As a child of the 80s, it has always struck me that I’m part of an age group that straddles the old and the new.
My generation remembers what it’s like to use rotary phones and payphones. We recall getting up to change TV channels and writing letters on customized stationary using brightly coloured pens and stickers; we have fond memories of playing outside from sunrise to sunset in the middle of the street and walking to school by ourselves; we knew family and community members who were in the World War 1 and 2 and the Holocaust; we didn’t grow up with social media (thank goodness!) and used big, bulky cellphones – but most of us didn’t even get them until the end of high school.
At the same time, my generation has enthusiastically embraced change. We adapt to new technologies with ease and without fear or longing for the past; we post to Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and blogs to express ourselves and connect with others in our fast-paced lives. We accept shorter attention spans with grace and sensible solutions. We take the lessons we learned from our parents and grandparents, but adjust them as needed to the modern world.
I don’t have children, so I don’t often get the opportunity to give the ‘ol “When I was your age…” speeches. When I think back to my childhood, many of my most solid memories revolve around food. And not the standing-on-a-chair-baking-with-my-mother kinda memories (though I have plenty of those too). What I remember are the snacks and treats.
There were a lot of junk foods we weren’t allowed to eat as children, something that really stuck in my craw at the time but am grateful for now (thanks mom!). It’s not like I grew up on a commune eating millet and organic tofu – we ate our fair share of packaged foods (as I’ll soon tell you), but it wasn’t open season on anything and everything. Sugary cereals were a no-go. My parents didn’t feed us much fast food. The cookie jar was not eternally open. This made the treats we were allowed to have more special and memorable.
I remember snatching homemade chocolate-covered fruit and nuts from the refrigerator, the cool treat snapping with every bite and simultaneously melting chocolate onto my fingers. Sucking on Smarties while lying on my stomach in front of the TV watching movies. Buying Doritos during mid-morning break in the seventh grade. Grabbing a handful of golden graham crackers as an after-school, pre-homework snack. Buying penny candy at the local convenience store (the penny doesn’t even exist anymore!). Choosing my favourite popsicle flavour on a warm summer day (banana or chocolate). Each food memory flits around, amplifying when triggered and then waning.
As we’ve learned to cook for our own families, my generation has become adept at health-ifying our beloved childhood treats. We strive to create a similar sensory experience, but infuse our food with additional health benefits. When you add the extra layer of allergen-friendly eating (gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, etc.), as is common now, recipe creation can become more challenging, but also much, much more rewarding.
Which brings us to this recipe for gluten-free all-dressed tortilla chips. They’ve got everything you’d want in a chip: crunch and salt. Are they exactly like Doritos? Nope. They’re better, because they’re packed with flavour from real spices instead of chemicals.
We can cling to our food memories, but it’s also important to make room for the new ones. And it’s a heck of a lot easier when what you’re asked to embrace is so delicious.
- 4 6-inch corn tortillas
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¾ tsp garlic powder
- ¾ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp paprika
- ⅛ tsp cayenne
- ⅛ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut the corn tortillas into 6 triangles and place into a bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the chips and toss with your hands to ensure each chip is mostly covered in oil.
- In a small dish, mix the spices. Sprinkle the seasoning over the chips and toss again with your hands.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place the chips onto it.
- Bake for 8 minutes, until lightly golden and crispy.
- This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.