Monday, September 15, 2008

Vanity Cakes and Gluttony Chips

I made homemade salsa the other day, only to discover that we had no chips of any kind in the house. But we did have tortillas. And pita bread. So Scott and I made our own chips by cutting the breads into triangles, frying them, and salting them. We're just like pioneers, if pioneers had store-bought flatbreads and deep fryers and didn't care about their fried snack teaching a lesson:

"It seems strange that I never learned to make them. I know they were mostly egg and were fried in deep fat as doughnuts are. They were to be eaten hot. Were crunchy, not sweetened and were so light, really a bubble that they seemed almost nothing in one's mouth. They were a golden color when fried. I suppose the egg yolks helped in their coloring. They simply puffed up when fried until they were nothing but a bubble: Vanity cakes."--Laura Ingalls Wilder, as quoted in The Little House Cookbook.

That's great, Laura, but I think we'll stick with our easy, inexpensive, message-free chips. Because at $1.50 for a 12 oz. bag of pita bread off the day-old bread rack, as compared to $2.64 for a 6 oz. bag of ready-made pita chips, that's... (Help me out, math people.) that's a deal is what that is.


  1. How resourceful of you. I've had to make chips a few times too. I just bake them after spraying them with Pam and seasoning them. When I'm out of tortillas/pitas, I've also flattened out whole wheat sandwich bread, spray & season and bake. Yum. I'm sure they would be even better deep fried, but I have a fear of hot oil.

  2. Oh, you are making me hungry and also reminiscent of the Little House books. You remember when, in On the Banks of Plum Creek Laura had her country party and her mom made vanity cakes and cold milk? And how she scared Nellie into the muddy, leach-filled water?

    Good times ;)

  3. Lori D--Yes, yes, usually we are healthy and bake them. But the fryer was calling to us, and we answered it. I love your bread idea!

    Misty--Something about the Fall makes me want to reread all of the Little House books.

  4. I'm not sure if you follow 101cookbooks, but she just posted a butter-less, flour-less, egg-less cookie recipe and it made me think of you for your kids!

    Also, I answered your question on my blog. Thought it'd be more appropriate to post the boring info there, rather than here. ;)

  5. Oooo, I used to make those back in high school, I forgot all about them! Pam and garlic salt, I think? and maybe basil or parsley for prettiness? My friends and I would make tray after tray of them.

  6. What a great way to be resourceful. A bargain indeed.