We came across spicy saltines at First Monday Trade Days. First Monday is a HUGE (and when I say HUGE, I mean HUGE — this is Texas, after all) flea market in Canton, Texas that occurs on the weekend preceding the first Monday of each month. It may not be the biggest Flea Market in the world (although I’m sure they have claimed that distinction), but it is a massive assortment of buildings and pavilions filled with booth after booth of everything from furniture to candles to things made out of rusty scrap metal and everything else in between. Then for the uber-adventurous, there are acres and acres of “stuff that fell off the back of a train” and other assorted yard-sale treasures to be found under pop-up tents surrounding the permanent structures. It’s a small city of commerce that never ceases to astound. The people-watching is as fun as the treasure hunting! You can rent a scooter for the day to get around, and seasoned shoppers have their own pull carts to harness the day’s treasures. I honestly don’t think you could cover it all in one day.
One of the small stalls was sampling and selling a spicy cracker mix — a little over-priced in my opinion, but it was delicious and we were hungry from so much walking. The vendor even talked me into purchasing a small package of the 2-gallon bags needed for mixing the crackers and spices since it would be such a waste for me to buy a whole box from the grocery store later. (She was a good sales lady).
We made them immediately after arriving home and they were gone before the evening was over. We blame the son-in-law, but I know we were all sampling and before they had a chance to sit overnight and let the spicy goodness seep deep into the saltines, we finished off the entire box.
Since the only way to get more was to order the package online, and we weren’t willing to wait that long for more crackers, we turned to desperate measures to make more. We tried several on-line recipes, but none was “quite right”. Several batches later, we came up with our own version. It may not be the original, but it’s pretty addictive anyway.
1 package (1 oz.) Ranch Dressing Mix
2 tsp. Garlic Powder.
2 tsp. Ground Red Pepper
1 tsp. Chili Powder
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp. smoky Paprika
1 1/3 cup vegetable Oil
One 16 oz. box of saltine crackers
- 1 package (1 oz.) Ranch Dressing Mix
- 2 tsp. Garlic Powder.
- 2 tsp. Ground Red Pepper
- 1 tsp. Chili Powder
- ½ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
- ½ tsp. smoky Paprika
- 1⅓ cup vegetable Oil
- One 16 oz. box of saltine crackers
- Mix all spices and dry ingredients in a small bowl.
- Add vegetable oil and mix thoroughly.
- Place saltines in a large 2 gallon zippered bag and pour oil and spices over the crackers.
- Shake the bag thoroughly to coat the crackers.
- Let sit overnight occasionally turning and shaking the bag to continue to distribute spices onto the crackers.
1. Mix all spices and dry ingredients in a small bowl.
If you want to make a smaller batch, 2 Tbsp. of mix with 1/3 cup oil per sleeve of crackers will mix well in a gallon-sized ziplock bag.