The importance of the snack cupboard…

…Even if you have an ingredients-only household.

When I was growing up, my mum would keep one of the cupboards in the kitchen pantry stocked with snacks. She would grab a bag of Goldfish for me for my after-school walks to piano lessons, or cheese and crackers before my five-hour ballet class. On the days I didn’t have an after-school activity, I’d be home by 3:17 p.m., and she and I would sit with our snacks and watch something on TV until she made dinner. 

My dad also frequented the snack pantry—like clockwork, he’d gleefully get his bowl of peanuts from the cupboard, sit with whichever PG Wodehouse book he was reading, and munch away. On the rare occasion my mum and I left chip crumbs at the bottom of the bag, he’d happily nosh on those. It took him a while to realize that he’d never get to eat the actual chips unless he had the day off work.

That being said, when I moved for university, it never occurred to me to have a snack cupboard—deep down, I knew that if I had snacks in my house, I would eat all of them in one sitting. Let’s be honest: it’s hard to not sneak a few too many chocolate chips out of the Chipits bag you got on sale at Provigo. 

The amount of times that I’ve been up late writing a history paper or reviewing English sonnets, and wished that the “snack-Saskia” had done the grocery shopping instead of the “healthy ingredients-Saskia” is more than I’d like to admit. I think the older I get, the more I embody my mum; I used to whine when she would wander up and down the snack isles, and now I do that exact same thing, except I don’t pick up the snacks because the “healthy ingredients-Saskia” thinks that she can make everything at home for cheaper (spoiler alert: I can’t). 

My parents, too,now lack a snack cupboard, much to my dad’s disappointment. Whenever I’m home, it’s a little disheartening to see him shuffle to the fridge to get a morose little glass of milk, sit sadly down with just that, and scroll through his Twitter (X) feed to chuckle at his horse-racing content. More than once, I’ve caught him hopefully poking around in the former snack cupboard, just to see if maybe my mum had replenished the snacks. 

The good news for him, though, is that whenever I’m home, my mum buys snacks—so maybe the underlying reason he likes it when I’m home is that he knows he’ll get snacks that last long after I leave. There’s suddenly a variety of granola bars, salted cashews galore, and the occasional bag of chips. Half the time, it’s me going to Costco with my mum and persuading her to, for pity’s sake, just buy her husband some snacks so he has something. His eyes truly light up when he sees the Costco snacks I manipulated my mum into buying—there is no greater love than between a man and his Kirkland chocolate granola bars.

As finals season rolls around, I think that it’s important to have a stash of snacks—as someone who has curated an ingredients household, it’s not fun to be peckish at night and going into my kitchen to see only raw ingredients bought earlier in the week. What am I going to do? Eat a raw potato with some soya sauce? Absolutely not. 

I am truly my own worst enemy in the snacks department.

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