I love it for chocolate pudding pie. And I’ve recently found it to be a delicious crust for a key lime pie. It’s usually made by mixing butter (and maybe some salt) with craham cracker crumbs, which is then pressed into a pan, and baked for a bit. Very yum.

A s'more.

A s’more.

Perhaps the most culturally significant use of the graham cracker is in the classic campfire treat called the S’more. The rectangular S’more is made of a toasted marshmallow (I’ve always preferred mine charred) and a bit of (rectangular) chocolate bar squished between two graham cracker squares. It’s not particularly gourmet, but anyone who’s had one would acknowledge that the S’more is extremely sweet but pretty delicious.

Thank you, Reverend Graham, for developing this delicious rectangular treat. Sorry it hasn’t curbed my libido.

March 1, 2013. Culture, Food, History, Rectangles. 1 comment.